The Marine Act 2010 (Scotland)
It establishes a new system for the improved management and protection of marine environments.
This authority is established to manage marine areas in Scotland. It brings together the Scottish Government's Marine Directorate, Fisheries Research Services (FRS) and the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA). Marine Scotland will manage marine planning and compliance, and monitor and enforce laws.
The Act puts a planning system in place, which seeks to balance the competing demands for use of the seas whilst protecting the marine environment. Scottish Ministers will work with other UK administrators to clarify a plan for the future, in terms of creating a more efficient and sustainable use of marine resources, and conservation of the marine environment. Following this, a National Marine Plan and Regional Marine Plans are developed.
Marine Licensing System
Licences must be obtained for developments in and around the sea. This Act ensures that the decision-making process is simplified and more streamlined. A single licence will now cover all marine activities. This Act supersedes the existing Acts which provided the framework for the marine licensing in Scotland previously.
Marine Nature Conservation
Scottish Ministers are now able to designate three kinds of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Areas designated for the conservation of biodiversity and geodiversity are classed as Nature Conservation MPAS. Historic MPAs protect historical marine sites, whilst Research and Demonstration MPAs are used to consider new methods of conserving the environment.
It is illegal, under this legislation, to kill or take a seal without a licence to do so. The licensing system will be more comprehensive to ensure better seal protection.
Enforcement measures are strengthened under this law. These regulations ensure that those causing damage to the marine environment will have to take responsibility. Consequences range from statutory notices and monetary penalties through to prosecution.