13 April 2012 Last updated at 02:31
It has emerged that a management plan is being prepared for a conservation area in the Sound of Barra.
The Scottish government has said no final decision has been made on the proposal, which has been opposed by many local people.
Opponents have said they are concerned that the designation would restrict fishing in the area.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust has backed the idea of making the Sound of Barra a special area of conservation (SAC).
The government expects to receive a report on the plan from Scottish Natural Heritage by July, with a decision being made “at the end of the summer”.
The row over the conservation plan has been followed by viewers of the BBC’s Island Parish series.
There are 40 existing marine SACs in Scotland.
In proposing that similar protection is given to the Sound of Barra, the Scottish Wildlife Trust said it was an area of European importance.
Alex Kinninmonth, of the trust, said: “The Sound of Barra is one of Scotland’s wildlife jewels.
“The truth is that sustainable fishing will be able to continue in the Sound of Barra.”
Conservation plan ‘has started’