Don’t be gulled

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In response to your report (“Fishing discards ban ‘bad for ­environment’”, 14 May), we believe that the long overdue ban on discards will help put our seas, and our seabird populations, back on an even keel.

Last year, research by Plymouth University in collaboration with the RSPB found that the discard ban is unlikely to pose a serious lasting threat to most seabirds, and we are heartened by the conclusion that most will weather the storm of changes to fishing regulations.

Nevertheless, there is the possibility that the loss of discards could add to the pressure on some seabird populations already depleted by climate change-driven alterations to their marine food chain. It underlines the need to build as much resilience as we can into their wider protection both on land and at sea.

This research once again highlights the importance of marine protected areas, particularly in the short term as species adapt to necessary changes in fisheries management, and emphasises the vital role that government has to play in the conservation of our internationally important seabird populations.

Kara Brydson

Head of Marine Policy

RSPB Scotland

Edinburgh