Scotland's National Marine Plan

This Plan covers the management of both Scottish inshore waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and offshore

waters (12 to 200 nautical miles). It also applies to the exercise of both reserved and

devolved functions.


Appropriate Assessment - The assessment that is required by Habitat Regulations (Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 to determine the potential effect of a project or plan on a Special Protected Area or Special Area of Conservation with respect to their qualifying interests.

BAT - Best Available Technology.

Benthic - A description for animals, plants and habitats associated with seabed. All plants and animals that live in, on or near the seabed are referred to as benthos.

Best Environmental Practice ( BEP) - The most appropriate combination of environmental control measures and strategies.

Biodiversity - The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they form part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Biomass - Biomass is the biological material derived from a living organism. Fish stock biomass refers to the total estimated weight of a stock or species of fish (in ICES advice this is often called Total Stock Biomass or TSB).

BOE - Barrel of oil equivalent - Term used to summarise the amount of energy that is equivalent to the amount of energy found in a barrel of crude oil.

Bycatch - The catch of non-target species and undersized fish of the target species. Bycatch of commercial species may be retained along with non-commercial catch.

Carrying Capacity - The potential maximum production a species or population can maintain in relation to available food resources, or other environmental limit, within an area.

CCS - Carbon Capture and Storage.

Closed Area - An area within which fishing by one or more methods of fishing, or fishing for one or more species of fish, is prohibited. Such areas may be permanently closed or be subject to closures over time.

CO 2 - Carbon Dioxide.

Common Fisheries Policy - The Common Fisheries Policy establishes an EU system for the conservation of fisheries resources and the management of fisheries targeting them as well as market and financial measures in support of those objectives. In addition, it also covers fresh water and biological resources, aquaculture activities as well as the processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products.

Continental Shelf - The area of seabed extending from the shoreline to a depth of about 200 metres or where the slope increases sharply to abyssal depths. In the UK it is defined by the Continental Shelf Act 1964 and generally extends from the edge of the territorial sea to 200 nautical miles from the prescribed baseline in most cases.

Cumulative Impacts - changes to the environment that are caused by an action in combination with other past, present and future human actions.

DECC - Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Demersal - Demersal fish live on or near the seabed and feed on bottom-living organisms and other fish. Although fisheries may be directed towards particular species or species groups, demersal fish are often caught together and comprise a mixed demersal fishery.

Devolved Administration - The Scottish Government, and Welsh Assembly Government, and Northern Ireland Executive.

Discards - Are those components of a fish stock thrown back after capture because they are below the minimum landing size or because quotas have been exhausted for that species.

Dredging - The removal of material from the sea bed, for a variety of purposes, including the clearing of channels for navigation, or the extraction of minerals.

EU Birds Directive - EU Directive 79/409/ EEC on the Conservation of Wild Birds, as amended.

EU Habitats Directive - EU Directive 92/43/ EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna, as amended.

EU Water Framework Directive ( WFD) - EU Directive 2000/60/ establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy

EU Marine Strategy Framework ( MSFD) - EU Directive 2008/56/ EC on establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy, known as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Ecosystem - A dynamic interlinked complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as an ecological unit. An ecosystem can range in size, e.g from the size of an intertidal pool to the size of the Earth's oceans.

Ecosystem approach - An ecosystem-based approach to the management of human activities means an approach which ensures the collective pressure of human activities is kept within the levels compatible with the achievement of good environmental status; that does not compromise the capacity of marine ecosystems to respond to human induced changes; and that enables the sustainable use of marine goods and services.

Ecosystem functioning - How plants, animals, micro-organisms and the non-living environment that make up the ecosystem work together.

Ecosystem services - Ecosystem services are processes by which the environment produces resources utilised by humans, such as clean air, water, food and materials.

EMEC - European Marine Energy Centre.

Enhanced Oil Recovery - The process of obtaining stranded oil not recovered from an oil reservoir through certain extraction processes.

Eutrophication - The enrichment of water by nutrients, especially compounds of nitrogen and phosphorus, causing an accelerated growth of algae and higher forms of plant life. This in turn can produce an undesirable disturbance to the balance of organisms and the quality of the water concerned.

FLOWW - Fishing Liaison with Offshore Wind and Wet Renewables Group.

GES - Good Environmental Status, defined in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as the environmental status of marine waters where these provide ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive.

GES descriptors: Descriptors set by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive which describe what the environment will look like when Good Environmental Status has been achieved.

GIS - Geographical Information System.

GVA - Gross Value Added, a measure of the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the UK.

GW - Gigawatt.

Harmful Algal Blooms - Concentrations of phytoplankton producing toxins which can affect human health, oxygen levels in water and which can kill or harm fish and other vertebrate and invertebrates.

HLMO - High Level Marine Objectives.

HMNB - Her Majesty's Naval Base.

HVAC - High Voltage Alternating Current.

HVDC - High Voltage Direct Current.

ICES - International Council for the Exploration of the Seas is the oldest intergovernmental organisation in the world concerned with marine and fisheries science.

