As an island nation, Scotland appreciates a strong connection with the sea. As our oceans are becoming more and more exploited, island nations especially must step in to protect this important natural resource. By doing so, they aren't just protecting their marine environment, they are also protecting the industries that depend on healthy seas and fish stocks as well.
That's why it's such good news that Scottish government just proposed the creation of Europe's largest marine protected area (MPA). The proposed MPA would span more than 40,000 sq miles off the Western Isles. The region is home to important habitats like seamounts ( extinct underwater volcanoes) and coral reefs and some vulnerable marine species like the Portugues Dogfish and the gulper shark. It would also importantly, serve as a check on further exploitation in the region. Deep sea trawling, the devastating practice of dragging fishing nets behind fishing boats, would be restricted. Trawling nets can reach down to up to 650 ft below the surface and can scrape the sea floor damaging sensitive, slow-growing sea life. Oil and gas exploration would likely be held at bay as well if the MPA was approved.
Right now Scotland is seeking comments on the current proposal, if you are a Scotish citizen you can show them you are in favor of this important reserve by writing them directly. But the oceans and the valuable marine life that live within them don't just belong to the countries within whose borders they happen to be. They belong to all of us as our world natural heritage.
So if you are in support of conservation and helping to protect our seas, you too can tell Scotland that you want to see the creation of the MPA by signing this petition.