Proposal to designate Red Rocks and Longay as a Marine Protected Area: consultation

An overview of the consultation to designate a new Marine Protected Area within the Inner Sound of Skye, including short summaries of the available documentation. The MPA will protect flapper skate and their eggs as well as the geodiversity feature, Quaternary of Scotland.

Management Measures

The responsibility for site management generally sits with Public Authorities who regulate activities. The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 places duties on Public Authorities in relation to their own functions and any decisions they make to allow regulated activities to take place. In some cases specific measures may be required. The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 provides the power to Scottish Ministers to implement MCOs to further site conservation objectives.

In line with the advice from NatureScot, the management measures being proposed for the Red Rocks and Longay permanent MPA in the draft MCO would prohibit the following activities:

  • Fishing – dredging;
  • Fishing – creels;
  • Fishing - demersal trawling or seine;
  • Fishing - gill/trammel nets;
  • Recreational sea angling;
  • Marine deposit sites/waste disposal;
  • Aquaculture;
  • Marine infrastructure; and
  • Anchoring.

NatureScot have advised consideration of limiting or reducing creeling within the site, however they have been unable to provide any advice on an acceptable level of creel fishing that could be permitted without compromising the site conservation objectives. Therefore we are proposing to prohibit this activity in line with the management measures currently in place for the urgent MPA.

NatureScot have also advised that diving (both recreational and commercial) are activities that are considered not likely to affect the proposed protected features (other than insignificantly) we are therefore not proposing to prohibit these activities in the permanent site. These prohibitions will also be removed from the urgent MCO as soon as reasonably practicable.

Although NatureScot advise recreational and commercial diving aren't likely to significantly affect the protected feature, flapper skate, on a look but don't touch basis, they have advised diving for scientific survey should be reduced or limited due to the potential interaction with flapper skate or their eggs. Scientific survey which involves touching or taking of eggs will still be captured by the proposed provisions to prohibit the killing, taking, destruction, molestation, touching or disturbance of flapper skate or the eggs of flapper skate.

Therefore it is proposed that individual wishing to undertake scientific survey operations (including citizen science) will need to apply for a permit under the provisions of the MCO, which will allow an assessment of the risks of each survey. This will allow limitation of diving for scientific survey within the site in line with advice from NatureScot.

Anyone looking to undertake any scientific research within the MPA should seek advice from NatureScot and Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team and may be required to obtain a permit.

Further information on the application process would be available from Marine Scotland Licencing Operations Team.




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