Wa Nason 3

Petition to support Wester Ross Marine Protected Area (MPA)

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SUPPORT MARINE SCOTLAND'S PLANS FOR THE WESTER ROSS MARINE PROTECTED AREA (MPA) AND EXCLUDE SCALLOP DREDGING.

Wester Ross Marine Protected Area (http://www.snh.gov.uk/docs/A978502.pdf) was recently designated in order to protect and recover some important species which had been damaged by destructive fishing practices. The MPA area extends from Reiff, at the northern tip of the Summer Isles to Loch Ewe in the south. A campaign by members of the public, and creel and dive fishermen throughout the west coast has encouraged the Scottish Government to announce draft Marine Conservation Orders (http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0047/00478979.pdf) which plan to exclude scallop dredging from these highly sensitive areas and limit trawls to areas. The Government has requested that coastal communities and stakeholders respond by the 12th July.

Scallop dredgers do serious damage to the sea bed and destroy habitats that can take years, even decades to recover. These are areas where many fish including skate, rays, cod and herring (a keystone species) spawn and live whilst juveniles. Brown crab and lobster and scallops can also get smashed by the dredgers as do other less commercial species. Local fishing pays a price because dredgers damage opportunities for more sustainable low-impact fishing practices. Protecting inshore areas from scallop dredgers will help to protect the future of local scallop diving, sustainable creeling, sea angling and, ultimately, wild life tourism.

There is considerable opposition from those who represents the dredgers and mobile sectors interests so it is essential to strengthen the government’s resolve to make this law by demonstrating our local communities support for this. If you support the Scottish Government’s plans for the Wester Ross MPA and it's closure to scallop dredging to protect the inshore waters please sign the petition.

PLEASE INCLUDE NAME & POSTCODE SO WE CAN ASSESS LOCAL OPINION - BUT WORLDWIDE SUPPORT WELCOME.

All information is strictly private and will not be passed on. If anyone wants their name private just un-tick the small box after adding your signature.

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