Aquaculture for all
The Fish Site presents: The Vienna Sessions - Conversations about aquaculture. 9 video interviews with aquaculture thought leaders. Watch here.

Marine Strategy To Aid Development


SCOTLAND, UK - The first stage report of a masterplan for the use of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters was published yesterday (29 March). The report will provide a marine spatial plan framework and draft regional locational guidance for wave and tidal energy development.

The final Marine Spatial Plan for the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters will highlight how the area's huge potential in marine energy can be used, managed and protected to balance other commercial interests and environmental challenges.

Earlier this month plans to generate 1.2 gigawatts of marine energy in the area were announced following the world's first commercial wave and tidal leasing round.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "The Pentland Firth is an incredible resource with huge marine energy potential that is key to developing a Scottish wave and tidal energy industry. There are already billions of pounds of investment lined up to harness the power of the sea.

"A marine spatial plan will enable us to balance development in a sustainable manner, taking account of the interests of other marine sectors and users. When finalised, the Plan will be a planning tool for developers, regulators and users of the marine environment, setting out opportunities for our main marine energy resource area and ensuring conflicts with other users of the sea are avoided.

"This will help us reach balanced decisions on the locational opportunities for new development, while respecting other activities such as fishing and shipping and the environment."

Johanna Yates, Scottish Renewables Marine Policy Manager said: "It's all systems go for marine renewables and there's a lot of excitement in the industry following the recent leasing round announcements. The Marine Spatial Plan will give shape to how the industry can develop within the leasing areas. It is an important tool for providing certainty to developers which, in turn, we hope will promote investment in the industry.

"We are looking forward to seeing the detail of this first stage plan and engaging with Marine Scotland through the next stages."

The Marine Act sets out powers to carry out marine spatial planning across Scotland. The focus for the first stage of the Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) is to identify the extent that different sectors use this geographic area, examine their interactions, and to set out priorities for the next stages of development of the MSP. The final MSP will be published next year. The Scottish Government commissioned AECOM and Metoc to produce the first stage report.

On March 16, 2009 the Crown Estate announced that agreements have been signed to develop six wave and four tidal schemes in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters.