Not satisfied with having squeezed Scotland’s Marine Protected Area network to a mere 3.5% of Scottish waters during 5 years of consultations, the Clyde-led prawn lobby is now seeking to have even this modest area annulled via the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee (RACCE) next Wednesday.
This is a serious challenge to the democratically elected Scottish Government from a business lobby group who think they own Scotland’s seas. If they succeed, the MPA network will be in tatters and our seas will be under their de facto management for decades to come. COAST will be representing the community that supports South Arran MPA at a demonstration at Holyrood on Wednesday the 27th from 8am and would be delighted if other MPA supporters were to join us.
Please contact them for more details.
It is worth noting the South Arran MPA equates to about 5% of prawn trawl grounds in the Clyde; hardly cataclysmic. The Government’s worst case estimates do not predict major negative economic impacts.
At a time when COAST and many other community groups on Scotland’s West coast are doing all they can to bring new investment to our islands and coastal towns it is regrettable that the CFA, SFF and others are running down the Clyde’s economic prospects for their own political ends. The CFA did not even submit an article to our recent ‘2016 Time to think again’ series to articulate their position or cast any light on why they think they should take precedence.
Scotland’s modest network of MPAs offer us the first opportunity in decades to recover our degraded marine environment. It is clear to nearly everyone that marine health supports economic diversity and resilience. Our MPAs offer a small step forward for a brighter future for our seas and the communities which depend upon them. COAST urge you to show your support for Scotland’s MPAs by contacting your MSP and by coming to the demonstration on Wednesday 27 January.
COAST has political support across all parties and has been endorsed by Annabel Goldie, a previous leader of the Scottish Conservatives as well as by the SNP, Scottish Labour, Liberals and the Greens.