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    The Scottish Marine Regions are 11 areas established for the purposes of regional marine planning, defined by The Scottish Marine Regions Order 2015. These regions are sub-areas of both the "Scottish marine area" defined in the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and "Scottish inshore region" defined in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Marine planning will take place at a local level within these regions, where regional marine planning will be delegated to Marine Planning Partnerships (MPPs).

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    Demonstration and Research Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designated by Scottish Ministers under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. Sites can be established for the purpose of demonstrating, or carrying out research on sustainable methods of marine management or exploitation in Scottish territorial waters. Their application is not restricted to nature conservation. Proposals will be developed and assessed according to a set of specific guidelines which will examine the scientific case for a MPA, the level of support and the reasons why a MPA is the most appropriate mechanism to use.

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    The 21 Scottish marine regions and offshore marine regions are used for state of the sea assessments. These areas consolidate the existing statutory Scottish Marine Regions with non-statutory offshore marine regions. For the purposes of assessment, the offshore marine regions extend to the continental shelf limits (adjacent to Scotland)

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    Fishing for razor clams (Ensis spp.) within the Scottish zone is prohibited. For a trial period, Marine Scotland will authorise (under Article 43 of EC Regulation No. 850/1998 and article 4(2) of Scottish SI 2017 No. 419) electrofishing for razor clams (Ensis spp.) in certain areas around Scotland for scientific research.

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    Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are designated under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 or the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. They have to be managed in a way that furthers the conservation objectives. The EU Habitats Directive requires Special Areas of Conservation (and Special Protection Areas) to be managed in a way that prevents deterioration of the qualifying features. The dataset contains boundaries and measures which are subject to Marine Conservation Orders (MCOs), the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984 or the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) The following URL provides a link to further information: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/marine-environment/mpanetwork/MPAMGT/ Proposed measures will be available during consultations

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    The 15 Scottish sea areas are based on areas previously adopted for certain environmental monitoring programmes. The data from these 15 areas can be presented regionally and also reasonably aggregated to form a national picture and to develop information for the two main areas required for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive initial assessment: the Greater North Sea (Area II) and the Celtic Seas (Area III) which are existing sea areas used by OSPAR (the Oslo Paris Convention for the Protection of the North East Atlantic)