Scottish Government ‘Measures to conserve Scotland’s marine environment and protect important seabed features will be put in place, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead confirmed today. The Marine Protected Areas, (MPAs) will improve marine conservation, for example by protecting kelp and rocky reefs to reduce coastal erosion, and seagrass beds which capture and store carbon and provide nursery habitats. The Scottish Government designated 30 MPAs last year and subsequently consulted on the associated management measures for a total of 20 sites. Following feedback from stakeholders, a further consultation was undertaken on the proposed measures in four of the larger MPAs to consider further representations. In response to that consultation, Mr Lochhead has today announced further changes to three specific sites – Small Isles, Wester Ross, and Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura – in response to further feedback from the fishing industry. Management measures for all other sites consulted on will remain unchanged.’

Scottish Government go back and consult again on 3 of the largest MPAs –

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