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Publication - Consultation responses

2014 Consultation on the management of inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas - Consultation analysis report

Published: 10 Jul 2015
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781785444890

2014 Consultation on the management of inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas - Consultation analysis report. Summary of the responses received relating to each site.

236 page PDF

11.9 MB

236 page PDF

11.9 MB

Contents
2014 Consultation on the management of inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas - Consultation analysis report
Appendix 3: The SE LINK Campaign

236 page PDF

11.9 MB

Appendix 3: The SE LINK Campaign

Figure A3.1 - Distribution of responses

Figure A3.1 – Distribution of responses

Table A3.1 - Additional or amended text submitted in responses

Marine Protection The seas around the British Isles are in dire need of rejuvenation if we are ever to claim back a healthy ecosystem. People are up in arms about the coral reefs of Australia, but the seas around our island are little thought about, except as a fishing reserve. If we are to fish from our seas for years t come it is vitally important that we nurture areas of diversity, where sea animals of all kinds can breed and thrive. Please protect all of these such areas for the generations to come and add to the areas protected.

As someone who lived in Scotland for several years and took part in the ringing and monitoring of sea birds off the west coast of Scotland, I know how important the seas are to the wildlife and people of Scotland. They need to be protected and nursed back to health so that both the wildlife and the local fishing communities can thrive.

Scallop dredging and bottom trawling are the 2 most damaging things one can do to the sea bed. Removing the filtration mechanism from any water system is barmy.

I grew up in a fish-trading family, earned my first pay packet as a fish packer and now live between the two important fishing ports of Fraserburgh and Peterhead, so the future of the fishing industry is very close to my heart. Because of this I thoroughly support the idea of MPAs, to provide for recovery and sustainability of stocks as well as the overall beauty and appeal of our marine environment, which we are so lucky to enjoy. - we should not risk leaving these areas unprotected. I therefore support the site-wide prohibition of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear from all MPAs and the creation and/or extension of more generous and clearly defined protected areas. I strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas. You in the Scottish Government are being given a historic opportunity to help reverse the declining health of our marine environment and make a real change for coastal communities and Scotland as a whole.

Protect our seabeds. To have come so far and spent so much time and money on consultations and surveys it would be an absolute travesty if the chosen MPAs were not protected adequately. At the very least mobile bottom gear should be banned, the fact that scallop dredging hasn't already been banned within MPA areas with sea bed features that have been deemed worthy of protection beggars belief. For the Wester Ross MPA it would be easier to manage and police what type of fishing was going on within the MPA if there was a blanket ban on mobile bottom gear, and not these tiny dispersed patches that make it hard for any one to remember who is meant to be fishing where. Please take steps to move us forward from the absolute disaster that is currently Scottish Fisheries 'Management'

I have been a marine biologist for 15 years

I am very concerned that the Scottish government may be caving in to demands from the fishing industry to allow such damaging practices as scallop dredging in Marine Protected Areas.

strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas and believe over time these should encompass our countries coastline and extent outwards to allow ecosystems to flurish.

DO NOT Take the P out of MPAs! PROTECT OUR WATERS! NOBODY ELSE IS GOING TO!

I fully support the "Don't Take the P out of the MPA's!" campaign and frankly think that the government and Marine Scotland are very much "taking the P". The management options are ridiculous and not what was demanded in the public consultation that was already conducted for the MPA designation. There should be a total exclusion of destructive fishing methods such as trawling and dredging within Marine Protected Areas across Scotland and in particular in the South Arran MPA. The management does not fulfill the governments legal obligation with regards to the Water framework directive or the marine framework directive. This patchwork management does not give any level of meaningful protection. I think the government and marine Scotland need to take notice of the public mandate to protect the public right to fish. The management so far has been geared only towards the mobile fishing industry with no regards to the countless other stakeholders. There are huge economic benefits to the limitation of mobile fishing gear that are not being recognised due to Marine Scotlands relationship with the CFA and SFF. It is time for the seas to be managed properly for all stakeholders and not the minority of mobile fishermen.

