Scott: Government must discuss HPMAs with industry leaders 

Salmon Scotland chief executive Tavish Scott backed calls for the Scottish government to discuss Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) with the marine industry.

Liberal Democrat MSP Beatrice Wishart put forward a notice for debate in the Scottish parliament, to be held today (Tuesday) to encourage dialogue between the government and leaders in marine industries. 

The debate is to allow for the concerns of coastal communities to be heard over their reliance on sectors such as fishing and infrastructure.

Mr Scott said that both in and out of parliament there is a “cross-party opposition” to the proposals to designate 10 per cent of the Scottish waters as HPMAs — squeezing industry into already busy waters.

He said: “Either the Scottish Government needs to drop these proposals, or work with marine users to develop a clear consensus on how we balance the need to protect our marine environment and safeguard the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on it.”

The Scottish salmon sector supports 12,500 jobs, adding more than £760 million-a-year to the country’s economy, he said with the fishing industry adding £560 million.


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