Our Marine Group members took part in a conference dedicated to marine spatial planning, Sea Scotland 2016. The conference, which attracted delegates from across Scotland and beyond, was co-organised by seven organisations, including Scottish Environment LINK. Following a gathering swell of interest from marine planners, community stakeholders, policy-makers, MSPs and representatives of marine industry, the conference welcomed around 100 delegates … [Continue Reading]
The Ministry of Defence is tasked to ‘defend the realm’ – Sarah Dolman, Senior Policy Manager for Whale & Dolphin Conservation explains that do that, it must improve the assessment of its own environmental impacts
Joint Warrior is the largest multi-ship, multinational, multi threat exercise led by the Royal Navy in UK Waters. Taking place bi-annually with activities generally concentrated in the waters West of Scotland or in the Northern North Sea, the waters off East Scotland and at times in the Irish Sea. Exercise Joint Warrior ended this weekend and will continue for 2 weeks again in October.
Exercise Griffin Strike was a one off bi-national, joint service, … [Continue Reading]
Most eyes are on the UK’s EU ‘in-or-out’ referendum, but meanwhile our MEPs are considering important fisheries decisions; namely whether we act now to place urgent limits on deep sea bottom-trawling
Over the next few weeks (or possibly months), European representatives should – after years of negotiation and political delays – decide how best to regulate the damaging effects of deep sea bottom-trawling across European waters and to sustainably manage vulnerable deep-sea fish. Deep sea bottom-trawling is a form of fishing that tows weighted nets across the seafloor at depths … [Continue Reading]
It is being hailed as an innovative step for local marine research: the community of Fair Isle is now setting in motion Scotland’s first Demonstration and Research Marine Protected Area….
A few weeks ago, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on a special approach to marine protection – the first of its kind in Scotland. And for the community of Fair Isle it is a huge milestone in a long … [Continue Reading]
FOI requests from Whale & Dolphin Conservation reveal the back-story, but the bigger picture is that we risk missing a chance to coordinate on management
In January the JNCC and Natural Resource Wales launched a consultation on setting up marine sites to protect harbour porpoise in English, Northern Irish and Welsh waters. Unfortunately due to questions about the quality of underpinning evidence, the Scottish Government delayed proposals for … [Continue Reading]
New documentary footage shows why protecting and recovering our seas will help our struggling seabirds.
It was a graphic reminder of just how urgent it is that we address declines in our seabird populations. As part of a BBC documentary exploring Scotland’s dependence on seabirds and the threats they face, Adam Nicolson journeyed to a cliff-face on Orkney. A black and white photo from the 1980s at Marwick Head showed each ledge packed with kittiwake nests, a high rise flat for literally … [Continue Reading]
Marine Policy Officer for Scottish Environment LINK, Esther Brooker, takes stock of lessons learnt during recent debate over the management of MPAs in Scotland…
After a heated and drawn-out debate on the recent inshore MPA management measures, some of which faced the threat of annulment in Parliament, it’s time to step back and think about where these fall within the bigger picture and how we move forward. Remember, these management measures are just the first part of what must eventually become a well-managed, well-connected, UK-wide network of MPAs, to which Scotland is required to contribute under domestic and European law. So once these first management measures (Marine Conservation Orders and Fishing Orders) are adopted and in place, where do we go next?
There’s still a long way to go…and the target is to … [Continue Reading]
In Wales, there has been public uproar about scallop dredging in Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation, but here in Scotland measures have been recently approved that allow scallop dredging to continue seasonally in areas of Luce Bay SAC. Our campaigners explain why – and what we are doing about it….
Luce Bay – a large south-facing Bay on the Galloway coast – is often referred to as comprising a ‘mosaic’ of habitats. It’s a pleasing analogy; sandbanks, soft sediments, boulders and reefs, all combining to support an amazing complexity of sea life – the ecosystem mosaic. … [Continue Reading]
Fisheries management for 14 inshore MPAs came into force in early February, but within just a few days we received information about reported infringements of the new fishing laws.
In response to the reports, Marine Scotland Compliance sent out patrol boats and investigated. The incident highlighted the difficulties surrounding enforcement, the valuable role of local communities in helping to ensure compliance, the need for a clear and transparent process for reporting possible incidents, … [Continue Reading]
Our campaigners ask whether enough is being done to protect the refuge of one of the world’s most endangered fish…
Described sometimes as the Giant Panda of the sea, the Common skate is a critically endangered species – and one of its last strongholds is in our deep sea lochs on the West coast. However, the latest Scottish Government measures introduced to protect this majestic, but sadly all-too-rare creature, whilst a major step forward, are still at risk of being jeopardised by short-termist compromise.
Some areas – once identified as potentially crucial to the recovery of the common skate – will now remain open seasonally to bottom-towed fishing. These ‘derogations’ were called … [Continue Reading]