Ahead of tonight’s debate in the Scottish Parliament on the designation of Special Areas of Conservation in the Western Isles, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has re-affirmed its support for the recognition of the Sound of Barra as a site of European importance.
The Habitats Directive includes a requirement to establish Special Areas of Conservation for a number of endangered habitats and species on land and at sea. There is still more to do to fully implement these obligations in Scotland’s seas and the designation of the Sound of Barra would provide protection for currently under represented features of sandbanks, reefs and harbour seals.
Alex Kinninmonth of the Scottish Wildlife Trust said:
“It is imperative for Scotland’s wildlife, economy and international reputation that our most significant sites are given the fullest protection. The Sound of Barra is one of Scotland’s wildlife jewels. Scotland is lucky to have a number of internationally important sites and we should do all we can to protect them.
“The truth is that sustainable fishing will be able to continue in the Sound of Barra. Fishermen who don’t damage the protected features should actually be the first to benefit from a healthy, resilient and legally protected marine ecosystem.”