GOOD to see the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN) ahead of the media today in announcing that Scotland’s new marine management directorate, Marine Scotland, will be up and running by April 1.

The new body, set up by the Government, will have direct responsibility for marine science, planning, policy development, management and compliance monitoring measures. Crucially it will also be closely involved with others on renewables and environmental sustainability.

It amalgamates the work of the existing Marine Directorate, Fisheries Research Service and the fisheries protection agency, SFPA. What will eventually happen to these organisations of course is not clear.

Steve Bastiman, chairman of SSACN and a member of the Sustainable Seas for All taskforce was cautious about the outcomes today: “It hasn’t been fully thought through yet and it’s clear that as they say themselves, the first year will be one of transition.

“As I recollect Scottish Natural Heritage and SEPA were to be undergoing a similar amalgamation and that hasn’t gone anywhere yet. So we will have to see how these plans for Marine Scotland are delivered in practice.”