Helping to look after Historic MPAs
Historic Environment Scotland provides advice for all Historic MPAs in Scottish territorial waters so that public authorities and sea-users can play a positive role in supporting the preservation objectives for these areas.
Public authorities with functions capable of adversely affecting marine historic assets are expected to carry out their duties in a way that respects the preservation objectives for Historic MPAs – for example in preparing plans and strategies or issuing consents.
Works and activities subject to consenting processes
Impacts from a wide range of works or activities within the boundaries of the protected area and immediately surrounding it that are subject to consent processes such as planning permission, marine licensing or Crown Estate seabed leases will be assessed by Historic Environment Scotland in discussion with the relevant public authority.
Diving and archaeological investigations
Designation of Historic MPAs does not prevent public access. Indeed responsible access is normally encouraged and local diving groups and archaeologists can play a positive role in helping to investigate and monitor the condition of marine historic assets within Historic MPAs.
However, removal, alteration or disturbance of marine historic assets within the area is illegal without permission. Diving groups and archaeologists wishing to undertake intrusive archaeological investigations (for example excavation and recovery of samples or objects) will need to apply for a marine licence and should make early contact with Marine Scotland’s Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT
Fisheries regulations and Marine Conservation Orders
Where there is a need to prohibit, restrict or regulate particular activities this will be achieved through use of Marine Conservation Orders. If the need arises to restrict or prohibit particular types of fishing activity in the area, this would be undertaken through existing fisheries legislation.
Obtaining advice from Historic Environment Scotland
Operational advice is provided in site documentation for each area
to help regulators, developers and sea-users determine how their activities or may not impact on Historic MPAs.
Our leaflet ‘Historic Marine Protected Areas, a guide for visitor, investigators and managers’ also provides useful information on Historic MPAs.
For specific advice, public authorities and sea-users are encouraged to make early contact with Historic Environment Scotland’s strategic heritage management team.