Protected Areas Need to be Larger and with Full Protection . Scientists are discovering new remnant areas of fragile habitats (unsurveyed and undiscovered until now) with every passing year - we should not risk leaving these areas unprotected. Following a reasonable approach, it is important to protect the wider ecosystem in each MPA d as protected features (and many important others indirectly). - this will both severely constrain the scope for ecosystem recovery and the accurate compliance needed for successful MPAs. strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas. It's a critically important opportunity to help reverse the declining health of our marine environment and make a real change for coastal communities and Scotland as a whole. These measures also relate to a myriad of other linked economic goals such as increase tourism and sustainable fishing both angling and commercial. MPAs existing and new need proper protection to ensure responsible stewardship of our resources. Please properly protect Scotlands Seas

The proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling. . *** THATS THE WHOLE POINT ***

Preserve MPAs! Think of our children's futures! . It beggars belief that we are considering reducing the level of protection - we MUST increase protection. It we take New Zealand as an example, it has been proven that protected areas allow species to recover by acting as "nurseries". There MUST be total exclusion of ALL activities of every sort in these areas to allow these species - many of them in serious decline - to breed unhindered. They will then naturally migrate into areas outside of these protected areas where they can then be harvested. We need as many protected areas as possible that include every sort of habitat. Surely as an island with a maritime history we really should be setting an example and protecting our inshore seas for future generations?

Please make the Marine Protected Area's properly Protected

Husbandry not Rape! It's 2015! We should be learning how to farm the sea, and increase fish stocks. Instead we are doing the equivalent of running into the woods in our underwear with a brick shouting "Unga Bunga!!", and wondering why all the animals have vacated. strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in seas worldwide.

Remarkable - the single most damaging activity is to be permitted in "protected" areas. Is this a joke? Evidently not.I am indeed very concerned that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling.

Like many other people, I am very concerned that proposals put forward for consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling. - part of Scotland's own natural heritage that is already under incredible pressure.

I am a diver and marine biologist. I helped survey the shallow seabed around the coast of Northern Ireland in the 1980's and the Republic of Ireland in the 1990's. Rocky areas are in general not heavily impacted by man's activities, though they are degraded now everywhere by increased siltation compared with 40 years ago. Lobster and crab populations everywhere are badly impacted by fishing and probably this has resulted in changes to the natural state which we cannot detect because of a lack of fully protected areas. The main reason everywhere is degraded is primarily due to stirring up of bottom sediments and removal of the natural populations of hydroids, bryozoans and sponges which characterise these areas before fishing with bottom scraping gear begins. I have only rarely seen areas of flat seabed in this pristine state in the UK. In 1975 I started work with the Ulster Museum in Belfast and saw parts of the bottom of Strangford Lough. Large areas were mud, covered with a carpet of horse mussels. On top of the horse mussels were sponges, hydroids, variable scallops, and bryozoans. Between the mussels were thousands of worms and small molluscs. In the late 1980's these mussel beds were trawled by a fleet of scallop trawlers, taking Queen Scallops by the sackful. This went on for several months. In the aftermath I dived some of these areas and helped make a short film for the National Trust, called "scraping the bottom". (Now on Youtube).Fisheries scientists at the time claimed that the scallop populations would recover quickly as Queen Scallops reach maturity in 4-5 years. However this assumes that the natural fauna of the seabed allows safe settlement and initial growth of the scallops. It is now 27 years after the trawling and there has been no recovery and the remaining small areas of horse mussels have largely disappeared. The dead shells are colonised annually by sea squirts, but there is no recovery of the complex ecosystem which was there in the early 1980's (and probably since the ice sheets retreated and the climate stabilised thousands of years ago).The Northern Ireland government has spent several million pounds trying to restore this ecosystem as it is in breach of a European directive to protect this very habitat. , Long and Alsh SAC and nc MPA Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura nc MPA (including Loch Sunart nc MPA and Loch Sunart SAC)Small Isles nc MPAWester Ross nc MPAI The point has been made many times, and proven conclusively in New Zealand, that fully protected areas actually benefit fishing by acting as recruitment grounds for many species, which then spill out of the protected areas and replenish the stocks in much larger areas. It is only common sense to take the same approach in the sea as a farmer would take if he wanted Pheasants, that is to provide habitat for the birds to breed by leaving pockets of woodland instead of converting everywhere to green, empty fields.

****I would like to add that I am pro-fishing on the whole, but efforts must be made to minimise the impact of destructive fishing practices - good management is a balance between supporting the industry and protecting the environment - please make an effort to do both!

Please use the Precautionary Principle which is meant to govern these kind of decisions. There is little evidence of this being used here.

