Save Scottish Seas

Why MPAs?: Economics

A coalition of environmental charities, working with the collective vision of achieving healthy, well-managed seas, where wildlife and coastal communities are flourishing and ecosystems are protected, connected and thriving.

A healthy marine environment is an ecologically and economically productive one. Save Scottish Seas is campaigning for a healthier marine environment, which will underpin the sustainable development and harvest of our seas.

We commissioned a study into the potential economic benefits of creating a network of Scottish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). It’s findings were quite profound. Using the same methodology as Defra-commissioned research undertaken for the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act, researchers found that creating a network of Scottish marine protected areas (MPAs) could provide benefits to Scotland to the tune of £10billion over the next 20 years, and potentially more.

Hidden benefits

This is not all cash in hand. As well as the obvious commercial values that flow from the sea, such as fish and shellfish stocks and marine tourism, there are a whole range of hidden benefits delivered by Scotland’s seas. Removing pollutants from the sea, mitigating the effects of climate change and recycling nutrients are just some of these less obvious ‘ecosystems services.’ Others include leisure and recreational values and the cultural importance of having a healthy sea, home to amazing creatures such as fish, whales, corals and seabirds.

Creating a network of Marine Protected Areas would help secure these benefits for the future.

Do you want to find out more? Have a look at our posters, which explain why looking after our seas is vital for Scotland’s environmental and economic health.


Langoustines need a healthy seabed


Whales need help in busy seas


Scottish seabirds crying out for MPAs


Look after the seabed and everybody benefits


The trickle-down benefits of MPAs

Contact the Save Scottish Seas team
Contact the Save Scottish Seas team

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