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13 August, 2008

A NEW future for Scotland's seas, balancing conservation and economic growth, will be the focus of a public meeting in Shetland on Tuesday 19 August at 7pm.

The new proposals in 'Sustainable Seas For All - A Consultation On Scotland's First Marine Bill', published for consultation in July, include:

* improved conservation to ensure a healthy future for Scotland's unique marine wildlife, including internationally important populations of seabirds;
* a new marine planning system and a streamlined licensing system to encourage economic investment in areas such as renewable energy;
* measures to ensure a viable future for Scotland's traditional and new marine industries;
* the creation of Marine Scotland combining the efforts of existing bodies to act as a champion for Scotland's seas.

The public meeting will be chaired by officials from the Scottish Government's marine directorate and will be held at the Shetland Museum.

Speaking ahead of the public meeting, environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Scotland's seas are special. In the 21st century, we need to ensure that we have arrangements in place to provide a sustainable future for our marine environment and the many industries that depend on productive and healthy seas.

"Striking the right balance between the long-term viability and growth of all these industries and the enhanced protection of our special marine environment is at the heart of our proposed Bill.

"By introducing Scotland's first Marine Bill we hope to do just that. I would like to encourage everyone in Shetland who has an interest in our seas to give their views on the proposals. That will in turn help us produce legislation that will secure and protect our seas for generations to come."

Most recent update - Thursday, 25 September 2008 22:31
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