Having been a diver for many years I have seen firsthand the terrible damage that bottom trawling and scallop dredging do to marine life and its ecosystem. Descending to a seabed that has been dredged on finds what looks like a graded road cut through the bottom filled with smashed shells. These scars on the seabed take a long time to heal and whilst they are, a huge range of other marine life is impacted by the loss of habitat. Experiments in the Isle of Mann and Lyme bay have shown the huge benefits o all fisheries that can be accrued by banning dredging.

PROTECT THEM NOW!

strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas. I have also written to several MSP's on this matter on behalf of the RSPB.

I have over 35 years and over 9000 dives thought the west coast of Scotland Scallop dredging has irreversibly damaged thousands of acres of the the sea bed and marine habitat also I have seen two low lying bolder reefs towed away and totally destroyed And coterie to popular belief scallop dredgers do tow over reefs I can show or provide government scientists information to support my statement hence I whish to state that.

If the SNP are going to vote for English matters ( NHS England) as they say it affects Scotland, well so does protection of Scottish waters affect England and the rest of the world!

As a recreational diver living in the North of England, I make frequent trips to Scotland to dive in Scottish seas.

Thank you for listening,

Although I am not a resident of Scotland, I am still a resident of this island and damage to any part of our island environment affects us all. Many years ago I saw a practical demonstration on a beach, using a mock-up of the seabed, a trawl net and a tractor, as to the incredibly damaging effects of bottom trawling on the sea floor ecosystem. That demonstration still lives with me and brought home the callous disregard of the bottom-trawling, fishing industry (both inshore and deep-sea, the latter mainly by French and Spanish trawlers) to the damage they do. It also demonstrated the urgent need to protect sufficient areas in order to provide a sustainable seed-bed for species recovery to replenish the rest of the ecosystem.

The MPAs are such a tiny part of our marine environment that what we have should be protected strongly.

Don't Take the P out of MPAs! Proper protection for our sea life.

I can't believe that you'd perpetuate this destructive methos of fishing.

Don't Take the P out of MPAs! - lead by example To whom it may concern within the Scottish Government,

I lived in Scotland for 33 years, and still care!!

Unlike my friends, I couldn't join any party that doesn't pay proper attention to issues like this.

Please listen. I am only 17 years old and I don't want to grow up with marine life being unnecessarily destroyed.

Lack of Protection in MPAs The consultation takes a very half-hearted approach to restoring years of damaging activity. By only trying to prevent further damage, the inevitable result will actually be further decline and a gradual reduction in the opportunity to have a sustainable fishing industry. This is without considering the moral imperative to try and undo the damage the human activity has done to wildlife and the impoverished legacy we will leave to succeeding generations. The Scottish Government needs to take a much more ambitious approach to protecting and promoting its natural heritage. Future generations will not thank the current Government for only leaving them museum specimens and images of what they have lost. Longer-term thinking is imperative, as is a less parochial attitude to the Government's international responsibilities. The seas belong to everyone.

I am extremely concerned and upset that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling.

It is clear we need strong regulation to ensure a sustainable future for our seas and coastal areas. Otherwise, there will eventually be little to base a fishing industry on, not to mention the knock-on effects of a depleted marine environment. I am very concerned to hear that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling.

As a diver with personal knowledge and experience diving in Scotland, I therefore support the proposals for site-wide prohibition of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear from the following MPAs: Treshnish Isles SAC (option 1)Loch Creran nc MPA/ SAC (option 2) [I know this loch very well underwater and can vouch that it is a rare, delicate, beautiful and unique ecosystem that must be protected. Luce Bay SAC (option 1), and so I think there should instead be a site-wide prohibition of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear in these MPAs: Loch Sween nc MPA South Arran nc MPA Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil nc MPA [Loch Fyne is a famous and remarkable dive site with very special and beautiful ecosystems]Lochs Duich

SCALLOP DREDGING MUST BE CURTAILED IN OUR COASTAL WATERS!! As a group of concerned divers engaged in citizen science, we have seen, first hand, the damage caused by scallop dredgers. As you must know, dredgers destroy everything in their path and also generate countless tonnes of silt and mud that chokes marine life in the surrounding area. This insane practice is destroying our coastal waters and you will be held responsible, in the not too distant future, when they cease to support a resource for the fishing communities around our coastline and the industry in general. This type of fishing activity is not sustainable. Scallop dredging is fundamentally not compatible with our coastal waters which act as a nursery for countless species that contribute to Scotland's rich and unique biodiversity. This is particularly true of our west coast sea lochs which contain many species not found anywhere else in our coastal waters. Our sea lochs are extremely fragile and vulnerable. As stated by the Save Scottish Seas project we are very concerned that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling.

