A SCOTTISH Greens MSP challenged a BBC presenter who claimed that there had been criticism over a lack of consultation on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).

Ross Greer, MSP for West Scotland, pointed out that there is a consultation process underway, and that the suggestion didn't make "any sense". 

HPMA's would ban the majority of human activities in Scottish waters which cause a negative impact on the environment, such as fishing.

READ MORE: What are HPMAs and why are they causing controversy?

The proposals, which have proved controversial in some areas, would see 10% of Scotland's seas designated as no-go sites by 2026. 

Greer was probed about the plans on the BBC Sunday Show by journalist Martin Geissler. 

"Look there’s a lot of misinformation about Highly Protected Marine Areas out there at the moment," he said. 

"I’m a West Coast MSP so I know for example the no-take zone in Lamalsh Bay, in the south of Arran, was initially met with huge amounts of scepticism and hostility even, but within 5 years it had had all the success that we expected it would take at least 10 years for.

"And a lot of the local fishermen there will be the staunchest defenders of that no-take zone."

"The criticism is there has been no consultation on this there though isn’t it?" Geissler asked. 

"Look Martin, that’s wrong," Greer fired back.

"All that’s happening is a consultation. How can you possibly say that the criticism is based on the fact there’s no consultation, when what people are criticising is a consultation?

"Where are you getting that from?"

"That’s the criticism I’ve heard from a lot of island communities..." the journalist replied.

"They’re criticising a consultation to say there’s no consultation, how does that possibly make any sense?

READ MORE: Scottish Tories ‘crying crocodile tears’ over Lord Frost’s attack

"We are reaching out to communities here that’s, why there’s a consultation going on."

The Scottish Government opened the consultation process on December 12 2022, before it closed last week on April 17. 

We previously told how Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan pledged to tour Scotland to hear concerns about the policy plans. 

It comes as Greer accused the UK Government of actively "sabotaging" the Deposit Return Scheme, which was paused last week after the Tories refused to grant an exemption in the Internal Market Act.

Greer said that if the UK Government had cooperated then there would have been "clarity months ago on issues like VAT". 

He said: "Let's be completely clear here, the Tories have actively tried to sabotage their scheme like they're sabotaging a whole range of Scottish Government initiatives using a power of veto that they gave themselves after a Brexit Scotland didn't vote for.

"This is a government Scotland didn't vote for, using a Brexit result it didn't vote for, to veto decisions made by Scotland's elected parliament that the people obviously did vote for. This is outrageous."

The Scottish Greens MSP was also probed on the relationship between his party and the SNP following the leadership contest, and the attack from backbench SNP MSP Fergus Ewing in Holyrood last week where he branded the Greens "wine bar revolutionaries". 

READ MORE: Holyrood’s ability to protect Scots is under attack

"To be fair to Fergus, I think he knows a lot more about wine bars than I do but the man is so far in the back benches, you would need a flashlight to find him," Greer said. 

"95% of SNP members voted for the Bute House agreement, and we can see from public polling that the Scottish Greens are more popular than they were two years ago when we entered government."

Greer was also asked if his party would seek to pick up votes from dissatisfied SNP members and pro-independence voters. 

"I’m not going to exploit something as serious as a police investigation into another party," he said.