Sunday, 11 December 2016

Consultation on a Marine Bird Special Protection Area

Eight members of Wild Reekie attended the drop-in session organized by Scottish Natural Heritage on the proposals for a marine bird Special Protection Area for the coast of south-east of Scotland stretching from Arbroath to St Abb's Head. The presentation was very well done without distracting visuals and reference to figures and statistics made only where necessary, although there were information leaflets covering SPA’s on all areas of Scotland.  It is hoped that through the presentations people will be more informed about the need to implement SPA’s and to engage in the ongoing consultation process.  

We were given a comprehensive talk on the need for a Special Protection Area and what was hoped would be achieved.  A lot of information relating to breeding and feeding habits of birds was given, not just on land but out on the open sea.  The subject of wind and under water turbines as well as wave power was brought up. Cameras and sonar equipment will be used to monitor the effects on sea mammals and birds that dive for food. It was also explained that other parties use the sea and ports for commercial purposes, fishing, shipping and leisure.  Consultation with those parties is an important part of the process.  
It was also explained how governments (Scottish and UK) will be involved, particularly the area of the North Sea close to the Scotland – England border and the shared coastlines of Solway Firth. This also brought in the inevitable question about ‘Brexit’ and its implications regarding European directives and funding.  However, as the possible effects of ‘Brexit’ are still unknown not much could be said.   
I think everyone in the group learned something and felt better informed about the proposals.  I certainly feel it’s important to include my views in the consultation process. 
You can respond to the consultation on the SNH website here.
Brian Alexander

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