Scotland’s natural environment is not only a major contributor to Scotland’s economic growth in terms of our ability to engage visitors and produce world class produce and products but it also plays an important part in our quality of life.
But in recognising this, politicians must ensure marine and coastal environments that are clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse are as essential to sea anglers as they are to those commercial activities which exploit them.
This was recently recognised by Nigel Don MSP for Angus North and Mearns when he said :
“To harness the potential of our natural environment, the Scottish Government has refreshed its biodiversity strategy recognising three main challenges.
“First of all we need to increase the general level of biodiversity on land and in our seas and support healthy, well-functioning ecosystems.
“Secondly we need our people to engage with the natural world, for the health and well-being benefits that this brings; and to empower all of us to have a say in decisions about our environment.
“Finally we need to maximise the benefits for Scotland of a diverse natural environment and the services it provides, contributing to sustainable economic growth such as tourism, fishing and agriculture.”
It is vital that we do not lose essential sea angling habitats and this will only be achieved when recreational interests are properly valued in local decision making.