The Marine (Scotland) Act in 2010 introduced a new era for the management of Scotland's seas and the resulting National Marine Plan sets the wider context for planning within Scotland, including what should be considered when creating local, regional marine plans.
Eleven Scottish Marine Regions have been created which cover sea areas extending out to 12 nautical miles. Regional Marine Plans will be developed in turn by Marine Planning Partnerships, allowing more local ownership and decision making about specific issues within their area.
It will take some time to set up Marine Planning Partnerships and develop marine plans for all 11 regions, and this will be an evolving process, taken forward in phases. The Clyde and Shetland Isles are the first regions to take forward regional marine planning and Orkney Islands will follow.