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Scotland National Marine Plan

The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 provide the framework for managing the marine environment in Scotland and the UK as a whole.

Under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, a National Marine Plan covering Scottish inshore waters (up to 12 nautical miles) was to be adopted and under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, a marine plan also had to be put in place for the offshore region (beyond 12 nautical miles).  Both plans, although developed under two separate pieces of legislation are combined in Scotland’s National Marine Plan, A Single Framework for Managing Our Seas.

The National Marine Plan has now been published and the Ministerial Forward summarises the aim; to provide a ‘comprehensive overarching framework for all marine activity’.  There are a number of objectives of the National Marine Plan but the vision is clear, ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and diverse seas; managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people.’ 

The National Marine Plan shall be implemented at local level through the establishment of Marine Planning Partnerships who will prepare Regional Marine Plans.  The knowledge that the partners of the Marine Planning Partnerships will have shall enable the plans to meet the specific needs of the local communities and environment.

There are a number of activities carried out in the marine sector which already require a licence or consent, for example construction, dredging works, the use of explosives, commercial fishing, aquaculture development and certain works carried out by ports and harbours.  Prior to such licences and consents being awarded, the National Marine Plan will need to be considered.

If you have any queries in relation to the adoption of the National Marine Plan generally or specific concerns as to the impact this may have on your business, please contact Kirstin Ejsmont or call 01224 632 464.

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