Carmichael home office fishing visas Orkney islands oppose HPMA

Orkney Islands Council will oppose the Scottish Government over HPMA plans for Scotland’s seas

Orkney Islands Council has sent a clear warning to the Scottish Government, to say that they will be entirely opposed to the introduction of Highly Protected Marine Areas in Scotland’s seas.

Highly Protected Marine Areas could see activity restricted in as yet undefined areas of the seas around Scotland, which the Council believes could have adverse economic and social effects on Orkney’s communities.

During today’s meeting of the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting, elected members worked to strengthen an earlier response put together by officials for consideration.

The redrafted response states the Council would strongly oppose the introduction of HPMAs – by judicial means if necessary.

The response will now be submitted to the Scottish Government as part of the national consultation on the matter, with the Scottish Government having said that they’d accept a late response, when elected members indicated that they wished to discuss the response at today’s meeting.

Council Leader James Stockan, who chaired today’s meeting said; “Strong views were expressed in today’s meeting on the introduction of HPMAs.

“By asking officers to bring the proposed response to us at committee, we’ve ensured that elected members could come together to reach, if not agreement, at least a decision on the very definite position that this Council should take. Where such a strong statement is required it needs to be the members that are driving that – and the process followed by us today allowed that to happen.

“Almost across the board, the view was that the Council must oppose these proposals in the strongest terms.

“As island authority councillors, we have a duty to make the most of our limited resources, particularly those precious resources in our seas. We’ve now sent a much stronger response to Government than was originally proposed – and will continue to keep a close eye on how this issue progresses over the next two to three years.”

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