Flapper skate protection

10 March 2021

NatureScot has today welcomed the announcement by Scottish Ministers that an urgent Marine Protected Area has been designated for the flapper skate egg-laying habitat in the Inner Sound.

Eileen Stuart, NatureScot’s Deputy Director for Nature and Climate Change, said: “This is great news for flapper skate, an amazing species that is listed as critically endangered, making the population we have on the west coast of Scotland particularly important for their conservation.

“NatureScot is involved in a range of projects helping to improve understanding of flapper skate in Scotland, and in early 2020 we organised and funded work to investigate reports from divers of skate eggs in the Inner Sound. This is another great example of the contribution that citizen scientists make to conservation by providing records of important species and habitats.

“Our view is that the egg-laying habitat discovered is of national importance for the species and we support working towards a Marine Protected Area (MPA) to provide permanent protection.

“This interim measure will provide an additional safeguard while the necessary survey work and assessment is carried out.”
More information about the species can be found on the NatureScot website.