Question ref. S5W-36148
Asked by: John Finnie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Green Party
Date lodged: 11 March 2021
To ask the Scottish Government what evidence base it used to prohibit each activity in the Red Rocks and Longay Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area.
Current status: Answered by Ben Macpherson on 22 March 2021
NatureScot provided the Scottish Government with advice on the flapper skate nursery area on 26 October and 18 December 2020. This advice is published here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/protection-flapper-skate-naturescot-advice-scottish-government-regarding-flapper-skate-eggs-inner-sound/ .
The Scottish Government took account of the advice from NatureScot and views from stakeholders in deciding which activities to prohibit within the Red Rocks and Longay MPA. NatureScot’s advice states that skate eggs are sensitive to a number of activities including creel fishing, demersal mobile fishing gear, diver egg collection or disturbance, aquaculture and anchoring. In considering this advice and feedback from stakeholders, the Scottish Ministers have decided to take a precautionary approach to protecting the flapper skate egg nursery by prohibiting all activities capable of affecting the eggs, regardless of the magnitude of potential impacts.