1. Ministerial Foreword
Less than a year on from designation of inshore Marine Protected Areas I am announcing the way forward with management measures for 11 of the sites. Alongside this, I am also announcing the way forward with management of 9 Special Areas of Conservation. This represents another milestone in the management of Scotland's Seas. The intended measures not only further the conservation objectives of the protected areas but also have the potential to improve the health of our seas.
There has been another excellent response to the consultation and I am grateful to everyone who responded. Also to the stakeholders who participated in the pre-consultation management forums. The key themes from the consultation that are reflected in the intended measures are;
- The need for measures to be as simple and understandable as possible.
- That the measures should be more ambitious.
- The measures should remain as proportionate as possible.
The work on completing and managing the MPA network does not end here. There will be a second management consultation beginning in early July 2015. In addition I anticipate a further public consultation on the case for designation of new Marine Protected Areas, Special Protection Areas, and Special Areas of Conservation later in the summer. I hope that you all continue to engage in the journey to a well-managed network by the end of 2016.