Friday, 25 July 2014

Scotland announces 30 new marine protected areas

Tranche of sites doubles the size of Scottish marine reserves, covering cliffs in Caithness and deep ocean seabeds

Rare and threatened species including common skate, the ocean quahog, flameshell beds and the black guillemot are being given extra protection after 30 new marine protected areas off the Scottish coast were announced on Thursday.

The network includes what is thought to be Europe's largest marine protected area (MPA) in the far north east of UK territorial waters, in the north east Faroe Shetland channel to conserve deep sea sponges, muds and geological features.

The 30 new sites, which double the size of Scotland's MPA network after long delays, will cover cliffs in Caithness, deep ocean seabed habitats, sandeel colonies and marine fauna which inhabit coldwater reefs such as feather stars.

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