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New proposals to protect Scotland’s seas
The four new MPAs would make Scotland the first country in the world to provide designated areas for protecting minke whales.
Consultation on four new marine protected areas

The Scottish Government is proposing four new marine protected areas (MPAs), which would make it the first country in the world to provide designated areas for the protection of minke whale and basking sharks.

A 12-week consultation on the proposed MPAs was launched on World Oceans Day (8 June).

Covering a combined area of more than 5,000 square miles, the MPAs would also protect Risso’s dolphins and a range of biodiversity and geographical features.

Scotland’s MPA network currently covers 22 per cent of the country’s seas and consists of 231 sites. It supports nature conservation, protects historic marine sites and helps develop new approaches to marine management.

Mairi Gougeon, Scotland’s minister for the natural environment, said: “It is our duty to help protect and enhance our marine environment so that it remains a prized asset for future generations. Not only are they fundamental to our way of life, they provide habitats for a huge diversity of marine wildlife and it is vital that we ensure appropriate protection for them.

“Scotland’s seas account for 61 per cent of the UK’s waters and are internationally recognised as being important for whales, dolphins and basking sharks. These MPAs would offer additional levels of protection to these species, and ensure the MPA network is fully representative of Scotland’s marine diversity.”

The government is asking people to share their views on the proposals by taking part in the consultation.

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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at or 087 219 54 30.