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To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-23708 by Richard Lochhead on 9 January 2015, whether it will take account of the conclusions of the research described in the paper in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecoysytems by Neat, Pinto et al, Site fidelity, survival and conservation options for the threatened flapper skate (Dipturus cf. intermedia), when deciding on the (a) regulations to be imposed and (b) conservation objectives set for a marine protected area to protect the common skate.

Answered by Richard Lochhead (11/02/2015):

The best available scientific evidence was used to identify proposals for nature conservation marine protected areas (MPAs) in Scotland’s seas, and this included the identification of Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura MPA that was designated in July 2014 for common skate. Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura MPA is home to relatively high numbers of common skate, in particular of large, reproductively mature common skate. The study referred to in the question undertaken by Neat, Pinto et al has already been taken into account in the identification of the MPA, as well as in considering the conservation objectives and the approaches presented at the recently closed consultation on the management of the MPA.

Current Status: Answered by Richard Lochhead on 11/02/2015
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