It could see the 400ha special protection area (SPA) covering the Isle of Scilly increased to 13,300ha. They seek to help conserve a range of seabird species including European storm petrels, European shags and great black-backed gulls.
Recent survey data of the at-sea distribution of European shags has guided the work. The extension will see the marine boundary of the SPA moved to incorporate hotspots used by the seabirds for foraging, preening and other activities. Despite being based on the distribution of European shags, the added marine habitat will also benefit a variety of other wild bird species.
The changes may see an increase in the area’s site monitoring costs and could require further scrutiny of management of fisheries and recreational activities within the area. It is estimated these requirements could cost £60k annually.
Details of the scheme are currently available to view as part of a twelve-week consultation, due to close on the 21st May 2019.