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National Marine and Coastal Updates

Consultation on the Implementation in Scotland of Directive 2006/118/EC on the protection of groundwater

The 2006 Groundwater Directive underpins the requirements of the Water Framework Directive concerning the protection of groundwater from hazardous substances and other pollutants. The main requirements are to set threshold values for good chemical status in groundwater; establish the criteria for identifing significant and sustained upward trends in concentrations of pollutants and the starting point for trend reveral; and determine the measures to prevent or limit inputs of specific pollutants into groundwater. Starting: Friday, February 20, 2009Deadline: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SSACN - Give Fish A Chance 2 ........It’s not what you take out - it’s what you put back.

Deciding whether a fish is a suitable size to take for the table is a cause for concern for many conservation minded anglers. Some use their federations’s / association’s or club’s competition size limits, others the government’s minimum landing size (MLS). Unfortunately none of these reflect the maturity of a fish and it’s ability to reproduce.

SSACN’s GFAC sizes are a voluntary measure for anglers wishing to do their bit to help ensure the future of a species - by adopting these, anglers can be reasonably certain a fish has had at least one chance to breed.

For all the guidelines please use the following links.

GFAC sizes
C & R Guidelines

GBP40 Million "Madness" of Dumped Fish

Fishermen in Scotland are being forced to throw away up to GBP40 million worth of fish every year. Now, the Scottish Government is leading action to find ways of radically reducing the amount of fish dumped by trawlermen.

European Fisheries Fund Opens for Business

Cash to support investment in sustainable fisheries is now available through the GBP43 million European Fisheries Fund, including ??19 million to help the fishing industry adapt to higher fuel prices. Please click here to apply to the fund.

Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFGs) Piloted

Fishermen across Scotland are to play a more central role in the local management of inshore fisheries, helping to ensure a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable future for themselves and the communities they support.

Latest Sea Fisheries Stats Published

The value of fish catches landed by Scottish vessels increased by one percent in real terms in 2007, according to the latest published statistics.


The outline of a three-year plan to help deliver a sustainable and profitable Scottish fishing industry that has adapted to high fuel costs has been published.

The Scottish Government has announced that, as a first step, resources totalling almost GBP29 million will be made available to implement the three-year plan. This includes focusing GBP26 million from the European Fisheries Fund on measures to help the fishing industry adapt to rising fuel prices.


Scottish fisheries are to receive over GBP200,000 of new funding to help them achieve independent sustainability certification.

First Minister Alex Salmond was at Peterhead Harbour to celebrate the successful certification of Scottish North Sea herring by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

The MSC certification scheme is a voluntary fisheries eco-label which recognises responsible and sustainable working practices to conserve stocks.


There are just two weeks left to have your say on a major review of the management of one of Scotland's national assets - its fish quota.

The new proposals give the Scottish Government greater control of fish quota while putting fishermen at the heart of management and strengthening coastal communities for generations to come.


Scottish Aquaculture - A Fresh Start: A Consultation on a Renewed Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture

A Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture (SFSA) is being renewed in 2008. A pre-consultation exercise involving a wide range of stakeholders has been completed and has informed the development of a draft framework document. The draft framework document will be subject to public consultation in summer 2008 with a renewed SFSA expected to be in place by December 2008.The renewed framework will be the main policy vehicle to deliver a sustainable, profitable, competitive and diverse aquaculture industry in Scotland - finfish and shellfish. It will be guided by economic, social and environmental principles and be managed and driven forward by a refocused Ministerial Working Group on Aquaculture (MWGA).Starting: Wednesday, August 13, 2008Deadline: Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Marine Bill for Scotland

Scotland's marine area is of great environmental, social and economic value both nationally and internationally. The Scottish Government is committed to the sustainable use and protection of this important marine resource and will soon be consulting on a set of proposals for a Marine Bill for Scotland.Starting: Tuesday, July 15, 2008Deadline: Monday, October 06, 2008.

