(Blue Ocean Network – September 3, 2013) — Scotland’s first set of Historic Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) was recently announced by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs.  The announcement came after the urgent designation of the remains of a well-preserved vessel, believed to be a 17th century merchant ship, had been assessed to be of national importance.nThe wreck was found off the Sunderland coast, close to the harbour of Drumbeg by a local scallop diver. Historic Scotland’s marine archaeologists visited the site with the wreck’s finder during summer 2012 to assess his discovery and concluded that the wreck is an historic asset of national importance meriting statutory protection. nHyslop also outlined a further six proposals for Historic MPA’s along Scotland’s coast at sites currently safeguarded under the Protection of Wrecks Act, that will now have their protection transferred to the Marine (Scotland) Act.nt”Historic MPA’s provide protection based on the principle of sustainable use. We hope that visitors will have more opportunities to enjoy these sites on a ‘look-but-don’t-touch’ basis, and will also gain a better understanding of the importance of our marine heritage,” commented Hyslop.nHistoric Scotland has been working closely with Marine Scotland and numerous stakeholders in drawing up this first list of designations. The agency will now launch a consultation on all seven proposed Historic MPAs to seek public opinion:nDrumbegntThe well-preserved remains of a vessel of 17th- or early 18th-century date discovered close to the harbour of Drumbeg, Sutherland. nCampaniantA Clyde-built, Blue-Riband winning Cunard liner, wrecked in the Firth of Forth just off Burntisland in 1918.  It was one of the first ships to be converted to an aircraft carrier during WW1. nDuart Point, Isle of MullntA 17th-century Scottish warship, possibly the Swan, that was part of a squadron sent by Oliver Cromwell to stamp out Royalist resistance to parliamentarian rule in the Western Isles during the Civil War.  She was lost near Duart Point on the Isle of Mull in 1653.nDartmouthntThis is a fifth-rate naval frigate which was dispatched in 1690 to bring to heel recalcitrant Jacobite clans in the Western Isles and to secure the allegiance of William and Mary.  She sank on 9 October 1690 on the small island of Eilean Rubha an Ridire, close to the Morvern shore at the southern entrance to the Sound of Mull.    nMingaryntThe wreck of a vessel of probable Dutch origin, lost in an attack on Lochaber’s Mingary Castle in 1644. Important associations exist with the conflicts between the anti-Campbell Highland clans and the Covenanters during the 1640s.nKinlochbervientThese are the remains of a merchant vessel dating to the late 16th or early 17th century.  It was carrying a cargo of ornate ceramics from Portugal and Italy when it sank south of Kinlochbervie harbour, off the north-west Highlands. nOut Skerries, Shetland KennemerlandntTwo vessels were lost around the Shetland archipelago of Out Skerries during the 17th century: a) the Kennemerland, a wreck of the Dutch East India Company merchant ship that was outward bound from Holland to the East Indies. She was lost at the South Mouth entrance to the harbour of Shetland’s Out Skerries in 1664; and b) the Wrangels Palais, a wreck of a Danish warship reported as lost at Lamda Stack, close to the navigation hazard of Bound Skerry in July 1687.nHistoric Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. For more information visit Historic Scotland.n** This RSS Feed is brought to you by BlueOceanNetwork.com **