Marine (Scotland) Act 2010

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Marine (Scotland) Act 2010
Long titleAn Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision in relation to functions and activities in the

Scottish marine area, including provision about marine plans, licensing of marine activities, the protection of the area and its wildlife including seals and regulation of sea fisheries; and for

connected purposes.
Territorial extentScotland
Royal assent10 March 2010
Status: Current legislation

On 10 March 2010, Scotland's Marine Bill received Royal Assent, making it the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010.

The Marine (Scotland) Act is an Act of the Scottish Parliament which 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
  • 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


Wildlife organisations, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, welcomed the new laws.

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