outer hebrides tagged posts

Dismay at Barra conservation outcome

Barra Outer Hebrides

Campaigners in the Outer Hebrides have reacted with dismay after the Scottish Government announced the designation of the Sound of Barra as a marine Special Area of Conservation (mSAC). The ruling by environment minister Paul Wheelhouse means the sea and sandbanks between Barra and South Uist will go forward to the European Commission for inclusion in plans for an EU-wide network of SACs. The move follows a recommendation for designation from Scottish Natural Heritage last November – despite local concerns about restrictions on traditional livelihoods such as fishing and lack of accountability.

Action group Southern Hebrides Against Marine Environmental Designations (SHAMED), doubted whether eco-tourism would compensate for reduced fishing revenues.

Chairman Angus MacLeod said from his ...

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Deep sea shark nursery found in Outer Hebrides

The discovery of the first deep-sea shark spawning ground in Scotland has fuelled calls for better protection of the seas and the nation’s multi-million pound wildlife tourism sector.

Marine biologists at Heriot-Watt University revealed that they have found a nursery for the blackmouth catshark on a coral reef in the Outer Hebrides.

Scientists at the university said their work highlighted the “essential” need to safeguard sharks and the economy they support.

The Mingulay Reef, which is already a Special Area of Conservation, has been awaiting designation as a European marine protected area (MPA) – and the greater protection for the habitat and wildlife that would bring – for three years.

Dr Lea-Anne Henry, who led the latest research at Heriot-Watt University, said: “It’s very e...

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