Scottish Environment LINK response to HPMA policy statement

29 Jun 2023

Responding to the Cabinet Secretary’s statement on the future of HPMAs, Scottish Environment LINK has welcomed the commitment to build greater consensus while stressing the need to deliver on ecological outcomes. 

Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland at the Marine Conservation Society and Convener of Scottish Environment LINK’s Marine Group, said:

“Scotland’s seas are in trouble. There is a globally recognised ocean emergency and an urgent need to restore marine life in the face of climate change. 

“The evidence is absolutely clear that full protection of areas of our seas, like HPMAs, is a very effective conservation tool, which in turn can benefit the fishing industry. This approach is well established globally, and in line with the EU’s target of 10% strict protection by 2030. It must be matched if we’re to have hope of reversing the ocean emergency. 

“While the scientific case for better marine management is inarguable, it’s also essential that the implementation is well managed and community voices are heard. 

“The Cabinet Secretary’s commitment to build greater consensus across all stakeholders is welcome. There must be renewed commitment following the full analysis of all consultations. Our ocean needs action not words.

“What matters most is delivering ecological outcomes – and we must make progress urgently. It’s important that Scotland does not fall behind international standards.

“Scottish Environment LINK looks forward to continuing to engage constructively with these proposals to deliver marine protection that works for our communities and our planet.”



Scottish Environment LINK is the forum for Scotland’s voluntary environment community, with over 40 member bodies representing a broad spectrum of environmental interests with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society. We are a Scottish Charity (SC000296) and a Scottish Company Limited by guarantee (SC250899).

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