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Yesterday was World Ocean Day, where I highlighted the success of Lamlash’s No-Take Zone, on the Isle of Arran which was the first No Take Zone in Scotland. This Marine Protected Area (MPA) was established under the SNP Scottish Government in 2008 thanks to the work of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), supported by their local MSP Kenneth Gibson. It has been lauded as a great success with a substantial increase in biodiversity resulting from this MPA.

Human activity has a huge impact of the global marine environment, demonstrated by the significant decline in the shark populations, which is extremely harmful to the ocean’s biodiversity. Action is needed to prevent the horrific practice of shark finning, as well as an end to the extremely disruptive practice of sea blasts as a means of disposing of sea munitions, with current practises threatening the very survival of some species of sea creatures.

The ocean does not belong to us. COP26 provides a real opportunity for fresh impetus to protect our marine environments and ensure that our oceans are sustainably managed for future generations.

You can watch my speech below.


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