The introduction of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 means better management of the competing demands on marine resources is key.
The creation of a National Marine Plan will ensure increasing demands for the use of our marine environment are managed, economic development of marine industries is encouraged and environmental protection is incorporated into marine decision making. It will also have a role to play in managing adaptation to climate change.
Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 (SMA2020) portal reports on our vision for the seas: ‘Clean, healthy, safe, productive, biologically diverse marine and coastal environments, managed to meet the long-term needs of nature and people’.
- At a national level, by creating Scotland's first National Marine Plan
- At a regional level, by creating Scottish Marine Regions
- Through management of the Scottish Crown Estate
We have also:
- formed the Seaweed Review Steering Group to help ensure existing seaweed harvesting activity and future proposals are sustainable
- developed the National Marine Plan interactive (NMPi) tool to help the development of national and regional marine planning
- created the Stakeholder Advisory Group on the Crown Estate (SAGCE) in 2015, and consulted on the first ever Strategic Management Plan for the Scottish Crown Estate in 2019
- awarded funds to coastal authorities through the Coastal Communites Fund
- created the Marine Strategy Forum (MSF) in July 2009 to provide advice on Marine Scotland's key strategies and priorities.
Bills and legislation
- Marine (Scotland) Act provides a framework which will help balance competing demands on Scotland's seas.
- UK Marine and Coastal Access Act
- Water Framework Directive was introduced in 2000 to establish systems to manage the water environment, and was transposed into Scots Law in 2003. The WFD applies to all water in the natural environment - rivers, lochs, estuaries, coastal and underground water.
- Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 introduces a more sustainable and modern approach to flood risk management, suited to the needs of the 21st century and to the impact of climate change.
- Coast Protection Act 1949
- Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007
- Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003
- Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (EU Birds Directive) Marine Scotland leads on the implementation of the EU Birds Directive in Scottish territorial waters and the Scottish offshore region. This includes designation and management of SPAs, establishing and operating a system of strict protection for particular species that are listed in the Directive, and responsibility for surveillance and monitoring of the species and habitats protected by the Directive.
- Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (EU Habitats Directive) Marine Scotland leads on the implementation of the EU Habitats Directive in Scottish territorial waters and the Scottish offshore region. This includes designation and management of SACs, establishing and operating a system of strict protection for particular species that are listed in the Directive, and responsibility for surveillance and monitoring of the species and habitats protected by the Directive.
- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
- Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 in combination with the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 implements the EU Birds and Habitats Directives in the inshore area.
- Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 contains legal provisions to implement national-level policies on nature conservation including equivalent protection for some other species of national importance and a biodiversity duty on all public bodies inside territorial waters, which is implemented in Scottish territorial waters by the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.
- Offshore Marine Conservation Regulations (2007) implements the EU Birds and Habitats Directives in the UK offshore area
- Conservation of Seals Act 1970
- Conservation of Seals (Scotland) Order 2004
- Conservation of Seals (Scotland) Order 2007
- The Scottish Marine Regions Order 2015
View our main contacts page.