Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura Public MPA Meeting

| November 26, 2014

saltire_thumb.jpgPlease click here for a link to the dates and locations of the next meetings.

SSACN proposed an MPA for Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura in order to protect the Critically Endangered common skate. We are delighted that this has been accepted but we are keen to see the MPA managed in the right way. At a recent management consultation just one option was proposed for the MPA and can be summarised as follows.

Option 1:

  • A total ban on: Suction Dredging, Hydraulic Dredging, Long Lining, Bottom Set Netting
  • Demersal trawls would be banned from using tickler chains
  • Demersal trawling would be prohibited in four deep areas identified as prime common skate habitat.

SSACN does not believe that this option goes far enough since our long standing work through the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (SSTP) along with work by the Scottish Government clearly shows that, while deep areas are vital to common skate, they are in no way restricted to those areas as recent captures in less than 50ft of water have shown. In addition, a recent peer reviewed paper stated “flapper skate prefer the deep trenches, but range throughout the available depth habitat and thus management should consider both deep and shallow areas.”

At the meeting we proposed a second option whereby demersal trawling should be prohibited entirely however this was not accepted. However, we did manage to get a second option added which can be summarised as follows.

Option 2:

  • A total ban on: Suction Dredging, Hydraulic Dredging, Long Lining, Bottom Set Netting
  • Demersal trawls would be banned from using tickler chains
  • Demersal trawling would be prohibited in four deep areas identifies as prime common skate habitat and these four areas would be connected via a corridor in which demersal trawling would also be banned.

It is important that your voice is heard, no matter which options you prefer and again we encourage you to attend a meeting.

A link to the times, dates and locations of the meetings is here.

Category: Government, UK Government News

Comments are closed.