I live in the South but care deeply about all our marine habitats that I believe sadly need protecting because of our human ignorance and greed.

As a diver I have had personal visual experience of the effect of stopping Scallop Dredging in the Firth of Lorne where after seven years a previously drab reef was vibrant with life. The bottom had been damaged as is known but this was in relative mid water where the generated silt plume had settled on the reef and killed many organisms.

Please do the right thing!

I am a scuba diver who has visited Scotland many times purely for the purposes of diving in areas that are vibrant with sealife. I have seen first hand the effect of scallop dredging and bottom trawling on the ocean floor, and the intense damage it does to all natural life there.

Don't Take the P out of MPAs! Think of the future! Please protect the Scottish waters from intensive fishing. I live on the coast in England and care deeply that all the UK waters are carefully managed. Think long term - do not damage the future.

I am a PhD student in Biology.

The Scottish Sub Aqua Club is the governing body for recreational diving in Scotland. Formed in 1953 we have seventy branches throughout Scotland. Our members dive around our coast on a regular basis. Divers are unique in that they are the only people who see first hand the devastation caused by scallop dredging and bottom trawling. As an organisation we have supported the Scottish Governments proposals to set up MPA's and our members have expressed that support through submissions to past consultations. However we are deeply concerned that the Scottish Government may allow these extremely destructive activities to continue within proposed MPA's. Our members have seen how quickly the seabed recovered when scallop dredging was banned in The Firth of Lorne SAC. Whilst it is important to protect the habitat of rare and protected species we would also point out that protecting areas from damaging activities allows those areas to become seed beds and breeding grounds for commercial species. It is well documented that everywhere around the world where areas have been protected fishermen have seen increased catches around these zones. We would therefore urge the Scottish government to implement fully the protection our seas need to recover from years of damaging activities. By banning scallop dredging and bottom trawling we will soon see a healthy ecosystem, one that will lead to a more sustainable and prosperous fishing industry.

Please Don't Take the 'Protection' out of MPAs! I am a scuba diver and very fmailiar with the marine environment around Scotland which I visit regularly, I have seen first hand the damage casued by invasive fishing methods such as scallop dregding. I fully agree with the MCS's concerns as follows.

Below is the standard wording that is being circulated for people to add their names to. I wholeheartedly agree with what it says and am concerned that the proposals do NOT adequately protect our marine environment and urge you to consult further with those who have the protection of these areas at heart and not just the fisherman, as seems to be the case here. Don't let Labour score points by giving them the opportunity to claim a u-turn, but an exercise in public consultation.

As a keen Diver / boat owner I have personally witnessed the destruction of scallop fishing on the sea bed ,

Marine "protected" Areas? Really? What protection? Don't Take the P out of MPAs! I should initially point out that I am not a resident of Scotland. However, I am an enthusiastic amateur scuba diver have holidayed in Scotland on more than a dozen occasions to enjoy the rich diversity of habitats and marine life that Scottish waters have historically offered. The reduction in the diversity and density of marine life has been obvious to even the most casual observers under the water. The environmental devastation brought about by scallop dredging and bottom trawling in particular has so reduced the attraction of the marine environment that I now have great difficulty getting a group of divers together and consequently it looks unlikely that I or any of my friends will visit Scotland this year. It is blindingly obvious that proposals made in this consultation are wholly inadequate to protect marine habitats and species from destructive forms of fishing, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling. These nature conservation Marine Protected Areas (nc MPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation ( SACs) are desperately needed to help protect our damaged seas and allow them to recover. - we cannot sensibly risk leaving these areas unprotected.

This response is my endorsement of the response of the Marine Conservation Society of which I have been a member for many years and whose work I admire and trust.

I am currently living in Germany after having lived for 15 years in Scotland!

As a Scotsman and a lover of the marine environment

Please protect the seas around Britain. Dredging is wrecking the seabed

I am a restaurateur and want to ensure that we have fish and shelfish for future generations.

