Cross-border partnership connects people and Marine Protected Areas

We’re really pleased to be part of a €6.4 million cross-border partnership project to improve the management and monitoring of several Marine Protected Areas between Northern Ireland, Ireland and the west coast of Scotland.

Over the next four years the Marine Protected Area Management and Monitoring (MarPAMM) project will develop scientific models and management plans for protected marine wildlife across the three nations’ seas.


Most Marine Protected Area (MPA) management plans are produced for individual MPAs but MarPAMM is taking a slightly different approach. People and communities will be at the heart of the project, which will work with a wide range of stakeholders, enabling anyone with an interest to get involved and have their say on how their local MPAs should be managed.

Scotland’s seas are divided up into 11 Marine Regions, and here we will be trialling the development of regional MPA management plans, including co-production of a management plan with local communities in the Outer Hebrides.

The project pulls together knowledge and expertise from eight key organisations, including SNH, Marine Scotland and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS). The partnership, which is led by Ireland’s Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute and supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, will develop six novel MPA management plans.

The project was launched this week (13 December) at Carlingford Lough, a glacial fjord, or sea inlet, which forms part of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and is an MPA of international importance.  Celebrated documentary filmmaker Doug Allan helped to celebrate the beginning of this exciting partnership. Mr Allan, about whom David Attenborough said “wildlife cameramen don’t come much more special than Doug”, provided an illustrated talk highlighting the beauty and connectedness of the marine environment that the project aims to conserve. You can watch Doug’s presentation here.

Scotland’s Minister for the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, said: “I am delighted that Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage will be partners in the MarPAMM project, working with other organisations across Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. This project will improve the marine evidence base particularly in relation to seabirds and provide the platform for stakeholder engagement in development of long-term regional MPA management plans.”

See our website for more information about Scotland’s MPA Network.

All photos copyright Scottish Natural Heritage.

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