Marine Fund Scotland 2023 to 2024: guidance

General guidance notes for applications to the Marine Fund Scotland 2023 to 2024.

What is Scotland's Blue Economy Vision?

Scotland's Blue Economy Vision is that, by 2045, Scotland's shared stewardship of our marine environment supports ecosystem health, improved livelihoods, economic prosperity, social inclusion and wellbeing.

  • "The Blue Economy" means sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of the marine and coastal ecosystem.
  • "Sustainable use of ocean resources" means that we use our ocean resources to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to use the resources to meet their needs. This means preserving and protecting the marine environment for future generations.

This Vision was set out in Scotland's Blue Economy Vision document which was published on 31 March 2022. This document states that our seas, coasts, and interlinked freshwater environments, and the resources within them, are very important for Scotland's economy and national well-being. It recognises that this must be a two-way relationship where we have to take care of the natural environment and its resources.

The Blue Economy Vision document also states that Scotland's marine space and marine sectors are national assets that play an important part in meeting our ambitions as a society. These include our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by the year 2045, and our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and EU Exit.

  • "Net zero" means reaching net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases as far as possible and enhancing uptake and storage of them, so that the gas emission and uptake/storage are balanced.

The importance of Scotland's marine sectors is also reflected in Scotland's National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), which was published on 1 March 2022. The NSET identifies sustainable marine management as an area of strong potential for future growth. However, it says that protecting and rebuilding Scotland's natural capital is key to the long-term productivity of the many sectors of our economy which rely on the resources and services nature provides, like the marine sectors.

  • "Natural capital" is a way of thinking about nature (natural assets including geology, soil, air, water and plants and animals) as a stock that provides a flow of benefits to people and the economy. The flow of benefits and the capacity of nature to deliver those benefits both need to be maintained, including through investment in the maintenance and enhancement of the natural assets (see Box 1 on page 15 of Scotland's Blue Economy Visiondocument for more information).

Why is the Blue Economy Vision relevant to the Marine Fund Scotland?

The Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24 is one of the ways that the Scottish Government will support Scotland's marine sectors to help Scotland achieve the Blue Economy Vision. Most of the outcomes that the Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24 aims to support are based on the outcomes in the Blue Economy Vision document.

The questions in the application process for the Marine Fund Scotland are designed to help us understand how your project will deliver against these Blue Economy outcomes.

The Marine Fund Scotland 2023-24 has also been designed to help support approaches in Scotland's Future Fisheries Management strategy and Scotland's Strategy for Seafood.



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