Flaring to national attention for the second year end in a row

flame shell © snh

Twelve months ago, this was one of our images of 2011.

It’s a Flame Shell, a ‘cryptic’  marine species with bright orange feeding tentacles. It is found only in a a very few west coast locations. This one was photographed in 2011 [© SNH] in flame shell beds in Loch Linnhe in Argyll, during one of 15 marine surveys carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage in that year.

The surveys covered 2,000 square miles of Scotland’s seabed – a stunning achievement revealing major Flame Shell beds in Loch Fyne as well as Loch Linnhe and other locations.

Now, a year later, the Flame Shell is back in the news, with the discovery of a massive 75 hectare Flame Shell reef in Loch Alsh, estimated to contain over 100 million examples of the species.

This has come from a survey by Heriot Watt University, commissioned by Marine Scotland and will now be subject to special protection.

Note: The image above of a Flame Shell is © SNH and may not be reproduced without permission.

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One Response to Flaring to national attention for the second year end in a row

  1. It’s a shame but that ‘special protection’ will probably allow damaging activities, such as trawling and dredging, it will probably allow pollution from salmon farms and land run-off; that’s the type of protection we get to see in Scotland.

    This beautiful flame shell has survived despite us not due to us; most of our seas and seabed communities are exceptional because they are in a remote region away from commercial industrial damaging activities, but all that is changing, just look at the proliferation of salmon farms.

    I live by the principle that we are part of the scene, part of the ecosystem, but if we want special areas to remain special we need areas of no take, no damage.

    We have a Country Code: Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.

    We need similar for the sea; a Marine Code, as currently it appears to be take all, leave nothing and kill anything that gets in the way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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