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Friday, February 23, 2024

Highly Protected Marine Areas Legislation Should be Dropped

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Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil says he is strongly opposed to proposals for Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA) and urges island stakeholders to make their views heard in the consultation which closes on April 17.

Mr MacNeil will write to the Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Mairi McAllan, to stress the strength of feeling against the proposals in the islands and calls for the legislation to be dropped.

Commenting Mr MacNeil said:

“HPMAs are ill-conceived, not thought through, and are not something that any island or coastal community would impose upon themselves. 

“It is driven by people who don’t understand the issues. 

“In short, the whole scheme should be put in a recycling dustbin. 

“Having taken part in an online consultation last month, and as an islander, I got little comfort from the concepts and was only alarmed at the idea.

“Thankfully no such step has been thought of, for the countryside or in cities.  

“Making a blanket 10% of places, at land or sea ‘verboten’ is not sustainable.

“Small-scale environmentally harmonious activity has been going on for generations, and these Marine Protected areas will destroy much of that. 

“Island communities need to be protected from these so-called environmental protectors, who are damaging and many feel even dangerous, with their ill-conceived schemes.

“I will write to the Scottish Government urging a re-think on these damaging proposals and I hope that the strength of feeling from island communities is relayed in the consultation. 

“It may of course come to pass that a change in SNP First Minister could signal the end of these doomsday proposals. 

“I will certainly encourage any new First Minister to ditch this dangerous bill.

“The closing date is April 17th, and I would urge constituents to make their voices heard and submit responses even if it is a short response, simply saying it should be ditched.”

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