THE first report on the state of Scotland’s seas has been published today and was presented at today’s Sustainable Seas Task Force.
Its main findings are:
- Scotland’s seas are generally clean and safe, with a trend towards reduction of most pollutants over the past 20 years;
- The seas are generally healthy and biologically diverse, with around 40,000 species of plants, animals and microbial forms living in Scottish waters, and;
- The seas are productive and generate around £2.2 billion of marine-industry activity (excluding oil and gas activity) and provide approximately 50,000 jobs in Scotland.
The report was commissioned by the Scottish Government and has been jointly produced by Fisheries Research Service (FRS), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) with assistance from the wider marine scientific community across Scotland and the UK.
Commenting on the report, Cabinet Secretary Lochhead, said: “Scotland is fortunate enough to have a unique marine environment that everyone should be able to enjoy.”
Indeed Mr Lochhead – and everyone should include sea anglers and other recreational users, not just those who commercially exploit it.
Mr Lochhead claims the report will provide a baseline against which to measure future progress and that he is aware of the need to balance demands on the sea.
Unfortunately the state of non-quota fish stocks and the issues faced by recreational users are never given any attention.