" Our seas - a shared resource" represents the first joint initiative as part of the Scottish Marine Bill and the UK Marine and Coastal Access Bill.
The Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government, Northern Ireland Executive and UK Government have agreed a suite of High Level Marine Objectives around the sustainable development framework. These policy objectives articulate the outcomes we are all seeking for the UK marine area as a whole as we strive to achieve the UK vision for the marine environment of "clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse seas". These objectives will be used to underpin the development of the joint Marine Policy Statement (MPS) which is provided for in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill. The MPS is due to be completed in 2011.
On the publication of " Our seas - a shared resource" Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, said
"I am delighted that the agreement to work jointly between the UK administrations has started to develop a framework for more integrated management of the UK's marine environment. This is the first step in a new way of working as we take forward our respective marine legislation to provide policy that recognises the economic, environmental and social values of the sea.
"I look forward to working together in the future as we develop the joint marine policy statement. With the recent launch of "marine scotland" this is an exciting time in marine policy development."