Rural Affairs Secretary announces ambitious marine protection plan in Scottish waters.
The Scottish Government is putting in place ambitious management measures for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Scottish waters, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead announced http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Progress-for-MPA-network-19e9.aspx .
Following extensive consultation and engagement with a wide range of marine stakeholders, it is proposed that new statutory measures giving protection to many vulnerable habitats will take effect from 1 October 2015.
The package will not only further conservation objectives of these protected areas, but will also make a contribution towards enhancing the health of Scotland’s seas.
Mr Lochhead said:
“Scotland’s seas hold a huge range of species and habitats which are important in UK, European, and global terms. They also provide a significant fish and shellfish resource, which are important to the rural economy of Scotland. All of these commercial and non-commercial species are dependent on a healthy, clean and diverse environment. Taking action to maintain or improve the marine ecosystem will deliver long-term benefits to society, including the fishing industry.
A report of this consultation was published today.
Four draft Marine Conservation Orders were published today. These are for Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura, Small Isles, South Arran, and Wester Ross MPAs. Interested parties may make written representation on these up until 12 July 2015.