The sea is a very different environment from the land. It is three-dimensional whilst the land is essentially two-dimensional and, most importantly, it is fluid.
In addition, the majority of plants and animals that live in the sea never have any contact with the seabed. Unlike plants and animals that live on land that have evolved with strong body structures to withstand the forces of gravity, these are not required by those in the sea because gravity can be balanced by buoyancy, and evolution has produced an array of delicate and fragile life forms which float freely in the water.
The sea also fulfils many different roles, from fishing, to producing energy, to many recreational activities and it is vital that we look after our seas and their species.
One of the three pillars of the improved nature conservation work being introduced by the Marine (Scotland) Act is species conservation and it is hoped that this, along with the establishment of Marine Protected Areas, will help protect our marine life.