Marine management strategies
We are a member of the Moray Firth Partnership board and contribute to a number of fisheries projects which are being led by the Partnership.
There are currently 7 Marine Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) in Highland. Scottish Natural Heritage has published information on all areas which include:
- The Sound of Arisaig SAC- This site is designated for the presence of subtidal sand banks. Read about this scheme
- Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh Reefs SAC- The designated features of interest for this site are Reefs which includes bedrock and biogenic reefs. The site area extends to 2380Ha. On the advice of Scottish Natural Heritage a draft management scheme has been prepared for this site with input from us and local stakeholders. The management scheme is awaiting finalisation of the draft and public consultation.
- Ascrib, Isay and Dunvegan SAC- This site is designated for the presence of colonies of common seals which breed on the 2 islands and in Loch Dunvegan. Scottish Natural Heritage has advised that no formal management agreement is required for this site
- Dornoch Firth and Morrich More SAC- The site extends to 8700Ha and the features of interest include a variety of marine and terrestrial features including, otter, common seal, reefs, sublittoral sandbanks and estuaries. There is no formal management scheme for the site although Scottish Natural Heritage has reached agreements with the main stakeholders in the SAC. In this case this includes us in the role as managers of the Tain Mussel Fishery
- The Moray Firth SAC- This is the largest of the Marine SAC's in Highland and also extends into Moray and Aberdeenshire Council areas. The site is designated for Bottlenose Dolphin and subtidal sandbanks. A management scheme is in place for this SAC which has been developed and revised by the Moray Firth SAC Management Group, facilitated by the Moray Firth Partnership.
- Sunart SAC- This is a combined marine and terrestrial site. The designated feature of interest for the marine element, which comprises 46 per cent of the site, is reefs, which includes bedrock and biogenic reefs. On the advice of Scottish Natural Heritage, a draft management scheme has been prepared for this site with input from us and local stakeholders. The management scheme is awaiting finalisation of the draft and public consultation.
- Loch Laxford SAC- This site contains examples of Reefs and Large Shallow Inlets and Bays. The site extends to 1221Ha. There is no formal Management Scheme for the site as Scottish Natural Heritage has determined that none is required at this stage.