Highly Protected Marine Areas

Mull Community Council has sent its objections to the Scottish government about the proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).  The proposals would ban almost all human activity – apart from leisure and education – in 10% of Scotland’s seas.

The government hasn’t set out where the HPMAs would be, leading to fears about the devastating impact they could have on fishing, shellfish, seaweed,  fish farm and tourist businesses, and local communities.  The government is also planning more controls in the existing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and other, as yet undefined, sea areas.

All of this assumes that fishing and other businesses can just move to other areas, or cease to exist.  And assumes that fishing boats can all be concentrated into areas where they compete with one another over the seafood stock in these smaller areas. It could apply to our island’s small boats which fish with creels doing no harm to the seabed, and which go back to port every night, and all that depend on them.

Mull Community Council says it isn’t opposed to measures that will protect and enhance wild sea stocks, but that the proposals would have a devastating impact on small marine businesses and on what are already fragile communities.

Read the full MCC response.