To see website set up for the Scottish Government's proposals for a Scottish Marine Bill please click here

Members of the public are encouraged to make their own submission to the exercise. The Scottish Coastal Forum will attempt to distil members' views into a joint response but you should take the opportunity of considering how the 57 questions posed relate to your own interests. As part of the consultation exercise, the Scottish Coastal Forum will be holding a briefing event at the SCF Plenary which will take place at Discovery Point, Dundee at 10.30am Friday 5 September with Richard Lochhead as the keynote speaker.

EGCP will also be holding an event to allow local coastal and marine stakeholders the opportunity to consider the proposals with and there effects on the local area. Details and dates are being finalised at the moment but dates will be on this site soon. Scottish Government personnel will be supporting these events so take advantage of the opportunity to speak to them on issues of particular interest to your own organisations.

Scottish Aquaculture Going Forward

A Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture (SFSA) is being renewed in 2008. A pre-consultation exercise involving a wide range of stakeholders has been completed and has informed the development of a draft framework document. The draft framework document will be subject to public consultation in summer 2008 with a renewed SFSA expected to be in place by December 2008.The renewed framework will be the main policy vehicle to deliver a sustainable, profitable, competitive and diverse aquaculture industry in Scotland - finfish and shellfish. It will be guided by economic, social and environmental principles and be managed and driven forward by a refocused Ministerial Working Group on Aquaculture (MWGA) which includes representatives of the finfish and shellfish industry and their main stakeholders.Starting: Saturday, July 19, 2008Deadline: Friday, October 10, 2008

Consultation on Proposed Marine Extensions to Existing Seabird Special Protection Areas (SPAs)

The Scottish Government has asked Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to undertake a consultation on its behalf on proposals to extend 31 existing SPAs into the marine environment.  This was announced on 18 April 2008 by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP, in recognition of the outstanding importance of Scotland’s seabirds and the need to ensure that they are given protection in the marine environment.

These existing SPAs are all seabird colonies which currently have their nesting areas classified (designated) and protected.  The proposal is to extend the boundary of these sites so that the birds’ key ecological requirements in the marine environment are more fully represented in each site.  This is an important element of Scotland’s implementation of the EU Birds Directive (79/409/EEC).

The details of the proposals, and how to participate in the consultation, are available on the SNH website

Adapting our Ways: Managing Scotland's Climate Risk

The Scottish Government recognises that climate change is one of the most serious threats facing us and future generations and is determined that Scotland will play its part in rising to this global challenge. Scotland is already feeling the effects of a changing climate. We are seeking effective options to help reduce our vulnerability to the unavoidable consequences of climate change, safeguarding communities, minimising disruption to services and infrastructure, and helping business take advantage of new opportunities that these changes may bring.

Over summer (2008) we will begin consultation on Scotland's Climate Change Adaptation Framework. The Framework will identify strategic principles and priority actions as a means of providing leadership, guidance and consistency of approach to government and non-government decision-makers. It will also seek to identify roles and responsibilities for public and private decision makers in Scotland.Starting: Tuesday, June 24, 2008Deadline: Friday, October 31, 2008.

See for more information.

Economic assessment of recreational sea angling in Scotland-A key activity to help shape the future for Scotland's sea anglers - 13th June 2008

For years The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network ( SSACN - ) have fought to get the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Marine Directorate to take action to secure the future of recreational sea angling and increase fishing tourism opportunities for coastal communities.

One stumbling block has always been that is little data regarding how much recreational sea angling is worth.

Now a team of economists from Glasgow Caledonian University, funded by the Executive, are working to produce an economic assessment of recreational sea angling in Scotland which will help to ensure that policy makers understand Scottish sea angling’s true significance and how best to realise its future potential.

Ian Burrett, SSACN's Vice Chairman was keen to point out " This is probably the most important event to affect RSA in Scotland so far. To help gather the necessary data there is an on-line questionnaire at - the whole process takes less than five minutes and may be undertaken by anyone who has been sea angling in Scotland."

