A NETWORK of proposed marine protected areasto safeguard sea wildlife, habitats and geology have been presented toHolyrood.
The Scottish Government report sets out plans to double the 12% of Scotland’s seas which are protected.
Proposals are for 33 MPAs, which would cover an area the size of Scotland, according to the report.
The plans are based on advice from Scottish Natural Heritage and the UK-wide Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
SNH chief executive Ian Jardine said laying the report before Parliament represented an important milestone.
“Scotland’s seas are a fantastic asset that contribute enormously to our quality of life and our economy,” he added.
“Managing them in a sustainable way is a complex task. Our role is to provide information and advice about the marine environment to the Scottish Government to help them to decide where the MPAs should be and how they could be managed.”
JNCC marine director Dr John Goold said: “JNCC’s work in partnership with Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage has delivered a range of MPA proposals that will not only be of benefit to the conservation of Scotland’s vitally important natural heritage but to Scotland’s people also.”