Further community and industry engagement planned.
Plans to deliver increased protection for Scotland’s marine environment will be revised, with a new pathway and timetable, Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan has confirmed.
Addressing the Scottish Parliament, the Cabinet Secretary said proposals consulted on to implement Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) across 10% of Scotland’s seas by 2026 will not be progressed.
Instead, the Scottish Government will take more time to work with industry, communities and conservation organisations to enhance marine protection, while supporting any groups that wish to pursue community-led marine protection in their local area on a quicker timescale, such as those initiatives in Lamlash Bay on Arran and St Abbs & Eyemouth in Berwickshire.
It follows a public consultation which ran earlier in the year on the principles of HPMA policy in Scotland and attracted thousands of responses.
In the statement to Parliament, the Cabinet Secretary also confirmed that an ongoing programme of work to implement fisheries management measures in existing MPAs where they are yet to be introduced, and to protect some of the most vulnerable Priority Marine Features outside of MPAs, will be taken forward as a priority.
Please note a full response to the consultation and the next steps will be published after summer recess.
Posted On: 30/06/2023