Environment secretary Richard Lochhead described the seas around Scotland as a “hotbed of biodiversity” after the discovery of a massive shellfish reef in Loch Alsh, near the coast of Skye (your report, 27 December).
Sadly, this hotbed of diversity will soon be wrecked by Mr Lochhead’s SNP government in its mad dash to surround Scotland’s coasts with wind turbines and wave and tidal energy machines.
The shellfish reef bears witness to the richness of our marine ecosystems. But this fragile environment will be devastated by the construction of giant industrial offshore renewables.
Kelp forests, seagrass meadows and maerl beds, which are particularly common in shallow waters around the west of Scotland, will be most at risk, and yet these are natural carbon capture and storage mechanisms, known as “blue carbon sinks”.
Some 93 per cent of the Earth’s carbon dioxide is stored and cycled through the oceans, and Scotland’s blue carbon sinks play a vital role in this process.
Keeping them in good shape is one of the most important things that we can do to keep climate change under control. Tearing up our blue carbon sinks to build useless and costly renewable energy machines is completely counter-productive and will lead to the release of millions of tonnes of stored CO2 into the atmosphere.
Preserving and restoring coastal and marine ecosystems should be the SNP government’s No 1 priority. Its dash for wind, wave and tidal energy is a cost to the environment, rather than a benefit.
STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP