Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee, is giving a cautious welcome to the launch of a Scottish Government consultation on proposed Marine Protected Areas.
Two years ago Alison lodged a motion at Holyrood criticising ministers for their failure to use the 2010 Marine Act to bring forward such proposals.
“A network of Marine Protected Areas is long overdue and I would encourage anyone with an interest in wildlife, tourism, offshore renewables or fisheries to make their views known. All too often short-term financial gain is prioritised over long-term sustainability and hopefully these MPAs will go some way to restoring balance.
“I am concerned that the Scottish Government has framed its consultation using ill-defined jargon such as sustainable economic growth. The priority must be the maintenance of a healthy marine environment, and the protection of the most vulnerable species to ensure we can have tourism, fishing and renewables in the right places and at the right scale.”