Draft Scottish Marine Litter Strategy Consultation

Marine litter impacts on Scotland’s society, economy and marine environment. The draft strategy we consult on will aim to address the levels of marine litter present in our marine and coastal environment.

Ministerial Foreword

Richard Lochhead Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment photograph

The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 marked a new era of improved stewardship of our seas - in promoting sustainable use of our valuable and unique environment through marine planning, simplified marine licensing to encourage economic growth and new conservation powers to help protect important marine features.

Marine litter is recognised throughout the world as a pressure on our precious marine environment. Scotland shares the problems of marine litter, with our long coastline and large sea area. It causes harm and stress on our marine ecosystem and impacts on fish, sea birds and marine mammals alike.

Good environmental status is affected by marine litter problems. We have agreed to tackle marine litter under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, a collaborative effort between EU countries. The Scottish Government also wants to look at more specific initiatives that complement our work to reduce litter on land, which is put forward in our National Litter Strategy consultation.

The Scottish Government is committed to tackling the problem of marine and coastal litter. This Marine Litter Strategy will deliver a framework for the control and management of marine litter in Scotland's seas, and our collaborations with other countries in the North East Atlantic through the OSPAR Convention and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Our Scottish Strategy aspires to lead the way in developing current and future measures to ensure that the amount of litter entering the marine environment is minimised to bring ecological, economic and social benefits. Everyone in Scotland can help deliver change in tackling marine litter. We would also welcome your views to help us finalise the strategy and determine what new actions are needed to tackle this problem. We look forward to your continued participation in helping to shape action to address the impacts of litter in Scotland's seas.

Richard Lochhead Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment signature

Richard Lochhead
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment


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