I am passionate about the sea. Bottom trawling and scallop dredging are the activities that do most damage and must not be allowed to continue in sensitive and rich areas.

Protection is vital I could send you the copied letter that many others will. However, I know you won't read it and I hope with all my soul that you will read and think about the reasons behind why so many people are getting het up about the MPAs. These are vital to the continuing health of our seas. New Zealand has already proved how these can work and benefit everyone as they act as nurseries for marine life. With the surrounding areas flourishing in only a few short years once PROPER protection takes place. It makes sense! You don't go raiding the newly grown crops in a field or vegetable patch! You let them mature and prolifigate. Look at the data from New Zealand it is sound and I have been over there and seen for myself. I have also seen the devastation done by bottom trawling and dredgers. Please, look at the data, look at the science.

MPA consultation please save our seas. Dredging affects puffin food etc. Please safeguard MPAs.

Protection is the Operative Word Bottom trawling and scallop dredging have been show to be highly damaging to the sea bed ecosystem, leading to loss of species diversity, productivity and total biomass. The existing and proposed MPAs will only be truly protected if these activities are totally prohibited from being conducted within them. I support the Marine Conservation Society in its campaign to ensure genuine protection of the existing and proposed MPAs including an outright ban on the use of mobile fishing gear. I also believe that making the designated areas larger and with simpler, less convoluted boundaries will make their protection easier and less likely to be breached.

I ask you to take the strongest stance possible at this time to ensure that the Marine Protected Areas are given the clout to fulfill the promise of their creation to give real and substantial protection and meet some of our obligations under EC law.d as protected features.

Please make every effort to ensure that the MPAs are created with the strongest possible bite to ensure their long-lasting effectiveness.

strongly support marine protected areas, ( MPAs) in Scottish seas. Although this was largely pre-written I have read it carefully and agree with it in total

Please re-think Marine Protected Area Proposals I am very concerned that proposals put forward in the MPA consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling. Marine Protected Areas and Special Areas of Conservation must be managed properly to enable the recovery of our inshore waters that have been so badly damaged by short-term-profit fishing methods. If this is not put in place as soon as possible, the catches these methods produce will not be possible in the long-term since the species will die out as their environment is destroyed. This is not fair to generations to come or to the marine life itself. Please listen to the points made by all the environmental agencies, who are warning against these proposals, and re-think the scoping and management of these precious marine areas.

Unsustainable use of MPAs

A chance to show you can do better than England.

Please Protect Scottish MPAs. Marine Protected Areas ( MPAs) should do as stated - protect the marine habitat and ecology. I am therefore concerned about proposals put forward in the public consultation that could allow for the continuation of scallop dredging and bottom trawling - both damaging activities to our marine environment. MPAs are necessary because our seas need to recover form the practices of industrial fishing, to allow their recovery and a long-term sustainable fishing industry.

To quote German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves to its children." A fundamental and radical change in our core values, that puts planetary health - and therefore our own - at the centre of political discourse, is absolutely essential if we are to have any hope of stepping back from a very uncertain and miserable future.

As an Overseas Scot, I beg you,

I am concerned that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling. I feel it is somewhat counter-intuitive to reduce the protection given to sites which are currently labelled as in need of conservation or protection.

. Whilst I would need to review the key characteristics of each MPA separately to be specific in my conclusions, MPAs are only worth having if they protect, and that means management measures, regulation and enforcement of those measures. See my book 'Marine Biodiversity Conservation: A Practical Approach' published this year by Routledge for evidence. I strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas. They provide a historic opportunity to protect rare, threatened and high diversity habitats that include fragile and/or declining species to the benefit of coastal communities and Scotland as a whole.

Dredging and bottom trawling are highly destructive and have no place in a protected area. Protection should mean just that.

Let's take responsibility for our oceans. With these MPAs Scotland has the opportunity to be a shining example of how to manage oceans successfully and sustainably. Scotland needs to avoid bureaucracy involved in our fishing industry and look beyond the short term and to our sustained future of fishing. If someone is reading this comment, I am writing this as an appeal to your morally responsible side that I know we all have. This is about our future and our children's future. It is not about the next 4 years and how much the government is showing to help our economy or jobs, this is about the bigger picture and realizing that with no fish there is no fishing industry. Everyone can see that we can continue exploiting our oceans in the way that we are so lets use this chance we have to change things.

