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Standing up for Scottish Seas

Wildlife in Scotland
From craggy reefs to sandy shores

Beachwatch in Scotland
Help us turn the tide of litter on Scotland's beautiful beaches

Scotland’s seas cover 61% of all UK waters and the marine environment is spectacular. From flameshell beds to firework anenomes, seals to bottlenose dolphins plus seafans, sponges and soft corals.  But these amazing creatures and habitats are under threat.

Scotland's magnificent seas

Scotland has an astonishing 10% of Europe's coastline. Framed by myriad sea lochs, firths and islands, the surrounding seas are home to a third of the global population of grey seals; the world’s most northerly population of bottlenose dolphins; 23 other species of the world’s 82 whales and dolphins and 43% of all seabirds breeding in the EU. They also provide summer feeding grounds for the basking shark, which is the world’s second largest fish, and the endangered leatherback turtle

Beneath the waves are some of the finest marine habitats in Europe, including rocky reefs covered in soft corals, sea fans and sponges, shallow beds of delicate maerl, sea grass, flameshell and horsemussel - all providing refuge for young fish and shellfish - and spectacular coldwater coral reefs.

So much to lose

Scotland's seas are under threat from human activity. We have fished them almost to exhaustion and used them as a convenient dumping ground. Scotland's Marine Atlas revealed the health of a staggering proportion of Scotland's marine habitat is deteriorating, with the majority of our seabed facing many serious problems.

Save Scottish Seas

Almost ten years of dedicated campaigning by MCS in Scotland and partners resulted in the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 which requires Scottish Ministers to protect and, where appropriate, enhance the health of Scotland's seas; develop a national marine plan that includes marine ecosystem objectives and establish a network of well-managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Turning point

MCS in Scotland is co-ordinating a joint campaign in support of a network of Scottish MPAs. Strong public support for ambitious and careful management can help kickstart recovery. 

Summer 2013 is an historic opportunity to help reverse centuries of decline in Scotland’s seas as the Scottish Government have launched a public consultation on a network of proposed MPAs.  

Please use our quick and easy online form to show your support for this important marine protection:

>> Find out more and have you say

Latest news for In Scotland

Latest news image - Report shows important sites for sharks
posted - 2014-07-11

Report shows important sites for sharks

Shark tagging research shows that waters around Coll, Tiree and Hyskeir are so important for basking sharks that a marine protected area is merited here. Read more

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Latest news image - Scottish parliament votes in favour of bag charge
posted - 2014-06-06

Scottish parliament votes in favour of bag charge

MCS pleased to see overwhelming support for 5p bag charge amongst politicians in Scotland, following vote in Scottish parliament. Read more

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Latest news image - MCS calls for ban on propellers blamed for horrific seal deaths
posted - 2014-03-13

MCS calls for ban on propellers blamed for horrific seal deaths

We've joined 13 other wildlife groups to demand an area ban on the covered propellers blamed for inflicting fatal "corkscrew" injuries on seals and porpoises. Read more

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Latest news image - Sainsbury`s and M&S joint first in seafood survey
posted - 2014-02-03

Sainsbury`s and M&S joint first in seafood survey

MCS Supermarket Seafood Survey is out and there's mixed news for our leading retailers. Tesco and Asda decline to take part, whilst Sainsbury's join M&S in top spot. Waitrose and Coop also do well       Read more

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Latest news image - Rare sighting of Flame Shell Molluscs
posted - 2013-12-13

Rare sighting of Flame Shell Molluscs

Scuba divers have found rare flame shells – a small scallop like species - in Scapa Flow, Orkney. Previous records date back to 1950s! Read more

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Latest news image - North Sea cod still a Fish to Avoid despite rise in stocks
posted - 2013-11-15

North Sea cod still a Fish to Avoid despite rise in stocks

The latest version of MCS fish ratings says North Sea cod is on the road to recovery, but should still be kept off the menu to allow conservation measures and management plans to kick in Read more

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