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Marine aquaculture

Scottish Natural Heritage supports the sustainable growth of the Scottish aquaculture industry. We seek a strategic approach in which aquaculture development is guided towards the most suitable locations and technologies to safeguard Scotland's landscapes and nature.

Through our approach to planning and development we help deliver good development in the right places, within an overall framework set out by Scottish Government.  external site

We do this by:

  • Working with planning authorities on the preparation of Development Plans, Aquaculture Framework Plans external site and Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans.
  • Engaging with developers and planners at the pre-application stage to help developments happen in ways that enhance, rather than damage, Scotland's nature and landscapes;
  • Providing advice on planning applications and Controlled Activity Regulation licences as a statutory consultee.
  • Supporting and encouraging marine planning under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 to guide the sustainable growth of Scottish aquaculture.
  • Working in partnership in strategic initiatives such as the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum external site .

What we are doing

Working Arrangements - Scottish Natural Heritage are signatories to the Aquaculture Working Arrangements. external site  This document sets out the responsibilities of organisations with a formal role in aquaculture development, including how they will consult each other and how information will be shared.

Sustainable Aquaculture - We are feeding into the revised working groups of the Ministerial Group for Sustainable Aquaculture ( external site ) to help drive forward principles of the Strategic Framework for Scottish Aquaculture; these groups include the Capacity WG, Improved Containment WG, Interactions WG and the Shellfish Forum.

Pilot Landscape and Seascape carrying capacity studies have been completed for Orkney and the Western Isles to complement our existing guidance on aquaculture developments and the landscape . The Steering Groups for each study comprised industry representatives from Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers, Local Authorities and Scottish Natural Heritage.


Please contact your Local Area Office  for queries regarding any aquaculture development. 

Last updated on Friday 10th March 2017 at 15:27 PM. Click here to comment on this page