Scottish Government sets out its ambitions for a blue economy

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The Scottish Government has published a vision document in which it sets out its intentions of becoming a global leader in marine management and stewardship.

Describing the future plans for capitalising on Scotland’s 617,000 square kilometres of marine area, while also preserving and caring for it, as a blue economy, the paper sets out the Scottish government’s long-term goals to 2045.

The Scottish Government defines the blue economy as a sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of marine and coastal ecosystem.

The document recognises that Scotland’s seas and waters have a key role to play in contributing to the nation’s future economic prosperity, especially in remote, rural and island communities – and that a healthy marine environment is essential to supporting this ambition.

The paper sets out six outcomes which it has identified will help it achieve its goals which include Scotland becoming a global leader in providing healthy, high-quality and sustainably harvested ‘blue foods.’

The six outcomes are:

  • Scotland’s marine ecosystems are healthy and functioning;
  • Scotland’s blue economy is resilient to climate change, contributing to climate mitigation and adaptation;
  • Established and emerging marine sectors are innovative, entrepreneurial, productive and internationally competitive;
  • Scotland is a global leader in healthy, quality, sustainably harvested and farmed blue foods;
  • Thriving, resilient, regenerated, healthy communities have more equal access to the benefits that ocean resources provide;
  • Scotland is an ocean literate and aware nation.

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: ‘Together, we can achieve an ambitious transformation of the value of Scotland’s seas as we move from blue economy theory into delivery, driving forward innovative solutions to deliver bold and ambitious change, helping to tackle the twin crises of nature and climate change, bringing real benefits to people and communities throughout Scotland and globally.

‘Scotland’s seas and coasts support vital jobs across our economy, especially in coastal and island communities providing many goods and services as well as contributing to our overall wellbeing.

‘There is potential for an ambitious and inclusive blue recovery for people and nature and the blue economy vision starts us on that journey.’

The publication of the vision marks the start of the work to deliver a collaborative approach for marine related activity in Scotland. The next step is to develop the programmes and policies to deliver the six outcomes in a blue economy action plan.