The Scottish Marine Regions Order establishes the boundaries of the 11 Scottish Marine Regions. Further legislation will be required for Scottish Ministers to delegate planning powers to the bodies which are to form or lead Marine Planning Partnerships.
Regional Marine Plans must meet the legal requirements of the Marine Scotland Act 2010. They will need to be consistent with the National Marine Plan and the UK-wide Marine Policy Statement. They will not affect reserved functions unless directed to do so under a consequential provisions Order. Where there is no regional plan in place, the National Marine Plan and Marine Policy Statement will apply in that area of sea.
The National Marine Plan sets out guidance for regional planners. The basic legislative requirements for regional plans include:
- Assessing the condition of the region
- Summarising the significant pressures and consequences of human activity
- Keeping under review the characteristics of the region: the purposes of its use, the communication energy and transport systems and the living resources it supports
- Setting economic, social, marine ecosystem and climate change objectives
- Stating the contribution of MPAs and other designated areas
- Stating policies for sustainable development of the region
- Developing a Statement of Public Participation and carrying out consultation