Publication - Consultation analysis

Designation of four Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters: consultation analysis

Summary of the analysis of responses submitted on the designation of the four possible Marine Protected Areas; North-east Lewis, Sea of the Hebrides, Shiant East Bank and Southern Trench.

Designation of four Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters: consultation analysis
3. Non-standard responses

3. Non-standard responses

3.1. Introduction

During the consultation, two campaigns were launched in support of the proposals. One campaign, focusing on the Sea of the Hebrides pMPA and basking shark feature, was created jointly by Marine Conservation Society and Scottish Wildlife Trust. Another campaign focused on the North-east Lewis pMPA and Risso’s dolphin and was launched by Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

In both campaigns, supporters signed up to the standard response and had the option to include their own comments. Supporter comments were emailed to the Scottish Government. The three organisations who coordinated the two campaigns submitted consultation responses, which encompassed the themes of the campaigns and were included in the consultation analysis.

3.2. Marine Conservation Society and Scottish Wildlife Trust campaign

This campaign focused on basking sharks and the Sea of the Hebrides pMPA. A total of 3,386 emails were received by Marine Scotland in support of this campaign, including 334 with additional comments. The standard text of this campaign was:

“I strongly support the designation of the four new Marine Protected Areas currently out for consultation by the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s seas hold some of the most diverse and productive marine ecosystems in the world, but are under pressure from threats such as climate change, overfishing and unsustainable development. It is therefore essential that we properly protect what remains as well as recovering damaged ecosystems.

We must also ensure that any animals visiting Scotland’s waters are safe and protected while they are here. If properly managed, these four new MPAs will do just that. Protecting large mobile species such as basking sharks and minke whales, as well as some of our most precious marine habitats, will be important additions to Scotland’s developing MPA network, providing a safe-haven for marine animals and habitats that need it the most.

I strongly support the protection of Scottish seas and believe that the addition of these four proposed MPAs are essential to help our seas recover.”

A full list of additional comments can be found in Annex B.

3.3. Whale and Dolphin Conservation campaign

This campaign focused on Risso’s dolphin and the North-east Lewis pMPA. A total of 4,446 emails were received by Marine Scotland in support of this campaign, including 1,796 with additional comments. The standard text of this campaign was:

“I strongly support designation of the four nature conservation Marine Protected Areas under consultation.

Risso’s dolphins have an ‘unknown’ status – we don’t understand enough about them to be sure that they are safe. WDC research demonstrates that the dolphins come to Northeast Lewis to feed and to socialise. Also, there are a higher number of mothers with very young calves observed here than anywhere else in the world. The habitat here is very special.

As a result, Northeast Risso’s dolphin MPA should be designated with a ‘recover’ objective, so we can better understand how they are faring in the proposed MPA and in wider Scottish seas and can be certain they get the protection they need.

Please then hold a further consultation to protect these MPAs from the range of pressures that mobile species face, including military activities, boat disturbance and getting entangled in fishing gear.

Please make sure that that the Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy ensures robust management of pressures in wider seas (beyond the MPAs), so all whales and dolphins are protected – as required by law – wherever they are.”

A full list of additional comments can be found in Annex B.


Contact

Email: marine_conservation@gov.scot