First marine plan for Scotland

Richard Lochhead: “This marks the beginning of a long term commitment to protect our seas for future generations Richard Lochhead: “This marks the beginning of a long term commitment to protect our seas for future generations"

Scotland now has its first ever National Marine Plan, which sets out a single statutory planning framework for all marine activity in Scottish waters.

Published by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead, the plan will include policies for the sustainable management of a wide range of marine industries, including those which are long established such as fishing and ports and those more recently emerging such as offshore wind and marine renewable energy.

It also includes sectoral plans for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy in Scottish waters and removes the options for offshore wind development in the Solway Firth.

“Our seas provide energy, food and recreation and many other crucial goods and services. This is why it is so important the marine environment itself is at the heart of the plan, ensuring it remains a prized asset for future generations,” said Mr Lochhead.

“This marks the beginning of a long term commitment to protect our seas for future generations and I would like to thank the wide range of marine interests who have been involved in the development of the plan. We now have an easy to use framework with planning information available online through National Marine Plan interactive,” he added.  

The framework covers all of Scotland’s seas out to 200 nautical miles and applies to existing and emerging activities as well as devolved and reserved functions. The plan will be reported on within three years of adoption.

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