Fwd = Nessie protection plan drawn up
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Original Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 00:21:11 +0100 (CET)
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Jackie O'Brien reports
"This is not as far fetched as an American paper's report last week that
Nessie had been caught"
Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 19:42 GMT
Nessie protection plan drawn up
Scottish Natural Heritage will be prepared for Nessie A government agency
has drawn up a contingency plan to cope with the possibility of the Loch
Ness Monster being caught.
The Scottish Natural Heritage instructions form part of a code of practice
for research projects on the Highland loch aimed at protecting all
existing wildlife and the local environment.
However, one Nessie fan club has described the measures as bureaucracy
The code of practice was drawn up following a Swedish monster hunter's
request to lay a net across Loch Ness in his attempt to capture the
Concerned about the implications for other existing wildlife, SNH has
introduced a number of safeguards to protect any creature which is caught.
Under the code, hunters must release their catch, whatever the species,
back into the loch after appropriate DNA samples are taken.
SNH spokesman Johnathan Stacey said the organisation must keep an open
He said: "Should anything be captured in this net, in this trap, then we
would want to see it examined but also released unharmed.
"I think if they did capture something that was hitherto unknown to
science then the whole world would be interested.
"As far as SNH is concerned we would be regarding it as a very valuable
and important part of Scotland's biodiversity and we would want to be
treating it in its best interests.
However, the Loch Ness Monster Fan Club said the plan was extreme and
warned that it could threaten future research projects.
Gary Campbell: plan is extreme
Fan club member Gary Campbell said: "There's various statutes, for
instance, the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the Animal Scientific
Procedures Act, there's a Vets' Act from the 1960s and all those apply to
"So I think for a code of conduct to be put in by a quango, in many
respects, will put people off coming to Loch Ness.
"It might drive the 'loony fringe', for want of a better word,
underground. They might not publicise their plans and do something that
could be a danger to themselves, the environment and Nessie."
However, Mr Stacey said the agency was only doing its job.
He said: "I don't think that developing an informal forum, and informal
policy with people who have an interest in Loch Ness to safeguard the
existing features of interest is irresponsible in any way."
Loch Ness Monster Fan Club
Scottish Natural Heritage
Nessie on the Net
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