What will happen if the Loch Ness monster is found? Worry not, a Scottish agency has just the plan to help Nessie
Ever wondered what would happen if the Loch Ness monster is ever found? Not to worry because a government-funded body from Scotland has already thought of that and they have a plan in place. The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) had made a "partly serious, partly fun" code of practice back in 2001 when there was a particular rise in interest for Nessie. The interest in the creature has spiked again this year due to an expedition by scientists to collect DNA from the loch as well as Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, saying in an interview that she believes there is a monster. SNH has also revealed that it will "dust off" the plan that was made in case Nessie is discovered.
According to the BBC, the code of practice had been made to grant protection to any new species that are discovered in the loch and this includes a monster. It also said that a DNA sample is required from any new creature that is found and that it should be released back into the loch. Nick Halfhide from SNH, which is an organization that promoted Scottish wildlife and natural habitats, said that the code is still relevant to this day.
He said: "There was a lot of activity on the loch at the time about Nessie. So, partly serious and partly for a bit of fun, we drew up a contingency plan about how we would help Nessie if and when she was found." The code also specifies that the monster, as well as any other new species that may be discovered, should not be harmed.
Halfhide said: "Some of the lessons we learned then have been relevant when we have reintroduced species like sea eagles and were used when, a couple of years ago, four new species were found in the sea off the west coast." The SNH official said that the plan would have to be updated if the monster is discovered in the present and that in order to do this, local communities and businesses along the shores of the massive loch would be consulted.
Just last month, an international team of scientists collected environmental DNA from the loch for analysis. The expert study was done to determine what species lived in the loch as well as any species that have not been recorded in it. Around the same time last month, Sturgeon said that she believed in the monster during an interview with ITV's Good Morning Britain.
A keeper of a register filled with Nessie sightings, Gary Campbell, said that there were 10 reports on an average every year of something that cannot be explained being spotted in the loch. He also said that seeing something was "pretty rare" given as to how more than 400,000 people visit Loch Ness every year. Campbell said, however, that science would explain what the cause behind all the sightings were. He said: "People have been seeing things in the loch for fifteen hundred years."