Scotland has over 60% of the UK’s fishing waters and an abundance of marine resources – we will treat these as a national asset to be protected, nurtured, developed and enhanced for the benefit of this and future generations.
We understand the need to take decisive action to conserve our precious and valuable marine environment and biodiversity. Failure to protect coastal areas would result in permanent damage to habitats and the fish stocks they support.
In government we have exceeded the proposed international target to achieve 30% of global Marine Protected Areas (MPA) coverage by 2030. The recent addition of 16 new sites to our MPA network demonstrates Scotland’s commitment to lead by example on marine environmental protection, with 37% of our seas now protected.
These measures will help conserve Scotland’s vital marine environment and protect important seabed features for future generations.
We will develop a maritime strategy and set up a dedicated agency to put our marine assets at the heart of the blue economy, doubling turnover, GVA and international trade in a decade. We will support the sustainable growth of marine tourism to over £0.5 billion turnover by 2025.