18 March, 2008
BIRD charity RSPB is today (Tuesday) calling for marine protected areas (MPAs)
to be created at 24 sites around Scotland, including five in Shetland.
The charity says Scotland has 45 per cent of the European Union’s breeding
seabirds, many of which have been enduring a run of poor breeding seasons, and
yet many important sites do not have any legal protection..
In their report Safeguarding our Seabirds: Marine Protected Areas for the UK’s
Seabirds they call for MPAs to be created at Mousa, Crussa Field and The Heogs,
Ward of Culswick, Hill of Colvadale and Sobul and Papa Stour.
RSPB’s head of policy Lloyd Austin said: "Despite many sea cliffs which seabirds
use to breed having environmental protection, the sea next to them which forms
an important feeding area for seabirds has no such safety net.
“We don't think that there should be a complete halt to human activity in these
areas, simply that these activities should be managed so as not to disrupt food
sources or breeding success.
“Many species have suffered poor breeding seasons in recent years, and we urge
the UK and Scottish governments to work together to produce complementary marine
legislation which will protect these areas for seabirds and the wealth of other
marine life which uses them.”
A full list of the 24 sites is:
Abbey Burn Foot to Balcary Point
Mull of Galloway
Ballantrae Shingle Beach
Ulva, Danna and The McCormaig Isles
Doomy and Whitemaw Hill
Holm of Papa Westray
Ward of Culswick
Hill of Colvadale and Sobul
Crussa Field and The Heogs
Rosemarkie to Shandwick Coast
Lower River Spey
Sands of Forvie and Ythan Estuary
Whiting Ness - Ethie Haven Coast
Isle of May