I therefore support the proposals for site-wide prohibition of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear from the following MPAs: Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura MPA, designated for its critically endangered Common Skate which under the EU habitats directive and the Convention of Biological Diversity, you are obliged to protect completely. Meaning no trawling, dredging that could endanger the breeding grounds of this rare and iconic species. You alluding the public with the promise of protection when really, the Scottish Government are making paper parks to look good in front of the EU. This is not good enough and unfortunately for you, more people care about OUR Scottish seas than you know.

I feel incredibly strongly about the need to support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas.

Although not a Scottish resident, I frequently holiday there and it's the wildlife that attracts me. Without this protection the biodiversity of the seas will demonise along with all those species that depend directly and indirectly on them -making Scotland a less attractive tourist destination as well as less fulfilling to live in.

Damage to our marine wildlife.

What do you think the whole point of these areas is for? We demand full protection NOW!

"& CURRENT & FUTURE MASS ENERGY PROPOSALS".

Please don't ignore this because it's a format letter

As a Scuba diver I am very concerned with the proposals put forward. If we want to continue to fish from the seas and oceans surrounding the plant we must look after them and take into consideration that they are not a limitless supply. We must all recognise that the limits are very real and we get closer and closer to them every day. Please reconsider this is a vital decision for the seas and oceans future.

Ensure Meaningful Conservation - Don't Take the P out of MPAs! I saw the establishment of Scotland's MPAs as a good step forward in reversing the decline and damage suffered by the our seas' ecosystem. This I observed from many years as a sports diver around our coasts, in particular in the MPA areas of Loch Duich, Wester Ross and Sunart. I strongly support the following views, jointly expressed by many.

Please think long term, and think about jobs for the future as well as for now!

Please protect our marine environment. Though resident in N England, I am Scots born (Banff), return regularly, and retain a deep concern for my homeland and its surrounding seas. The trashing of our fishing grounds has been a major worry to me for years. We have to stop it.

Having grown up on the west coast as the son of a Scottish Fisherman I

SHORT TERM GAIN IS NOT IN THE LONG TERM INTEREST OF HUMANITY. SUSTAINABILITY MUST BE THE FUTURE.

Don't Take the P out of MPAs! - Wildlife Tourism brings in more money than fishing for Scotland! My Bit - Wildlife tourism brings in more money than fishing to the Scotland economy, without our seas in good order most of the wildlife doesn't exist as much of it relies on the sea for shelter and food. Wildlife tourism is much more profitable and not kept afloat only through grants and benefits the way fishing is.

Protect the Marine environment Please! I do think it really is very important that we protect our seas and the marine creatures that inhabit them. I enjoy eating fish but I don't want to eat it knowing that the way in which they have been caught has been damaging to the marine environment. I would much rather have fish occasionally and give species a chance to recover. The best way to do this is by the following which I completely support.

Please ensure MPAs are properly protected Please ensure that MPAs do what the names says and truly protect marine life. Scotland has an amazing natural heritage which is part of its great attraction for tourism. Please do the right thing and safeguard the biodiversity of Scottish seas for the creatures in them and those who live sustainably from them and those who come to see and enjoy them. Thank you.

MPAs! Please act accordingly.

It is very worrying that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling.Thank you for reading this.

Do not allow scallop dredging and bottom trawling The Scottish Parliament has done a lot of positive things but this is not one of them; it is philistine and unforgivable. I have dived area which have been dredged or trawled. They were not scenic dives as there was no life to see and everything was covered with a suffocating layer of silt. A lot of damage for a small harvest when there are much better ways to harvest scallops.

This really is the bare minimum. Please try not to take practically the complete P out of MPAs. History will think of you extremely poorly if you do

I am writing this as a diver of 50 years experience, who has enjoyed and marvelled at the underwater environment. I have also seen the lasting damage done to the environment and the associated marine life by scallop dredging. Thus

Mobile bottom fishing is an unacceptible form of fishing. If it was performed above land, there would be outrage at the swath of destruction.

I am writing as part of this campaign as I feel that protecting our biodiversity and habitats is of vital importance not only in its own right, but for our health and the health of our planet.

Careful consideration for correct long term results. Please reconsider carefully.

As a keen Scuba diver, and a member of seasearch who has been collecting data for these sites, I agree that It is the saddest site in the world, diving down on to a known flame shell bed and only witnessing a ploughed field, because a trawler has illegally been through, just to get the last few scallops in Loch Fyne.

