The Red Rocks and Longay Marine Protected Area (MPA), in the Inner Sound of Skye will be permanently designated from 9 February 2023, protecting a flapper skate egg-laying site of national importance from various activities. These include certain types of fishing, recreational sea angling, marine deposit sites/waste disposal, aquaculture, marine infrastructure and anchoring, amongst others.



This MPA is the largest flapper skate nursery site in Scotland with over 1000 eggs being recorded so far. Flapper skate eggs are vulnerable to disturbance and take 18 months to hatch making this a site of national importance for the conservation of the species.

Flapper skate (Dipturus intermedius) were historically abundant in the North-east Atlantic and widely distributed in the seas surrounding the British Isles, however its range has reduced significantly and catch rates declined throughout the 20th century. The flapper skate now occurs largely in the northern North Sea and off Scotland’s north-west coast.

The fishing vessel licence conditions states a fishing vessel must not be present within the MPA other than when travelling at a speed of greater than six knots, with some exceptions for example force majeure, adverse weather conditions or fishing for pelagic species with trawl or encircling nets.

Further information from the Scottish Government can be read here.

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