A rescue package for Scotland’s seas is desperately needed and only a whole package (see overleaf) underpinned by framework legislation, a Marine (Scotland) Act, will deliver healthy seas and safeguard the resources and communities that depend upon them.
Current management of the coasts and seas around Scotland is fragmented, outdated and unable to take account of local communities’ relationship with the sea. Several parts of Government deal with marine issues, yet there is no lead body and no overarching marine strategy to streamline their work. The system is failing people and our environment. It is time to deliver truly sustainable management of our seas. Scotland’s seas support 8,000 higher marine species and a myriad of habitats that underpin important economic and social activities: from recreational – diving, sailing, tourism and angling – to industrial – energy generation, oil extraction, shipping, aquaculture and fisheries. However, growing human pressures threaten the health of the sea, precious marine life and the livelihoods of those dependent upon it