We need a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to recover and protect the wildlife and ecosystem function of our damaged seas.
It’s a sad cliche, but for many of us, our seas really are ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ The sealife which lies beneath the waves is hidden from view, unless you’re working at sea, or an explorative sea kayaker, angler or diver – and even then, the complexity of our marine environment is often difficult to fathom. We are only just beginning to understand the ecological connections between the different species and habitats, as inter-disciplinary research goes – quite literally – into deeper detail about the science of our oceans.
For generations, we have trusted the capacity of the sea to naturally replenish itself, and over time – as our development and harvest of the sea has intensified – the steep decline in the health of our marine environment has gone largely unnoticed. Now, Scotland’s Marine Atlas documents in all-too stark detail the poor state of our coastal and offshore marine biodiversity. Marine Protected Areas and a marine planning system which fundamentally respects the functions of our marine ecosystems can help to reverse this decline.
Learn more about why we need a strategic network of MPAs to help Scotland’s seas recover to better health.