I am not a constituant, but I am a regular visitor to Scotland, coming almost invariably for the scuba diving. While diving we get to see what dredging does to the environment. Bloody wrecks it. There's no joy to be had diving were the dredgers have been through. While they support your economy in one way, so do I and the thousands like me. Driving us away may provide a short term gain, but it will be less than you expect.

I studied marine biology and ecology in Scotland, I am now a professional applied marine ecologist, I have worked with Scottish Natural Heritage for some years and I have personally dived on sites dredged by scallop dredgers. The damage done is very real, not so different to taking a plough through a rich woodland and is in no imagination compatable with any form of Marine Protected Area.

Marine Conservation are an economic asset

I am not qualified to comment on specific areas, but I have seen the effect of scallop dredging and believe that far greater protection is required than in the current proposals. My wife and I have an interest as visitors to Argyll, especially Mull and Islay, where we contribute to the environmental tourism £ on every visit.

I am concerned that proposals put forward in the consultation on marine protected areas will not protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling.

Don't Take the P out of MPAs! I care about this and so should you!! Have you ever seen the damage caused by bottom dredging and scallop dredging to our seabed? I have and ..

Principled approach needed for MPA The conceptual model used in determine the protection regime for MPAs is flawed. The current socioeconomic arrangements are balanced against the environmental benefits of protection as if a simple trade-off can be made. Furthermore, the displacement effects of protection are factored into the decision-making, which seems illogical. If an area merits protection, it merits protection: if the consequences of that are that other areas become in need of protection then MPAs will need to be extended.It is important for Scotland to think long-term in the way it implements its Marine Plan: both the intrinsic value of its marine environment and in the longer term the tourism, recreational and repetitional value of protecting this environment outweigh the short-term costs. And these costs are easier to identify and compensate than the costs of continuing to degrade our marine heritage.

Whilst it's not for us south of the border to dictate what the Scottish Parliament should or shouldn't do, we can encourage by example, and in my own locality the nearest MPA's will benefit the marine environment well beyond their boundaries. This will be to the advantage of everyone who harvests or uses our seas.

The areas need to be protected and not damaged.

For Pities sake look at the reality of your proposals. Seabed destruction is your responsibility! You are not entitled to encourage destruction...it is your job to prevent it. You must know that or why are you doing the job you are doing?

Designating such areas as "Marine Protected Areas" yet permitting damaging activities seems to be a very peculiar form of protection.Please ensure that the protection afforded in these areas is worthy of the term.

Scotland has a much higher marine biodiversity than Germany has, so protection against bottom trawling is crucial and more effective in Scotland.

Those of us in England deeply concerned by the Westminster Government's shockingly irresponsible failure to give our seas anything remotely like that which they desperately need had hoped that they would be shamed into action by Scotland's mature and responsible plan to protect its share of the coastal waters.Do not betray our trust and let us down!

I have seen the damage, first hand, that this type of fishing does to benthic organism and to the seabed, therefore I support the proposals for site-wide prohibition of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear

Thank you for reading and taking this issue seriously. It's your planet too.

I dive Scottish waters regularly and have witnessed the destructiveness of this form of fishing. I urge you to ensure that a protected area is what it says .... protected.

DO NOT BEHAVE LIKE TORIES!

I have dived in areas of Scotland where scallop dredging and beam trawling have created havoc with the marine life on the sea bed. In consequence

And why can't we look a bit more long term? Preserving these creatures will support ecological tourism in our beautiful country.

The Governments of England, Wales and Scotland need to approve and implement the setting up as many MPAs as possible round the coast of the UK, to protect existing fish and sea life and allow the marine environment to recover.

strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas, just the same as in English seas. In Dorset where I live conservationists successfully campaigned for a Marine Conservation Zone in Studland Bay, and benefits are already being observed. I therefore support the set up of effective MPAs in Scottish seas too.

I am a diver and regularly dive all round Scotland and see first hand the devastation caused by dredging and bottom trawling. Both these activities totally destroy the sea bed and all the marine life in the area regardless of the target species of the fishing activity. These approaches to fishing are nothing more than vandalism to the marine environment and should not be allowed as they kill everything and leave a barren area devoid of life. If this occurred on land where the public could see the wanton destruction there would be huge public protest but as it takes place under the sea hidden form public gaze the authorities ignore it. I believe that targeted approaches such as hand diving for scallops where only the target species (and legal size) is taken should be encouraged and dredging and bottom trawling should be actively restricted.

