Shallow waters in summertime in the Hebrides on the West coast of Scotland Joost Van Uffelen

We’re proud to have been leading the Save Scottish Seas project, securing marine conservation wins in Scotland since 2006.

Working alongside other environmental organisations in Scotland, we're proud to be part of a project which is changing the fate of Scotland's seas.

Over half of the UK's Marine Protected Area network is in Scotland's waters and we have a responsibility to ensure that these protected areas are more than simply lines on a map, but allow Scotland's precious seas to flourish.

The Save Scottish Seas project has successfully campaigned for:

  • Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, making Ministers responsible for protecting and enhancing the health of Scotland's seas
  • The introduction of 36 new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) including a world-first protected area for basking sharks and minke whale in the Sea of Hebrides, the largest MPA in Europe, the South Arran MPA and many sea loch MPAs
  • Over 2,000 square kilometres of inshore Marine Protected Areas are to be permanently protected from bottom trawling and mechanical dredging.
Grey Seals in the surf Loch Eriboll Scotland Kirsty Andrews

Credit: Kirsty Andrews

What's next?

Looking ahead, the project's Ocean Recovery Plan for Scotland will push for at least 30% of Scotland's seas to be highly or fully protected by 2030, banning damaging activities from these protected waters. The project will also be campaigning for legally binding ocean recovery targets and climate and nature positive fisheries management.

Sandy beach and clear sea at Seilebost on the isle of Harris in the Western isles of Scotland Helen Hotson

Credit: Helen Hotson via Shutterstock

Calum Duncan, Marine Conservation Society's Head of Conservation Scotland:

"We're incredibly proud of what we've achieved so far leading Save Scottish Seas, but there's still a long way to go to ensure the measures we've campaigned for are fully implemented and then improved upon to help recover the health of Scotland's seas."

Learn more about the Save Scottish Seas project here

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