19 April, 2008
SCOTLAND's seabird population could receive greater protection under proposals
made by environment secretary Richard Lochhead yesterday (Friday).
The government is considering creating 31 Special Protection Areas (SPAs),
including seven in Shetland, which would extend four kilometres out to sea.
Mr Lochhead said: "Scotland's seabird populations are of European and global
renown and it is absolutely vital that they receive the protection they deserve.
A seabird's marine habitat is as vital to its ability to survive as nesting
sites on dry land.
"That's why I've asked Scottish Natural Heritage to consult on proposals to
extend 31 SPAs out to sea. These include a number of magnificent island cities
of seabirds, such as Fair Isle, Ailsa Craig, the Bass Rock and St Kilda."
The seven proposed Shetland SPAs are Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Hermaness, Saxa
Vord and Valla Field, Noss and Sumburgh Head.