Scotland consults on four new protection zones for marine wildlife
The Scottish Government has opened a consultation on its four proposed, new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The areas would include protection for range of biodiversity and geological features including Risso’s dolphins and, according to the Scottish government, make Scotland the first country to provide designated areas of protection to minke whale and basking sharks. The four proposed MPAs are:
The proposed protected features include Risso’s dolphins and sandeels. Sea of the Hebrides
The largest of the four proposed MPAs. The proposed protected features are basking shark, minke whale (pictured) and fronts. Fronts are created by cool nutrient-rich water mixing with shallow warmer water. They are areas of high productivity and create feeding grounds for predators of all shapes and sizes. Shiant East Bank
Located in the middle of the Minch, the sea which separates the Outer Hebrides from the Scottish mainland. The proposed protected features include sponge habitats and sea fans, a variety of coral. Southern Trench
The proposed protected features include minke whale.