Friday, July 25, 2014

25/07/2014: Scottish seas set for 30 new Marine Protected Areas after historic announcement

Calum Duncan, MCS Scotland Programme Manager and Convenor of Scottish Environment LINK’s marine task force says the Scottish Government's announcement to more than double the size of an emerging network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is welcome news for country's hidden underwater wonderlands and a great step forward in the right direction. 

Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead gave the go-ahead yesterday for 30 new MPAs which will protect a further 12 percent of Scotland’s seas. 

The announcement will pave the way for urgent new measures to protect struggling populations of seabirds, whales and dolphins.

Last year 2,510 MCS supporters were among 14,000 people who backed proposals for new MPAs during an extensive public consultation.

Calum Duncan says there has been a consensus among our marine scientists that the health of Scotland’s seas has suffered in recent decades and that threats from human activities must be better managed. 

"By setting up these MPAs the Government has wisely placed its confidence in that verdict. The work does not stop here – for the time-being these MPAs are just lines on maps, so careful management will be needed to ensure they actively help recover our sealife. MCS has been a major influence in this process and our members and supporters should be justly pleased."

Fisheries management measures for all of the sites will be developed during an intensive two years process.

Read more HERE.

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