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Initial Principles for Developing Assessments to Support Scottish Regional Marine Plans


This report sets out  guiding principles to inform the  development of regional assessment process, the first step of regional marine planning in Scotland.  

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How is data collected to inform marine spatial planning?
  • What quality considerations are appropriate to consider in the collation of data for MSP?
  • How are spatial tools used in supporting marine planning in Scotland?

Implementation Context

The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 requires an assessment of the condition of the marine area (region or national) at the time of the plan’s preparation and a summary of the significant pressures and the impact of human activity on the area. ‘Scotland’s Marine Atlas: Information for the national marine plan’ supports the 1st draft National Marine Plan (NMP) with its overall assessment. Regional assessment builds on this data collated to inform the NMP.

Aspects / Objectives

The report sets out some principles to support the gathering and interpretation of data to inform the regional assessment process.


The principles were developed by Scottish Government, in conjunction with an advisory group including statutory advisors, the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland (MASTS) and regional marine planners from Clyde and Shetland.

Main Outputs / Results

December 2014, full report can be accessed here:

The key principles identified refer to:

  • Maximise efficiency and minimising duplication of effort
  • Consistency and inter-operability
  • Accessibility
  • Data quality control
  • Data gaps and monitoring
  • Stakeholder engagement


The report is specific to Scotland however there may be interest in the way that data is used to inform marine planning.  

Responsible Entity

Scottish Government.

Costs / Funding Source

The practice was elaborated by the Scottish government however the costs of its elaboration are unknown.