RYA Scotland has been closely involved in the development of the Scottish network of Marine Protected Areas, which will include existing
designated sites. We recognise that for many members seeing wildlife is an important part of the sailing experience and have supported the MPA process.
At the same time there was concern that there might be places where anchoring would be banned to protect vulnerable habitats such as maerl and seagrass beds. However, after a joint project with Scottish Natural Heritage, we were able to demonstrate that there were no places where anchoring was a significant threat.
The first draft of management measures from Marine Scotland, however, did propose restrictions on anchoring in two places. After constructive discussions, the final version includes no anchoring bans although we have
worked with SNH and the Clyde Cruising Club to ensure that the sailing directions make it clear where best to anchor to avoid vulnerable habitats in two places. There will be further rounds of designation including Special Areas of Conservation but these are unlikely
to affect recreational boaters.
Scotland also has Historic MPAs, which mainly protect important wrecks, and there is a proposal for a Research and
Development MPA for Fair Isle.
For more information see the Scottish MPA statement within Related Documents.
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