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Atlas of Scotland's seas created

Resource for marine planners and schools reveals richness of waters. Elizabeth Buie reports

Resource for marine planners and schools reveals richness of waters. Elizabeth Buie reports

The first atlas of Scotland's seas has been created for marine planners and schools, offering unparalleled insight into the geography and richness of the country's surrounding waters.

Two copies of Scotland's Marine Atlas are being sent to every secondary school, while every Scottish school - primary, secondary and special - will receive a pack containing five posters themed around the atlas's chapters and a DVD introducing it.

The project is based around the Scottish Government's vision of clean, safe, productive, biologically-diverse marine and coastal environments, managed to meet the long-term needs of nature and people.

The resource was launched by the Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead, aboard the marine protection vessel MPV Hirta in Leith Harbour, earlier this month.

He said: "The atlas explores the state of marine life and biodiversity; how competing pressures on an area have an impact; the economic contributions of fishing, marine energy, telecommunications and leisure activities; the effects of climate change; and the environmental legacy of Scotland's industrial past.

"It gives pupils a fantastic tool for growing their knowledge of our seas and the rich contribution they make to Scotland. And with an easily accessed and free website, many people in this country and beyond can explore the wonders of Scotland's seas."

Marine Scotland Science led the initiative with collaboration from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland.

www.scotland.gov.ukmarineatlas.

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