Regional marine planning will be undertaken by Marine Planning Partnerships, which will be made up of marine stakeholders who reflect marine interests in their region. The partnerships will vary in size and composition depending on the area, issues to be dealt with and the existing groups. Local Authorities, Inshore Fisheries Groups, Local Coastal Partnerships and their umbrella body, the Scottish Coastal Forum, will play a role in the development of regional plans.
Regional marine planning powers will be delegated to the Partnerships by Scottish Ministers. These powers will not include licensing or consenting as these will remain the responsibility of consenting bodies such as Marine Scotland and Local Authorities.
Marine Scotland will provide support to the Partnerships, for example by giving access to research and science, the provision and hosting of data through National Marine Plan interactive (NMPi), and guidance on policy development.
When their Regional Marine Plans are adopted, the role of the Partnerships will continue as they must oversee the implementation of their Plans, monitor their regions and the effects of their plans' policies, review objectives and policies and amend their Plans if required or requested by Scottish Ministers.
The first partnerships are in the Clyde and Shetland Isles regions: lessons learned from their experiences will be shared with other regions as they establish Partnerships. The Orkney Islands region is the next area identified to begin this process.