After submitting his own response last week to the ongoing consultation on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs), SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands to express his concern over the potential impact of the proposals if implemented in the Western Isles.

Last month, Allan met with the Cabinet Secretary and the then Minister for Environment, Mairi McAllan, to convey the widespread concern being expressed across the constituency over how HPMAs could affect countless coastal communities where the local economy is reliant on the fishing industry.

In his letter to the Cabinet Secretary, Allan says:

“It is important that I am honest about the scale of the concern being expressed in my constituency just now about this issue. In particular, there is a widespread anxiety about the danger that HPMAs could (depending on their location and form) actually impact most on the very forms of fishing that have the least environmental impact.”

The islands’ MSP goes on to say:

“With smaller vessels (typical of the west coast) unable to move to places elsewhere, and creelers unlikely in any case to be able to replicate the established areas they have built up over decades, it is difficult to see what future fishing or fish processing would have in large swathes of my constituency if these designations were introduced along significant areas of the west coast. It is also unclear what the environmental benefits would be of impacting so heavily on lower-impact fishing activity.

“I should add that these fears are not only held in the fishing industry, but are voiced much more widely among other stakeholders, including the local authority, economic agencies, and community organisations. I would welcome any opportunity to discuss with you these concerns which exist in my constituency, and hope that it will be possible for us to have that conversation soon.”

Cruinnich - bringing communities together

Twitter latest


Subscribe to Alasdair's mailing list

By ticking this box you confirm you would like to receive updates from Alasdair Allan MSP by

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.