Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed a commitment from First Minister Humza Yousaf that Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) will not be “imposed” on island communities who oppose them.
The First Minister stated on Tuesday that the Scottish Government “will not impose these policies on communities that do not want them” and again on Thursday that it “will not steamroll through or impose on any community a policy that it is vehemently opposed to.”
The Scottish Government’s consultation on HPMAs closed on Monday evening. The proposals would see strict limits on activities at HPMA sites, such as fishing and aquaculture, while allowing non-damaging recreational activities to take place at managed levels.
Alasdair Allan commented:
“Significant concerns about HPMAs have been expressed across Scotland’s coastal communities. These communities have more of an interest than anyone else in ensuring the sustainability of our seas. Their views should be paramount; not an afterthought.
“HPMAs, in their current form, are clearly unworkable and have no buy-in from communities in the Western Isles. The Scottish Government needs to work on an approach to managing our seas that is built from communities up, not the top down.
“This is a very welcome tone from the First Minister. Holding to the principle that the Scottish Government should not impose these policies on communities who do not want them is the right approach.”