Tiree and Coll proposed Special Protection Area (SPA)
We would like to draw people’s attention to the below proposed SPA around Tiree and Coll and the possible implications for Tiree’s economy.
Having met with four SNH representatives and one from Marine Scotland in Oban at the end of August we have concluded that this is an ill thought, under researched and un-necessary designation that appears to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. There has been no direct consultation with local marine stakeholders other than a token open day after the plans had been drawn up and submitted.
Unfortunately the less information that is given to the public, which is clearly one of their strategies, the easier it is to force designations like this through the back door. The proposal gives no clear indication of what management measures may be brought in should the designation go ahead. Any answers to our questions on this were preceded by the words, “we think”, “maybe”, or “possibly”. Not words which fill you with confidence when planning the future of your business.
Sadly the track record of SPA’s, SAC’s, and MPA’s that have already been designated round Scotland have been forced through with complete disregard for local views and concerns while consistently changing management measures once designated.
Two of the few success stories on the Island in the last twenty years have been Fishing and Watersports/ Marine Tourism. Two industries that this proposal could ultimately have grave implications for by bringing in needless management measures.
We urge people to read through the documents on the SNH website and submit a response at – http://www.snh.gov.uk/protecting-scotlands-nature/protected-areas/proposed-marine-spas/coll-and-tiree/ Highlighting their concerns at the lack of local communication, local consultation and disregard for the people and the Islands economy.
The consultation closes on the 26th September 2016.
Neil MacPhail, Coinneach MacKinnon