IMO - International Maritime Organisation.

Inshore waters - Term used generally to describe all waters within 12 nautical miles of the coast.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management - Brings together all those involved in the development, management and use of the coast within a framework that facilitates the integration of their interests and responsibilities.

Internal waters - Internal waters are UK marine waters on the landward side of baseline from which the extent of the territorial sea is measured.

Invasive non-native species - Invasive non-native animals or plants are those that have the ability to spread causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live. A non-native species is a species, subspecies or lower taxon, introduced ( i.e. by human action) outside its natural past or present distribution.

JNCC - Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

KIS-ORCA - Kingfisher Information Service-Offshore Renewables Cable Awareness.

kWh - Kilowatt hour.

Marine Protected areas ( MPA) - Marine Protected Area is the term used for sites designated in accordance with the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 for the purposes of protecting biodiversity, geodiversity and historical assets. It may also be used in the generic sense as 'marine protected areas' to refer to any designated area that contributes to the MPA network in Scotland's seas.

Marine spatial planning - A process to consider multiple users of the sea to minimise conflicts and to ensure that marine ecosystems are adequately protected.

MOD - Ministry of Defence.

MSY - Maximum Sustainable Yield: The highest theoretical yield that can be continuously taken from a stock under existing environmental conditions without significantly affecting recruitment.

Multi-trophic - In Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture ( IMTA) systems, species which are fed or farmed (for example Atlantic salmon) are grown alongside species whose culture results in nutrient (or energy) extraction (for example sea urchins, mussels or seaweeds). The aims are for greater efficiency in resource use such as feedstuffs, space, and labour, with a consequent reduction in negative environmental impacts.

Natura Sites - EU wide network of nature conservation sites (Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas) established under EC Directive 92/43/ EEC on the Conservation of Natural habitats and of Wild Flora and fauna and EC Directive 79/409/ EEC on the Conservation of Birds.

Nautical Miles - The unit of length used in marine navigation. One nautical mile is slightly longer than a statute mile, equal to 1.15 statute miles and 1.85 kilometres.

Non-native species - A species that does not originate in local waters and which has been introduced from other parts of the world by humans, either deliberately or accidentally.

NPF3 - National Planning Framework 3.

N-RIP - National Renewables Infrastructure Plan.

OSPAR - The Commission which manages work under the OSPAR Convention (Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic).

PFOW - Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters.

Priority Marine Features ( PMF) - Species and habitats which have been identified as being of conservation importance to Scotland. Most are a subset of species and habitats identified on national, UK or international lists.

RCAHMS - Royal Commission of the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Recruitment - New, young fish which enter the stock and the fishery. Often very highly variable in number, not always related to the size of the parent stock.

River basin - Area of land from which all surface water flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, freshwater lochs into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta.

SAC - Special Areas of Conservation ( SAC) under the EC Directive 92/43/ EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna.

Scotland's Seas - Term used in this document to describe the area covered by Scottish territorial waters and the Scottish offshore region. See also references to territorial waters and Scottish offshore region.

Offshore Waters - Term used generally to refer to waters more than 12 nautical miles from baselines ( i.e. the area stretching from 12 nautical miles out to limits of UK jurisdiction). In relation to marine renewable energy, it does not necessarily mean outside 12 nautical miles; it can refer to activity in the marine environment often within 3 nautical miles.

Scottish offshore waters - Term used generally to refer to waters off Scotland more than 12 nautical miles from baselines ( i.e. the area stretching from 12 nautical miles out to limits of UK jurisdiction, i.e. 200 nautical miles).

Scottish territorial waters - Defined under the Territorial Sea Act 1987 as the waters stretching from baseline out to a maximum of 12 nautical miles, or the median line between adjacent countries.

SEPA - Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest ( SSSI) - Sites notified by Scottish Natural Heritage under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 in recognition of the special interest of their natural features.

SMP - Sectoral Marine Plan.

SPAs - Special Protection Areas under EC Directive 79/409/ EEC on the Conservation of Birds.

Sport development - Encouraging participation and development in sport with a focus on schools and clubs participation and development by way of training, coaching, leadership and qualification through competition and events.

Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA) - An assessment of the environmental impacts of any plan, programme or strategy of any public body in Scotland as required by the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 which transposes the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (Directive 2001/42/ EC on the assessment of the effect of certain plans and programme on the environment).

Sustainable development - Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable economic growth - Building a dynamic and growing economy that will provide prosperity and opportunities for all, while ensuring that future generations can enjoy a better quality of life too.

Terrestrial Planning - The term 'terrestrial planning' is used throughout this Plan to refer to all elements of the land use planning system and therefore encompasses the National Planning Framework, local development plans, land use plans, and is synonymous with terms such as 'town planning', 'town and country planning', 'land use planning' and 'urban and regional planning'.

TWh - Terawatt hour.

UNCLOS - United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea.

Water Framework Directive ( WFD) - Directive 2000/60/ EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.


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