Response to the Loch Carron Marine Protected Area consultation

1st January 1970

In response to the launch of the Scottish Government consultation, proposing to formalise and extend the boundary of the existing emergency Loch Carron nature conservation Marine Protected Area and fisheries management measures:

Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland for the Marine Conservation Society and Convener of Scottish Environment LINK’s Marine Group said: “Local divers have long known how special this sea loch is and the recent findings firmly underline Loch Carron’s world-class credentials, meriting its place within Scotland’s developing marine protected area network. We welcome proposals to make permanent the Loch Carron Marine Protected Area, enabling recovery of the flame shell beds and protection for the newly discovered maerl beds. The swift action by Scottish Government and SNH scientists to survey the area, discovering the largest flame shell beds in the world in the process, is to be commended! This is the second time Scotland has claimed this global title, emphasising both how amazing the marine life in our seas is and how much we still have to learn.”

Esther Brooker, WWF Scotland said: “It’s great news that Loch Carron Marine Protected Area is being proposed for permanent protection. Recent research has shown that flame shell and maerl beds can absorb and store carbon, so by protecting this area as an MPA not only will these be conserved, but damaging carbon will continue to be locked away by keeping these habitats in good condition. With the impacts of climate change becoming increasingly obvious, it’s really important we continue to support the oceans’ natural resilience and, as the majority of the UK’s flame shell and maerl beds are found here in Scotland, it’s vital we look after them properly.”

 Iain Turnbull, Property Manager for the National Trust for Scotland at Balmacara said “We’ve always known how rich the sea is in this area and we are delighted to see this has now received official recognition. The natural environment is vitally important to the local community, supporting jobs in the tourism and sustainable fishing sectors and we think that the presence of the MPA will both help to safeguard this and highlight the importance of this spectacular part of Scotland’s coast.”

Sam Collin, Scottish Wildlife Trust said: “Marine Scotland’s swift and urgent response to damage to the local flame shell beds last year highlights the importance of taking an adaptive, ecosystems approach to marine planning and conservation.

Sue Scott, independent marine biologist and local resident to Loch Carron said:I am delighted that the proposals launched today would make the Loch Carron MPA permanent. It is great to have the richness and diversity of our local marine life recognised and protected. However, we were lucky to get photographic evidence this time – divers have known for years the damage scallop dredging does to the seabed and to sensitive marine life, including commercial species.”


Contact details

Emilie Devenport, Marine Policy and Engagement Officer,, M: 07726 362727

Calum Duncan, Convenor of LINK Marine Group,, M: 07841985595

Editors’ Notes

Scottish Environment LINK is the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment community, with over 35 member bodies representing a broad spectrum of environmental interests with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society.

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