Report 625
A review of the distribution and ecological importance of seabed communities in the deep waters surrounding Scotland
(2018)
Doggett, M., Baldock, L. & Goudge, H.
The current study area for the proposed deep-sea national marine reserve includes a spatial overlap with ten MPAs.
 

Summary

 

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Scotland 2017-18 included a commitment to ‘evaluate options to create a deep-sea national marine reserve’. The designation of a deep-sea reserve would complement the existing marine protected area (MPA) network in Scottish waters and provide a legal framework for the protection of additional deep-sea marine habitats and species against emerging threats.

Marine Scotland and JNCC have undertaken a scoping exercise to identify the deep-sea features of interest and evaluate options for creating a deep-sea national marine reserve, to the north-west and north of Scotland, in waters deeper than 800 metres. The ‘study area’ for the potential deep-sea marine reserve is divided into two distinct biogeographic areas either side of the Wyville-Thomson Ridge, with different hydrographic and thermal regimes resulting in distinct community types north and south.

Numerous deep-sea habitats and species could be appropriate for spatial protection, many of which are already Priority Marine Features (PMFs) or correlate with existing PMF descriptions.

 
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ISSN 0963-8091
 
Please cite as: Doggett, M., Baldock, L. & Goudge, H., (2018), A review of the distribution and ecological importance of seabed communities in the deep waters surrounding Scotland, JNCC Report 625, ISSN 0963-8091