Scotland establishes 4 new marine protected areas and 12 marine spas

Scotland establishes 4 new marine protected areas and 12 marine spas

The largest deep-sea MPA in Europe was already installed in Scotland in October

Now 37% of Scottish seas are protected, which exceeds the UN and EU targets for 2030. A 6-month consultation and a 14-month establishment process were enough

[4 Dicembre 2020]


After a symposium with stakeholders held in March 2019 and an open public consultation in 14 locations close to the proposed sites, which began on 7 June 2019 and ended on 30 August 2019, the Autonomous Government of Scotland presented yesterday Consultancy Analysis Report “Consultation on proposals to designate four Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters” which gives the green light for the establishment of 4 new Marine Protected Areas: North-East Lewis, Sea of ​​the Hebrides, Schiant East Bank and Southern Trench.

The time of consultation and establishment, which, when viewed from Italy, appears to be science fiction, given that in our country the Marine Protected Area of ​​the Tuscan Archipelago has been waiting to be established for 38 years, Capri was founded by two municipalities. Despite requests for the island, Conroe’s is the first (but not even kidding in Elba) mayor to spread fake news for the AMP.

The designation of 4 new Scottish MPAs aims to protect habitats that are also home to minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), basking shark (Cetorhinus Maximus) and Grampy (grampus griseus), species that are also present in our oceans.

The Shiant East Bank is a stretch of sea between the Outer Hebrides and the mainland, while the southern gulf extends from Buckeye to Peterhead along the Aberdeenshire coast.

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A further 12 Scottish marine sites have been granted Special Protection Area (SPA) status, thus providing additional protection for vulnerable Scotland’s seabirds, including cedaks, gavies and grebes.

The Sea of ​​Hebrides is the largest of the new marine protected areas and contains the basking shark, the world’s second largest fish, which migrates from Scotland to Madeira and the waters around the Canary Islands in the summer. from West Africa.

In October, the West of Scotland Marine Protected Area was established in Scotland, the largest MPA in Europe – 107.773 km2 in the Northwest Atlantic – considered “of international importance” by the Convention on Biological Diversity as it protects reefs from cold waters. It also protects the coral and deep-sea sharks that live from the western islands to depths of 2,400 m.

Le Nueva ZPS Sono Solvay Firth, St Kilda and Faula to Sea, Moray Forth, L’Area Tre Ythan Estuary, Sands of Fourvi e Michal Loch, Outer Firth of Forth and Outer St Andrews Bay Complex, Blumull and Colgrave Sounds, East Mainland Coast Shetland, Sound of Gigha, Cole and Tyree, Rum and the West Coast of the Outer Hebrides.

The new MPA and SPA bring the total number of Scottish places subject to marine protection measures to 230, making the total protected area approximately 227,622 km2, 37% of the Scottish sea.

Scotland’s Minister of Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mary Gouzan, stressed that ‘it is our duty to help protect and improve our marine environment so that it remains a valuable resource for future generations. These designations continue Scotland’s commitment to lead by example in environmental protection. Our seas are not only vital to our way of life, but they also provide habitat for an extremely diverse range of marine life and it is essential to ensure adequate protection for them. The waters of Scotland are home to many unique species and these designations ensure that our network of MPAs is fully representative of our marine diversity, exceeding the proposed international goal of achieving 30% global MPA coverage by 2030. Protecting the MPA Scotland’s marine environment is also key to supporting the sustainable recovery of our marine industries and these designations will form a key element of our Blue Economy Action Plan.

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Environmental groups have welcomed the installation of the new 4 Amps, although the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland complained about the non-inclusion of sites around the Orkney Islands. Alex Kinnamuth, Head of Maritime Policy at RSPB Scotland, said: “We certainly welcome the protected areas established today, but the lack of Orkney diminishes happiness. We ask the Minister to make his intentions clear immediately. , because we fail to understand why, after receiving solid scientific advice from their nature advisors supporting the sites, they chose to add further delay and uncertainty. We are in the midst of a global climate and natural emergency. So we are not under the illusion that these sites alone will turn the tide of Scotland’s seabirds, which require urgent changes in the way we manage our land and ocean. Only through continued investment and strong management plans Since then they will form the cornerstone of efforts to regenerate our coasts and seas. The sight and call of hundreds of thousands of seabirds that throng our shores every year is an extraordinary natural spectacle that must be preserved for future generations. May you experience it.

The National Trust for Scotland said it is satisfied that the seas around St Kilda have been designated as SPA, but has also expressed concerns about the state of Orkney’s waters.

While environmental groups have had good success with their campaign to establish these new marine preserves, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Marine Conservation Society have joined forces in 2019 to support the creation of the Sea of ​​the Hebrides.

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Susan Davies, chief executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, concluded: ‘This is a major and important step towards preventing and reversing the decline of some of Scotland’s most important seabird species, particularly the mysterious populations of Scotland. Feed in the sea north of St Kilda and pintail that winter off the coast of the Moray Firth.

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