As a diver, I have seen the devastation of the seabed caused by scallop dredging and am very concerned that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling. Just because the damage to the environment caused by these activities is not visible to most, does not mean it does not exist.

Why wouldn't you take this one significant decision to put the environment front and centre. Lets face it, without it we and, crucially, our children are to be left a dead planet.

I have read the response to the public consultation drafted by Save Scottish Seas and I endorse it.

I am not a Scot myself, but I and my family frequently visit the western Highlands on holiday. When we stayed at Culduie on the Applecross Peninsula, we were massively impressed by the abundance of marine life to be found even in the shallow waters of a nearby beach; these waters are so much more alive than the ones I am used to off the east coast of England. This is something very special that needs to be protected. The rest of my letter is in the terms suggested by the Marine Conservation Society.

As a Scuba Diver, I have frequently witnessed first hand the terrible damage bottom trawling can wreak on the seabed where everything in it's path gets destroyed, decimating many species in the food chain.

Conservation seems to mean management in Scotland - not protection. Seal conservation areas are a joke only making quotas for seals to be shot to be managed by area. I am very concerned that proposals put forward in this current consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling.

Although most of this is a 'form letter', I regard it as well researched and representing my views well. I grew up as the daughter of a marine zoologist who taught me well the damage that is done to the sea bed by dredging and similar methods of fishing. A protected area should be just that - protected. Our industrial fisheries must shrink, and the environment allowed to recover. The alternative is we have nothing living on the sea bottom to catch at all in future.

Thank you for reading this.

PS. My Father is buried next to some of the Piper Alpha lads, near Carnoustie, and he wouldn't like it either.

As a Research Biologist

I am very concerned that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities. I wish to close MPA's to all damaging dredging and bottom trawling in the hope it may lead a proper recovery and be managed in the public interest, not just for a few.

What is the point of marking an area as an MPA when you allow bottom trawling to destroy the habitat? If you are to be independent of the UK then show that you are strong enough to withstand the cries of the fishermen. The fishermen will benefit from these MPAs when they become calm, safe breeding grounds. Please listen to the scientists and Don't Take the P out of MPAs.

Better still, MPAs can be efficient in the area they take up for the regeneration they bring about. In turn, the wider economic benefit to coastal communities is huge for relatively little cost.No brainer, really.

Please do not miss this opportunity to keep our Scottish seas and Lochs protected for us and for future generations.

LEAVE WELL ALONE! We don't want our fishing stocks ravaged, as happened off the Grand Banks (Newfoundland)

Don't destroy fishermen livelihoods. Keep the sea free for every body. Don't listen to miss informed students.

I am very concerned that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect existing and long used fishing grounds and the human species from damaging NGO activities, such as politicised science and misrepresentation of the realities around our shores. These nature conservation Marine Protected Areas (nc MPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation ( SACs) should be managed to help protect AND recover our damaged fishing industry. Scientists are discovering a new working relationship with the industry with every passing year - we should not risk loosing this. Following the same scientifically precautionary approach, it is important to protect the wider human aspects in each MPA to support the recovery of the Scottish fleet. Many of the proposed management areas are too complex in shape because the boundaries have been drawn so close to ancient fishing grounds - this will both severely constrain the scope for our fragile coastal communities so reliant on the fishing industry.I therefore can not support the proposals for site-wide prohibition of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear from the following MPAs: Treshnish Isles SAC (option 1)Loch Creran nc MPA/ SAC (option 2)Luce Bay SAC (option 1)Sanday SAC (option 1 - only option)None of the proposed management approaches in the sites below adequately assess the existing level of effort in these areas. Indeed one refers to a method of fishing that is not even used in the area. If recovery of the species to be protected is the goal then I think there should be a greater reduction on the targeted fishery that does take place there. ie Angling for common skate Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura nc MPA (including Loch Sunart nc MPA and Loch Sunart SAC).I strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas. It's an historic opportunity to help reverse the declining health of our fishing industry and make a real change for coastal communities and Scotland as a whole, if properly managed. MPAs existing and new need proper protection to ensure responsible stewardship of our shared resources by remaining shared between all stakeholders.


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