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Marine / Shetlanders against HPMAs urged to sign petition

A NEW petition launched by Scotland’s seafood sector is calling on parliament to drop its plans surrounding highly protected marine areas (HPMAs).

The proposed policy would ban fishing in at least 10 per cent of Scottish waters.

Shetlanders are being encouraged to sign the petition to show the Scottish Government the strength of the opposition to the policy.

The petition describes HPMAs as “the wrong approach, designed for the wrong reasons”.

Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said: “Banning fishing in at least 10 per cent of our waters is the wrong approach.

“No evidence has been produced by ministers to show why HPMAs are necessary or that they will achieve their very vague aims.

Salmon Scotland chief executive Tavish Scott in conversation with Scottish Conservatives leader Dougla Ross MSP.

“They are being introduced to appease the Greens in the coalition government and will push the seafood sector into the red.”

Tavish Scott, ex-MSP and chief executive at Salmon Scotland, said: “Scottish salmon and Scottish seafood are the best in the world, but HPMAs put this global success story at risk.

“There is scant scientific justification for the proposed HPMAs, and an outright ban on responsible sea activities is not the solution.

“The sustainable growth of our salmon farms and other sectors is vital for the well-being of our coastal communities, the overall economy, and the vision of the Scottish Government.

“These proposals present a significant threat to our rural way of life, and opposition is growing both inside and outside of Holyrood.”

The petition is expected to go live on the Scottish Parliament’s website soon.

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