Open Consultations and Petitions

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                                                                       Devonshire Cup Coral © Howard Wood COAST


If you want to influence government decisions and policies relating to issues you are concerned about within Scotland, then responding to government consultations is one way to do so.

Consultation responses are a good way to get your community’s voice heard on local and national issues that are important to you, and they can also help with organising your group or seeking clarity and consensus around issues your community wants to speak on collectively.

You can also visit Citizen Space – the Scottish Government’s consultation hub – which lists all consultations, or sign up for their consultation email updates.

Fifteen proposed SPAs were consulted on between July 2016 and January 2017. Following completion of the consultation, a Network Assessment of the proposals was commissioned to confirm that the most suitable territories has been selected. The results of the assessment has informed the options considered by the Strategic Environmental Assessment.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a requirement of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) 2005 Act. The SEA considers the overall environmental effects of classifying the pSPAs, using 3 scenarios identified in the Network Assessment.

As part of the process to determine whether the 15 proposed SPA should be classified, we now invite views on both the findings of the SEA and the Network Assessment. The purpose of this exercise is not to repeat the consultation that was undertaken in 2016-17, but to provide the opportunity to offer your view on the scenarios, results and conclusions presented in the SEA and Network Assessment. New information regarding the 15 proposals will be considered.

Read more, and submit your response online here.

Opening Date: 14th September 2018

Closing Date: 9th November 2018

Responses published on: TBC

Scotland’s finfish aquaculture sector relies on Scotland’s high quality environment and abundant freshwater resources. SEPA have unveiled ‘firm, evidence-based proposals’ for a revised regulatory regime and, at its heart, a new sector plan that outlines how they propose to do this. 

The draft plan outlines enhanced standards for organic waste and a strengthened approach for licensing medicines. The plan also details strengthened monitoring and assessment processes and a more comprehensive approach to ensuring fish farm operators comply with all these requirements.

Recognising the diverse range of views on finfish aquaculture, SEPA are keen to hear directly from individuals, interest groups, NGOs, communities, companies and others with a view on the regulatory proposals. Across November and December SEPA will gather feedback to shape the future of how to regulate the finfish aquaculture sector. SEPA want communities to inform and enrich the decisions they take every day to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment.

Read more, and submit your response online here.

Opening Date: 7th November 2018

Closing Date: 24th December 2018

Responses published on: TBC

Relevant Petitions

Online petitions can be an excellent way to show public support for, or against, something and some can even be debated in Holyrood or Westminster if they receive a certain level of support.

Open petitions shared by Network members, associates or friends and supporters are listed below.

Do not allow mechanical kelp dredging in Scottish waters

Kelp dredging is currently not allowed in Scotland.  A company called Marine Biopolymers seek to change that, and have submitted a scoping report to Marine Scotland with a view to gaining permission to dredge over a large area of Scotland’s West Coast where they say there could be a ‘Significant’ Kelp dredge industry.

The importance of our wild kelp beds cannot be overstated.  Any reduction of them is unacceptable.  We call on Roseanna Cunningham to ensure that the Scottish Government DO NOT grant ANY licenses for kelp dredging in Scottish waters.


Protect Clyde Marine Life: STOP PeelPorts Oil-Rig Decommissioning Facility

Holly Atterson started this petition to North Ayrshire Council and 3 others

I’ll start off by posting a link to the YouTube video that CessCon Decom has uploaded with the proposed extensions to the Fairlie site.  When you watch it, I’m sure you’ll be equally as terrified of the potential consequences of this business venture. If you appreciate the beauty of the Clyde and all its amazing creatures, visiting Largs and Fairlie beach, Arran and cycling round Millport in the summer, you deserve to have a say in this.

Please do not turn a blind eye to the destruction of the marine environment and the protected species within.


Save dolphins, porpoises and seals from Scottish salmon farms

Porpoises, dolphins and whales are being driven from feeding grounds and can be deafened by Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) used by salmon farms.  These mammals echolocate to find food, and if deafened will starve.

Most Scottish farms use cheap single nets. Dead fish accumulate and tempt seals to bite salmon through the net. 121 of 172 farms use ADDs (outputting over 179 decibels) to deter seals, but because ADDs are not very effective, farmers using ADDs also shoot seals.


Stop Proposed Fish farm on West coast of Jura

To: Scottish Environment and Protection Agency (SEPA) & Argyll and Bute Planning Council.

We are asking SEPA and Argyll and Bute Planning council to refuse Kames proposal for a Fish Farm development on the West coast of the Isle of Jura. Why is this important?

The environmental impacts would be devastating for wildlife found on the west coast. The West Coast of Jura is a truly unspoilt wilderness. The chance of escapee fish would be very high given the ferocity of the gales on an extremely exposed site during the winter months.

Please sign the petition.