Marine environment


Marine Scotland is committed to a clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse marine and coastal environment that meets the long term needs of people and nature. This includes managing our seas sustainably to protect their rich biological diversity and to ensure that our marine ecosystems continue to provide economic, social and wider benefits for people, industry and society.

A Nature Conservation Strategy has been published outlining Marine Scotland's vision, aims and objectives for protecting marine biodiversity.
The strategy sets out our vision and framework for marine nature conservation based on a three pillar approach:

  • species conservation
  • site protection
  • wider seas policies and measures

Related links:

Ship-to-Ship Oil Transfer

The Scottish Government is not a formal consultation body for Ship-to-Ship Oil Transfer Licence applications under the Merchant Shipping (Ship-to-Ship Transfers) Regulations 2010. Therefore Scottish Government does not respond to consultations on ship-to-ship oil transfer licence applications, unless formally requested to do so by the Secretary of State for Transport.

We have published records of relevant correspondence between December 2015 to the end of 20th February 2018, that clarifies our position on this reserved matter.  Personal data has been redacted in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Key facts:

  • The Merchant Shipping (Ship-to-Ship Transfers) Regulations 2010 (as amended) set out the process for consideration of applications, including compliance with Article 6 of the Habitats Directive.

  • The determination of ship-to-ship oil transfer licence applications is a reserved matter. They are the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Transport.

  • The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended) do not apply to reserved matters.

  • The Scottish Government will continue to seek devolution of this important function, so that decisions are made by Scottish Ministers who have responsibility to protect the environment.

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