LINK members urge MSPs to support the Scottish Government’s proposed Marine Conservation Order for South Arran MPA and Omnibus Fishing Order for 13 inshore marine protected areas and Special Areas of Conservation. These measures must be adopted without delay; they have been widely consulted upon over a long period and have the support of many stakeholders including those from the environmental sector, many of the public, numerous academics and much of the fishing industry.
Marine protected areas are a long-term investment to safeguard the future of Scotland’s marine biodiversity and the industries that rely on them; further delay to implementing management will risk potential further damage to the features they are designed to protect. There has already been too much delay.
The proposed management measures are estimated to reduce revenue for some affected scallop dredgers and trawlers by approximately 1.7% in the short-term. However with adequate protection, we are likely to see mid- to long-term increases in number and size of commercial species as a result of the management measures.