Almost all of Scotland's seabed, most of Scotland's foreshore and some other public assets have historically been managed by a body that is not accountable to the Scottish Parliament, with revenues flowing out of Scotland to Westminster.
The Scottish Government has continued to believe that there is a better way to manage Scotland's natural assets in the public interest, a modern approach that brings decision-making closer to the people and would be of benefit to the nation, especially to the many remote and island communities in Scotland whose livelihood and future depends on the sea.
The Scotland Act 2016 introduced a new era for the management of Crown Estate land, marine and other natural resources in Scotland. One of the key elements of the Act provides for the devolution of the management and income of The Crown Estate in Scotland and provides a framework to establish optimal management of Scotland's assets.
I believe this presents a genuine opportunity to deliver added benefit to Scotland and local communities. We must not let the opportunity pass Scotland by and it is imperative that, as we progress along this journey, we continue to work closely with local communities and channel the benefits back to the people of Scotland.
Building on engagement through The Crown Estate Stakeholder Advisory Group, we have advocated a phased approach to the new management arrangements which will begin when the Scottish functions, and associated rights and liabilities, will be transferred and a new interim body is established.
Our focus is to ensure that this interim body provides stability and continuity of service to those that rely on Crown Estate leases or services as the responsibilities are devolved to Scotland and during the time needed for establishing the long term framework.
This consultation is about creating Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) to manage Crown Estate assets in Scotland on an interim basis. I hope you are able to contribute your views on these proposals and I invite you to let us know what you think.
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform