Based on the discussions around stage 2 of the Marine (Scotland) Bill by members of the Rural Affairs and Environment committee today, the Scottish Green Party and SAS have made the decision to withhold formal submission of the Surfing Reserves amendment till stage 3 of the bill, when all MSPs will be allowed to vote on the matter.
SAS are disappointed that the meeting among the limited number of MSPs within the committee meant we could not confidently add Surfing Reserves in as an amendment at stage 2. This was much to the surprise of both SAS and the Greens because members of the committee include Highlands and Islands MSP’s who represent constituencies that understand the considerable economic benefits surfing has brought to this area, especially at famous surf spots such as Thurso, Tiree and Lewis.
However, we are hopeful that by taking the decision to bring Surfing reserves before all MSP’s at stage 3, rather than a select few at stage 2 , this presents us with the opportunity to lobby for support across Scotland, and will allow us to concentrate on the areas where we need it most.
Robin Harper MSP for the Greens said: “I want to see Scotland leading on the management and protection of our marine resources, and that means all its resources, including surfing. I will be working hard to make sure our surfing assets are given the protection they deserve at Stage 3.”
The support we’ve been receiving from Robin and other MSP’s recently is a great encouragement, and we had a massive amount of media interest yesterday at our action outside the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, which along with our continued back-up from our members will help keep us fight right through to the next round of the bill.