what is a historic marine protected area?
Until now, the sites of historic shipwrecks in Scotland have been afforded statutory protection (designated) under the protection of Wrecks Act 1973 or through scheduling – you can find out about the 15 wrecks currently designated under these mechanisms
In Scotland, use of section 1 of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 is to be replaced with a system of Marine Protected Areas to help protect Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage.
Under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, Historic Marine Protected Areas (Historic MPAs) allow for the protection of marine historic assets of ‘national importance’. Historic MPAs can be used not only to help protect a particularly significant historic ship or aircraft wreck but also a group of sites, for example, an important fleet anchorage, battle site or navigational hazard where multiple wrecks and other features exist. It would also be possible to designate a submerged prehistoric landscape if structural or artefact-based evidence is identified on the seabed.
You can find out more about Historic Scotland’s priorities in relation to Marine Protected Areas by following progress with our Marine Heritage Strategy 2012-15