June 27, 2012

By Mera McGrew

Scotland is taking steps to protect its rich marine ecosystem by creating a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA).

Scotland is just one of many jurisdictions seeking to protect their ocean heritage — Over the past few weeks Mission Blue has reported on both Australia and California planning to expand their own ocean sanctuaries.

As for Scotland, the government’s Scottish Natural Heritage has begun discussions with various stakeholders to come up with a final outline for the MPA network

Local ocean advocates say the discussions are a chance to expand protections to Seabirds, bottle-nosed dolphins and Minke whales, all of which are not included in the current plan.

“Scotland’s seas are home to some of the most important habitats in northern Europe, we have enough scientific evidence to support this and we should be showcasing these species, instead of side-lining them,” Sarah Dolman, an executive with Scotland’s Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, told the BBC.

The Natural Heritage agency aims to submit its final MPA to the Scottish Parliament at the end of the year. Check the Mission Blue website for any major news regarding the development of Scotland’s MPA network.

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