The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

            A charity registered in Scotland - RegNo:: SC039015

03
Apr

Scottish Government seeks to rule the seas

The right solution for Scotland’s sea and coastal communities is the devolution of more marine powers, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead reiterated today.

Speaking ahead of the publication of the UK Marine Bill consultation Mr Lochhead called for Ministerial-level discussions on who rules Scotland’s seas.

The Scottish Parliament has already backed demands by the Scottish Government, the fishing industry and conservationists that control of the marine environment 12 to 200 nautical miles off-shore be devolved to Scotland.

Mr Lochhead said: “Anyone who cares about our precious marine environment will be delighted that Governments north and south of the border are preparing improved management of our seas, however, we are profoundly disappointed that the UK Government has not used the opportunity to accept the case for any new powers relating to devolved matters and offshore marine conservation measures to be the part of the Scottish Marine Bill rather than the UK’s. “

“We currently have a cluttered and complex marine management system in Scotland with far too many pieces of legislation regulating Scotland’s waters. “

“The Scottish Parliament has overwhelmingly united behind Scotland having more responsibilities over the marine environment. Reclaiming control over Scotland’s seas will help safeguard their future and the future of the coastal communities who depend on them.”

“I have always made it clear that the Scottish Government believes there should be further devolution of powers over the marine environment between 12 and 200 nautical miles from Scotland’s shore. “

“The UK Marine Bill must take account the distinctive marine environment of the seas around Scotland. It must not presume that issues such as nature conservation and planning beyond 12 nautical miles be reserved to Westminster. This would be arbitrary and artificial and would diminish the extent to which Scottish Ministers can safeguard the future of Scotland’s seas.”

“Let me be clear that our desire is to work with the UK Government to achieve coherent marine policies across the EU and beyond. However I must also do what is right for Scotland. “

“It is now up to the UK Government to reflect the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland and sit down with us to work out the way forward.”

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