In the 2020-2021 Programme for Government the Scottish Government committed to the development of a Blue Economy Action Plan to launch a programme of collaborative projects across the public sector, Scotland's science base, marine industries and the marine environmental sector. We will set out clear actions to strengthen the resilience of our marine industries ranging from renewable energy to fisheries (and the marine science, research and innovation which underpin them) and to support coastal communities, recognising the vital importance to our marine economy of the abundant natural capital in Scotland's seas and rivers. This will include supporting the sustainable growth of aquaculture - which provides many jobs in the most remote locations and island communities - by improved regulatory processes, based on the application of available evidence and continued enhancements in the scientific base, to provide more benefit to the communities where aquaculture is based. Our Blue Economy Action Plan will harness and bolster Scotland's international profile as a successful, modern and innovative maritime nation.
Our approach will encompass work across the broad range of marine sectors, including seafood, tourism, energy, transport and science. We will work with stakeholders to strengthen the resilience of our fishing industry and local fishing communities through our Future Fisheries Management Strategy and our Inshore Modernisation Programme. This will include bringing forward firm plans to encourage greater landing of catch into Scottish ports.
The new scheme will therefore require all applicants to demonstrate how their projects would deliver against the Blue Economy Action Plan and therefore your investment will be required to deliver against one or more of the following outcomes (more information will be provided when the new scheme is launched) -
- Supporting collaboration, partnerships, knowledge and technical expertise which enable better decision-making, regulation, science and innovation
- Enhancing the marine environment, including its quality, reputation and its marine products
- Reductions in emissions or removal of waste.
- Fairer and greener supply chains
- Developing direct selling and new and existing markets which deliver sustainable economic benefits.
- Matching processing and supply chain capacity with landings and production capacity.
- Development and delivery of training including safety and sectoral training.
- Promoting fair work and opportunities for new entrants to the seafood and marine sectors
- Improving marine infrastructure.
- Diversification projects which enhance the marine tourism, marine energy, sea fisheries and/or aquaculture sectors or coastal communities.
- Improving resilience, including that of communities, supply chains and businesses.