East Mingulay possible Special Area of Conservation – consultation response

10th March 2011

We stress that according to case law of the European Court of Justice, decisions relating to the designation of SACs must be based only on science and a site’s ability to meet the Habitats Directive Annex III criteria. We believe SNH has set out a compelling scientific rationale for the formal designation of East Mingulay as an SAC.  We note that the scientific case potentially underestimates the area of the East Mingulay reefs compared to the total area of UK reefs, due to the difficulties encountered during scientific survey. However, as East Mingulay contains 100% of the known resource of Lophelia pertusa in UK territorial waters, it is clear that East Mingulay is of National significance. Therefore, the East Mingulay possible SAC (pSAC) must be urgently designated as a marine Special Area of Conservation under the Habitats Directive.

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