Marine litter is a threat to our precious marine environment that needs to be addressed to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy our environment and use our seas sustainably. I believe Scotland is well placed to rise to this challenge.
Our coast is a major environmental and economic asset and one which I am committed to protect. The Scottish marine litter strategy is a co-ordinated response to address the impacts of litter in Scotland's seas. It aims to reduce the levels of litter entering the sea, in co-operation with the national litter strategy - Towards a litter-free Scotland, and brings together measures for education and awareness raising; supporting economic growth; monitoring the scale of the problem; and influencing actions more widely at the UK, EU and international scale.
Central to this strategy is the need for a co-ordinated approach to tackle this problem together, through partnership working, to ensure that the amount of marine and coastal litter is minimised to bring ecological, economic and social benefits.
This strategy will deliver a framework for the control and management of marine and coastal litter, and our collaborations with other countries in the North East Atlantic, through the OSPAR Convention and our obligations under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to achieve Good Environmental Status in our marine waters by 2020.
I am committed to the successful implementation of this strategy, building on the national litter strategy, and working with partners to review progress and make amendments to the approach as required. Most importantly, it will also require everyone to share, and contribute to, the strategy's vision to ensure our seas can be enjoyed by all and used sustainably.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment