HPMAs scrapped, government confirms

The Scottish government has confirmed that controversial plans for highly protected marine areas (HPMAs) have been scrapped today (Tuesday).

Earlier this year, net zero secretary Màiri McAllan said the plans to introduce stringent regulations on fishing activity in 10 per cent of Scottish waters would be ceased until further notice.

Ms McAllan confirmed in Holyrood today those proposals would be stopped completely.

She thanked all the participants who engaged constructively with the consultation but reaffirmed the government’s stance on protecting the environment.

“I am determined to protect our oceans in a way that is fair, and to find a way forward that ensures our seas remain a source of prosperity for the nation, especially in our coastal and island communities,” Ms McAllan said.

The news was welcomed by industry leaders across the sector.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Sheila Keith was glad that “common sense prevailed.”

“The angst caused by the ill-conceived proposals was clear by the responses to the consultation which showed, when you removed campaign responses, 76 per cent of respondents opposed and only 20 per cent supported the plans,” Ms Keith added.

Salmon Scotland chief Tavish Scott echoed Ms Keith’s comments.

“This confirmation is a huge relief for salmon farmers and all those who rely on our sector who were concerned about the impact on their livelihoods,” he said.


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