MARINE SCOTLAND TO MANAGE SUSTAINABLE SEAS FOR ALL Published: 09 February, 2009
A new marine management body is being created to help Scotland make the most of its seas for future generations.
Marine Scotland, which will be up and running by April 1, will play a key role in managing Scotland’s seas, with direct responsibility for marine science, planning, policy development, management and compliance monitoring measures.
It will work with other partners with marine interests to deliver economic prosperity including in developing areas such as marine renewables – and environmental sustainability.
Marine Scotland offers better protection to Scotland’s marine environment and will help streamline existing support services. It will deliver a simplified management and regulating system for all marine activities in Scotland.
The current functions of Fisheries Research Services (FRS), the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) and the Scottish Government’s Marine Directorate will be brought together in the new organisation, which will work with others to ensure sustainable economic growth from our marine and coastal environments.
It will build on the success of these organisations to deliver a strategic approach to managing Scotland’s seas. A Marine Strategy Board, led by Marine Scotland and involving key partners with marine management interests, will be established to deliver a coherent and focused approach. Marine Scotland will become a Scottish Government Directorate.
Scottish cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment Richard Lochhead said: ‘We have been clear from day one that our underlying key purpose is that of sustainable economic growth.
‘The creation of Marine Scotland will help deliver this vision, managing Scotland’s seas for prosperity and environmental sustainability. Marine Scotland will be the champion for our marine environment.
‘We have a unique coastal and marine environment which provides an important natural resource upon which so many communities depend. Our waters are vital to the Scottish economy and support many thousands of jobs, most notably through the oil and gas industry, aquaculture and fishing.
‘Coastal tourism and internationally significant species attract wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. Marine Scotland will combine and co-ordinate the efforts of existing bodies, to ensure we manage Scotland’s seas sustainably and benefit from the rich assets and resources they represent.
‘The Scottish government will shortly bring forward a Marine Bill that will provide a sustainable future for our waters, and build on existing arrangements to provide the foundations for Marine Scotland’s work.’