On 10 March 2010, Scotland's Marine Bill received Royal Assent, making it the Marine (Scotland) Act.
This marks a major turning point in safeguarding the future of Scotland's seas and laying the foundations for a more simplified marine planning and licensing system.
The Marine (Scotland) Act provides a framework which will help balance competing demands on Scotland's seas. It introduces a duty to protect and enhance the marine environment and includes measures to help boost economic investment and growth in areas such as marine renewables.
The main measures include:
- Marine planning: a new statutory marine planning system to sustainably manage the increasing, and often conflicting, demands on our seas
- Marine licensing: a simpler licensing system, minimising the number of licences required for development in the marine environment to cut bureaucracy and encourage economic investment
- Marine conservation: improved marine nature and historic conservation with new powers to protect and manage areas of importance for marine wildlife, habitats and historic monuments
- Seal conservation: much improved protection for seals and a new comprehensive licence system to ensure appropriate management when necessary
- Enforcement: a range of enhanced powers of marine conservation and licensing
Introduced: 29 April 2009