Fair Isle Bird Observatory & Guesthouse

The Fair Isle Marine Environment and Tourism Initiative (FIMETI)

2018 update

FIMETI was established in 1995 and led by the Fair Isle community in partnership with the Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust (FIBOT) and the National Trust for Scotland. It was set-up to establish the long-term protection and sustainable management of the marine resources around Fair Isle, to the mutual benefit of the community of Fair Isle, users of the marine area and for the education and enjoyment of visitors.

If you want to explore the natural wealth of Fair Isle then we highly recommend watching this inspirational five minute film from Liz Musser.

In November 2016, we were really pleased that the Scottish Government announced the designation of the Fair Isle Demonstration & Research Marine Protected Area, recognising the importance to marine life of the waters around the Isle. Fair Isle's seabird colonies are very well known as amongst the best in the British Isles although in the last 25 years they have experienced several periods of food shortage partly from over-fishing of sandeel and latterly from climate change effects on the sandeel populations. Besides seabirds, there are also Grey Seals, Common Seals, and several species of cetacean – notably Minke Whale, Killer Whale, White-sided Dolphin, Risso’s Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise regularly seen in its coastal waters.

The MPA designation offers a model for research and protection to Fair Isle waters out to 5km from the shore and is the first ever, and currently only, Demonstration & Research Marine Protected Area in Scotland. The MPA’s two principle objectives are to conduct robust research on population decline of seabirds and to demonstrate the social and economic value of a healthy marine environment to the Fair Isle community and others.

With the dedicated effort of FIMETI leading to the designation, now a new marine conservation body is being shaped by the community which will manage the running of the MPA alongside the other stakeholders who are involved in the MPA Steering Group.

You can follow this link for more information on the Fair Isle Demonstration & Research MPA, including the Designation Order.