Shetland Islands Council publishes local Marine Spatial Plan

by Tom Morton -

Shetland Islands Council has published the Shetland Islands Marine Spatial Plan as the first Supplementary Guidance to the new Local Development Plan.

The Marine Spatial Plan provides policy guidance for all types of marine activity around Shetland’s coastline, such as fishing, aquaculture, oil and gas, marine renewables, transport and recreation. The plan also shows where opportunities for sustainable marine development exist and where constraint is required, aimed at reducing conflict between those who use the marine environment.

The Scottish Government has just published its first National Marine Plan, providing an overall national policy marine activity. The next step is to produce Regional Marine Plans and Shetland is one of the first regions in Scotland to begin work on this, along with the Clyde area. The Shetland Islands Marine Spatial Plan has received favourable comments from a number of UK and European authorities for the processes involved in its formation and for the level of detail contained in the document.

Councillor Alastair Cooper, Chair of the Development Committee said:

I am delighted to see the Marine Spatial Plan adopted as the Council's policy guidelines for marine development and resource use. Shetland has always been aware of the importance of the seas around our Islands and this Plan will ensure that that continues to be the case. Once again Shetland is a beacon for the rest of Scotland.

The Shetland Islands Marine Spatial Plan can be viewed or downloaded here.