5. Non-Standard Responses
Non-standard responses were received from 4,778 respondents and these are described below.
5.1. Scottish Environment LINK
5.1.1. In total 4,758 responses were submitted via Scottish Environment LINK's campaign page using the text set out below:
Title of letter: Don't Take the P out of MPAs!
I am very concerned that proposals put forward in this consultation will not adequately protect marine habitats and species from damaging fishing activities, such as scallop dredging and bottom trawling. These nature conservation Marine Protected Areas (nc MPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation ( SACs) should be managed to help protect AND recover our damaged seas. Scientists are discovering new remnant areas of fragile habitats with every passing year - we should not risk leaving these areas unprotected.
Following the same scientifically precautionary approach, it is important to protect the wider ecosystem in each MPA to support the recovery of those few species and habitats that are explicitly listed as protected features. Many of the proposed management areas are too complex in shape because the boundaries have been drawn so close to protected features - this will both severely constrain the scope for ecosystem recovery and stymie the culture of compliance needed for successful MPAs.
I therefore support the proposals for site-wide prohibition of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear from the following MPAs:
Loch Creran nc MPA / SAC (option 2)
Luce Bay SAC (option 1)
East Mingulay SAC (option 2)
Loch Laxford SAC (option 1 - only option)
St. Kilda SAC (option 1 - only option)
Noss Head nc MPA (option 1 - only option)
Wyre and Rousay nc MPA (option 1 - only option)
Sanday SAC (option 1 - only option)
None of the proposed management approaches in the five sites below will adequately support the conservation and recovery of the species and habitats to be protected, and so I think there should instead be a site-wide prohibition of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear in these MPAs:
Loch Sween nc
South Arran nc MPA
Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil nc MPA
Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh SAC and nc MPA
None of the proposed management approaches in the five sites below will adequately support the conservation and recovery of the species and habitats to be protected, and so I think there should be a greater reduction of bottom-towed, mobile fishing gear than any of the options presented for these MPAs:
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura nc
Loch Sunart nc
MPA and Loch
Small Isles nc MPA
Wester Ross nc MPA
I strongly support marine protected areas ( MPAs) in Scottish seas. It's an historic opportunity to help reverse the declining health of our marine environment and make a real change for coastal communities and Scotland as a whole. MPAs existing and new need proper protection to ensure responsible stewardship of our shared resources.
Please Don't Take the P out of MPAs.
5.1.2. The majority of respondents that submitted a response in this way were individuals:
- 4,611 were individuals.
- 43 said they were responding on behalf of an organisation or group.
- 104 did not specify.
5.1.3. Looking at the location of the respondents shows:
- 2,092 respondents came from Scotland.
- 2,443 respondents came from other parts of the UK.
- 206 respondents came from outwith the UK.
- 17 respondents did not give an address.
5.1.4. The precise text, as set out above, was submitted by 4,591 of the 4,758 respondents.
5.1.5. A further 122 respondents made small amendments such as changing the title or other words or phrases in order to emphasise a point; others added a small amount of additional information such as background information on their work or hobbies, field of study, or experiences.
5.1.6. Thirty-four respondents who submitted the campaign text included lengthier additional text and nine respondents replaced the campaign text completely with alternative text. The main points made by these respondents included:
- Personal accounts from divers of damage caused by dredging or bottom trawling.
- The need to safeguard the biodiversity of Scottish seas.
- The benefits of marine wildlife tourism and potential negative effect on this if species are affected.
- The need to safeguard the marine environment for future generations.
- The need to protect rare or endangered species.
- That good management now will benefit the fishing industry in the long term.
- The need for stronger management measures in order to comply with EU regulations.
- Examples of positive outcomes from marine management in other countries.
5.1.7. Two respondents altered the campaign text to reflect their views of a need for management options that will help to reverse a decline in the fishing industry.
5.1.8. Alternative text from these respondents, where permission has been given to publish the response, is included in Appendix 3.
5.1.9. In addition a map showing the distribution of these responses is also shown in Appendix 3.
5.2. Sunnyside Ocean Defenders
5.2.1. Twenty responses were received from pupils at a Glasgow Primary School. These responses consisted of a picture and the following text. The pictures are included in Appendix 4.
We think it's a disgrace that less than 1% of our seas will be protected from fishing. We dread the dredgers. If the oceans die we die. Our Scottish seas can recover but we need to leave them alone and let nature take its place. We are Sunnyside Ocean Defenders and we want to defend our oceans. We want to see more cetaceans and fish swimming free. We're standing for our Scottish seas. Will you?
5.2.2. One young person also quoted Chief Seattle: "What is man without the beasts? If all the beast were gone, man would die of loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected".