Scotland's Marine Atlas, launched in March, must help protect areas important for wildlife, says RSPB Scotland. The Atlas features maps and information about Scotland's waters to inform planning decisions at sea.
Kara Brydson, Senior Marine Policy Officer for RSPB Scotland, said: "The Atlas must help steer developments away from areas where they would harm sea life, from Puffins and dolphins to Mackerel and coral reefs. Using the wealth of information in the Atlas, the Government can now get on with preparing Scotland's first ever National Marine Plan, which we believe should encourage sustainable industries and make space for wildlife."
The RSPB is looking closely at the new Atlas in the hope that it reflects the true state of Scotland's seas, where some species are in dire straits due to climate change and damaging human activity. Seabirds such as Kittiwake and Arctic Skua are in real danger as numbers have plummeted in Scotland over the past decade.