Marine Scotland is a Directorate of the Scottish Government and is responsible for the integrated management of Scotland's seas.
Marine Scotland's purpose is to manage Scotland's seas for prosperity and environmental sustainability, working closely with its key delivery partners, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
Work towards achieving good environmental status, through our marine planning, licensing and other functions, to help ensure a healthy and sustainable environment.
Promote sustainable economic growth from marine renewables industry and other marine and maritime industries through integrated planning and, where appropriate, streamlined regulatory frameworks.
Promote sustainable, profitable and well managed fisheries and aquaculture industries in Scotland.
Ensure sustainably managed freshwater fish and fisheries resources.
Ensure a sound evidence base to inform the development and delivery of marine policy, planning and services.
Ensure effective compliance and enforcement arrangements.
Continue to integrate our functions and resources, and to develop our organisational skills, competencies and capacity to ensure effective and efficient marine management arrangements in Scotland
Marine Scotland has a vision for 'clean, healthy, safe, productive, biologically diverse marine and coastal environments, managed to meet the long-term needs of people and nature'.
Marine Scotland Science has the vision ‘To provide robust research and advice underpinning the management of Scotland’s marine and freshwater resource.
The purpose of Marine Scotland Science is to:
- provide expert scientific, economic and technical advice and services on marine and freshwater fisheries, aquaculture, and the aquatic environment and its flora and fauna
- provide the evidence to support the policies and regulatory activities of the Scottish Government through a programme of monitoring and research
- perform regulatory and enforcement activities
- represent the Scottish Government at national and international meetings
Marine Scotland Science is organised into four networks, which in turn have specific Science Programmes which cover:
- Environment, Monitoring and Assessment
- Renewables and Energy
- Planning and Environmental Advice
- Sea Fisheries
- Aquaculture and Fish Health
- Freshwater Fisheries
- Science Operations
- Marine Analytical Unit
These are supported by the Business Operations and Information Technology Programme.
The science programmes monitor the aquatic environment and the life it supports, often setting this within a socio-economic context through collaboration with our Marine Analytical Unit. Strategic research on topics related to Scottish seas, rivers and lochs and the fish and other wildlife that live there ensures we increase our understanding of marine and freshwater ecosystems. Our long-term time series (one dating back to 1893) are essential for understanding natural variation and, ultimately, human induced changes in our seas and rivers. Our science activities are enhanced by our engineering section which allows Marine Scotland Science to design and build specialist marine samplers and other equipment. Our net riggers allow us to test technical improvements to nets.