The Scottish Government is committed to a clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse marine and coastal environment that meets the long term needs of people and nature. In order to meet this commitment our seas must be managed in a sustainable manner that balances the competing demands on marine resources. Biological and geological diversity must be protected to ensure our future marine ecosystem is continues to provide sustainable economic, environmental and social benefits.
The introduction of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 means the Scottish Government now has the authority to introduce statutory marine planning for Scotland's seas. The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 provides powers to designate MPAs out to 12 nautical miles (NM), and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 provides powers to designate sites in the rest of Scottish waters. There are currently 31 MPAs in Scottish Waters designated under these provisions. Four additional search locations were still being assessed at the time of consultation and these are now ready for Ministerial consideration.
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