The Scottish Government’s vision is for a marine environment that is clean, healthy, safe, productive and diverse seas; managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people.

Scotland’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) network is being developed to help safeguard our most important natural and cultural heritage features on the principle of sustainable use. By doing so we are protecting the natural goods and services they provide for current and future generations to enjoy.

We would welcome your views on the addition of four possible MPAs to the Scottish MPA network. The sites under consultation are:

  • North-east Lewis
  • Sea of the Hebrides
  • Shiant East Bank
  • Southern Trench

The proposed protected features of these sites include basking shark, minke whale, Risso’s dolphin, as well as seabed habitats and geological features. Whales and dolphins, collectively known as cetaceans, as well as basking sharks are protected wherever they occur throughout Scottish waters. The four possible MPAs would offer additional levels of protection to locations important for the various life stages of these species.

See the background information and take part in the consultation

Hope spot – First ever UK Hope Spot declared in Scotland – to help protect the Flapper Skate 

Scotland’s Argyll Coast and Islands have been declared a Hope Spot – the first in mainland United Kingdom – by international non-profit Mission Blue to shed light on the immense beauty, rich history and vibrant life along the country’s west coast. The Hope Spot also recognises the four community groups (CAOLAS, CROMACH, Friends of the Sound of Jura and Save Seil Sound) that have banded together under the Coastal Communities Network, Scotland, to raise community awareness of the need to encourage protection of Scotland’s unique marine ecosystems.

Mission Blue seek out Hope Spot sites around the world which contain the presence of rare, threatened or endemic species and sites which can demonstrate active community involvement and a real chance to reverse historical damage – the “Argyll Coast and Islands” was therefore considered a perfect location as it holds one of the last remaining strongholds of the critically endangered flapper skate and is a vibrant region for community-led conservation initiatives.

Dr Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue, says, “The Argyll Coast is a place of great beauty but also of great importance. It’s home to not only great people, with a love and appreciation for the sea, but of such a wonderful mix of creatures, from marine mammals; the dolphins, whales and seals to otters and birds. And of course, what’s under the surface, like the flapper skate, which is more endangered than the giant panda. Thank you for doing what you’re doing to ensure a healthy future for the Argyll Coast and for the rest of the world’s oceans. Congratulations on the first Hope Spot in Scotland and mainland United Kingdom!”  Click here read more

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