Towards the end of summer 2007 the Scottish Government asked Fisheries Research Services ( FRS), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH) to collaborate on assessing the state of Scotland's seas. This report includes contextual information and an initial data inventory and aims to inform the development of the Scottish Marine Bill in 2008. The title Scotland's Seas: Towards Understanding their State, reflects this content and purpose. Development of a fuller State of Scotland's Seas is underway with the intention of publishing this in 2010.
Such a report has not been published before. The first integrated assessment of the state of UK seas was undertaken in 2002 and the Scottish marine community contributed to that report. The Scottish marine environment and the diverse array of animals and plants that it supports is an invaluable national and international resource. It has provided a wide range of goods and services for centuries and contributed in countless ways to our national identity and 'place' in the world. With marine policy in Scotland, the UK and Europe developing apace, this Scottish report is timely and may hopefully serve as an inspiration to others.
The Scottish Government asked that contributions be invited from the wider marine scientific and academic community. We are delighted to say that the response to our invitation was very positive from organisations based in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.
This initial review is offered to the Cabinet Secretary as a collaboration from his Government advisers and the wider community, all of whose work is valued and acknowledged. We will continue to work together to produce a comprehensive State of Scotland's Seas report in 2010.
Chief Executive, Fisheries Research Services ( FRS)
Chief Executive, Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA)
Chief Executive, Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH)
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