On 14 September 2018 Marine Scotland published an Environmental Report (ER) and associated Network Assessment on proposed Special Protection Areas (pSPAs) for Scottish marine birds. Views were invited on the ER, the approach taken by the Network Assessment and the conclusions which had been reached. In light of the comments received, we are taking this further opportunity to clarify and update our position on a number of points.
This supplementary consultation seeks views on an updated ER. The Reasonable Alternatives considered by the updated ER supersede those assessed under the September 2018 SEA. This is because respondents to the previous consultation asked for more information, greater clarity and suggested additional alternatives. We have also taken the opportunity to update our preferred policy recommendation on classification of the pSPAs in light of Final Advice to Scottish Minsters from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).
We are seeking views on the following questions:
1. With respect to the SEA process, do you have any comments on the updated ER?
2. Do you have any comments on the SEA Reasonable Alternatives?
3. With respect to the classification of SPAs, do you agree with the preferred policy recommendation, and if not why not?
4. Do you prefer the option to classify Orkney Inshore Waters pSPA or the alternative option to classify North Orkney pSPA and Scapa Flow pSPA? What are the reasons for your preference?
There is no need to restate views already expressed in relation to previous consultations relating to the pSPAs and the SEA of the proposals, as these have been, and will continue to be, taken into account as we move towards finalising the SEA and the classification of the pSPAs.