The management scheme for the special area of conservation has been rewritten. As well as the bottlenose dolphins that the area was first selected for, grey seals, river and sea lampreys, reefs, undersea sandbanks and sea caves are now also included in the protection. After a long process of public consultation, the authorities responsible for managing the area have finalised the document that sets out how they will ensure that the wildlife is protected, with an action plan for the next five years.
Fishermen, wildlife watchers, sailors and others who use the area have a wealth of knowledge to draw on and consultation has given everyone who uses the area the chance to have their say – many thanks to all those who contacted us to have an input.
Key points of the Scheme include:
- A requirement to assess any plan or project that might have an impact on the wildlife and only allowing it to proceed if it will not affect the integrity of the site.
- Identifying the key threats to wildlife and actions to be taken to minimise the threat.
- Identifying gaps in our knowledge of the wildlife and human use of the area where more research is needed.
- Use of the ‘precautionary principle’ to manage activities which are likely to cause damage, even where it can’t yet be proved.