Chapter 13.2.2 Fisheries and marine wildlife

Protect and restore marine wildlife

Create a framework for protection and restoration which creates healthy marine ecosystems which absorb carbon.

UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Local Authorities
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

Scottish Government policies that focus on habitats and fisheries, should be complemented by wider marine habitat and species restoration policies. All plants and animals, from the smallest plankton to the largest blue whale, are carbon-based and increasing their populations will contribute to increasing the store of carbon in the oceans. In addition, a fully functioning marine ecosystem, where all species’ populations are restored will ‘leak’ less carbon, as natural systems will be more likely to cause it to be recycled.

This is another example of where actions to address the climate crisis and those related to biodiversity are complementary. While an ecosystem-based approach is important, particular attention should be paid to ‘indicator species’ (often the ‘apex predators’) such as seabirds and cetaceans.

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Version 1.0: September 2023

The contents of this document will be updated on a regular basis.