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It feels as if the world’s oceans are under attack. Marine animals and ecosystems are threatened by plastic pollution, overfishing, and more. Marine protected areas (MPA) are important for the Conservation of marine life. To succeed, they must have effective enforcement, ban fishing, and be of a large size. Currently, the Scottish government is asking for public consultation on the proposal of what would be Europe’s largest MPA.

The proposed West of Scotland Deep Sea Marine Reserve would offer protection to habitats on seamounts (extinct underwater volcanoes) and coral reefs. Deep sea trawling (dragging fishing nets behind fishing board) would also be restricted. It’s also likely that oil and gas exploration will be banned.

The reserve would also protect the habitat of marine animals like blue ling, gulper sharks and Portuguese dogfish.

The Scottish government says their MPA network is important because Scottish seas account for 61 percent of UK waters. Their website acknowledges that this means they have a responsibility to contribute to the Conservation or improvement of the marine environment as well as using the ocean sustainably.

If you are a Scottish citizen, you can comment after reading all the necessary documents detailed in the proposal. The deadline is December 31, 2019. If you don’t live in Scotland, don’t worry, you can still show your Support by signing this petition!

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