The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation( SFF) has accused ministers of demonstrating “mistrust” in their response to a rare reef being damaged.
In a letter, the SFF said the government’s emergency measures undermine confidence in marine safety.
The flame-shell reef in Loch Carron was injury when a scallop dredger dragged its gear right through it.
The incident had been investigated by Scottish Natural Heritage( SNH ).
It concluded that the damage was consistent with scallop dredging and that there was a “viable” chance of recovery.