Members of the public are being encouraged to take part in a consultation into Scotland’s Marine Protected Areas.
The Scottish Government is looking into the addition of four areas, one of which includes the Southern Trench in the Outer Moray Firth, and is seeking views. The classification aims to safeguard the marine life living there.
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Katie Gillham, Scottish Natural Heritage’s head of marine ecosystems, said: “If designated, these new sites will contribute to the completion of the MPA network in Scotland’s seas and offer protection for important habitats and species.
“These include large numbers of basking sharks, minke whales and Risso’s dolphins that use these areas for breeding and feeding.”
Consultation events will be held on Monday at the Fife Lodge Hotel in Banff, June 25 at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh, June 26 at Palace Hotel in Peterhead and June 27 at Elgin Town Hall.