Ian Burrett concluded " Around 20 years ago, Scotland was a renowned European sea angling destination of choice. Once the process is completed we shall be very interested to hear what the Executive and Directorate have to say and what initiatives they will introduce to help make it so once again. "

Sustainable Sea's Task Force for Scotland

A new task force has been set up to consider proposals for legislation to protect Scotland's marine and coastal environment.

The body will reflect a broad spectrum of opinion and will represent the main users of Scotland's seas.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead said the aim of the new marine legislation is to ensure the sustainable management of Scotland's seas and coasts. It will also balance the competing interests for use and protection of the seas. Following the work of the task force the Scottish Government will undertake a full consultation on a Scottish Marine Bill.

For more information please click here

Scotland's Seas: Towards Understanding their State

In summer 2007, the Scottish Government asked Fisheries Research Services (FRS), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to start work on assessing the state of Scotland's seas. Knowledge about Scotland's marine environment is important as a baseline as the Sustainable Seas Task Force (SSTF) develops its work and a consultation paper is prepared for the Scottish Marine Bill. "" was launched at the SSTF plenary meeting on April 9 2008. It paves the way for a full "State of Scotland's Seas" to be published in 2010. For more infomration and to see a copy of the report please click here

Marine Bill

Scotland's Seas: Towards Understanding their State is the starting point for understanding the state of the marine environment in Scotland and will help to assess and monitor the success of the new legislative framework brought about by the Marine Bill.

The Marine Bill for Scotland will be a historic opportunity for people and organisations with an interest in marine issues to come together to help shape the future management of Scotland's marine environment. The Scottish Government is keen to get views from across all communities and sectors and would encourage people and organisations to come forward and voice their opinions.

Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative (SSMEI)

The Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative (SSMEI) is a unique approach to developing a marine planning framework for Scotland for the sustainable development of our marine resources through a number of pilot projects.

The SSMEI comprises 3 phases:

* Phase I - Management framework options design and pilot project scoping;
* Phase II - Management framework creation and the inauguration of pilot projects; and
* Phase III - Pilot project implementation.

The SSMEI is designed to build upon and complement existing UK marine initiatives. The project aims to gain an understanding of the nature, value, and management needs of Scotland 's marine environment and to identify alternative management approaches, with a view to ensuring new management initiatives and possible future legislation result in a truly sustainable framework.

The initiative has entered its third and final phase, with four pilots now established in Berwickshire, Clyde, Shetland and the Sound of Mull.

A Marine Strategy to save Europe's seas and oceans

European Parliament and Council have agreed on the final text of the Directive.
A consolidated text is now available.

The European Commission proposed in 2005 an ambitious strategy to protect the marine environment across Europe, which included the legislative proposal now agreed.

The Thematic Strategy on the Protection and Conservation of the Marine Environment aims to achieve good environmental status of the EU's marine waters by 2021 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend. The Marine Strategy will constitute the environmental pillar of the future maritime policy the European Commission is working on, designed to achieve the full economic potential of oceans and seas in harmony with the marine environment.

The Marine Strategy Directive will establish European Marine Regions on the basis of geographical and environmental criteria. Each Member State will be required to develop Marine Strategies for its marine waters.

The Marine Strategies will contain an assessment of the state of the environment, a definition of "good environmental status" at regional level and the establishment of clear environmental targets and monitoring programmes.

Where it would be impossible for a Member State to achieve the level of ambition of the environmental targets set, special areas and situations will be identified in order to devise specific measures tailored to their particular contexts.

The Marine Strategy Directive is consistent with the water framework directive from 2000 which requires that surface freshwater and ground water bodies (lakes, streams, rivers, estuaries, coastal waters) achieve a good ecological status by 2015 and that the first review of the River Basin Management Plan should take place in 2021.