Open Consultations

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                                                                       Devonshire Cup Coral © Howard Wood COAST


If you want to influence government decisions and policies relating to issues you are concerned about within Scotland, then responding to government consultations is one way to do so.

Consultation responses are a good way to get your community’s voice heard on local and national issues that are important to you, and they can also help with organising your group or seeking clarity and consensus around issues your community wants to speak on collectively.

Below are relevant (marine/coastal/environmental/community empowerment) consultations which may be of interest to you or your coastal community group.

You can also visit Citizen Space – the Scottish Government’s consultation hub – which lists all consultations, or sign up for their consultation email updates.

An online discussion seeking input to the development of an Environment Strategy for Scotland. This takes forward the commitment in the 2017/18 Programme for Government to develop a strategic approach on environmental policy to protect and enhance our environment, safeguard natural capital and continue Scotland’s leading role in addressing environmental challenges.

Responses will help to inform the development of an Environment Strategy for Scotland. In particular, feedback is invited on:

  • a draft vision and set of outcomes to achieve through Scotland’s environment and climate change policies
  • a series of knowledge accounts that will help guide decisions over priorities for action to achieve this vision

Read more, and submit your response online here.

Opening Date: 29th June 2018

Closing Date: 24th August 2018

Responses published on: TBC. Strategy due in late 2018.

The project to improve protection given to PMFs outside the MPA network was initiated in May 2017. This followed an incident in Loch Carron in April 2017 when a flame shell bed was damaged by scallop dredging activity, and resulted in the designation of the Loch Carron MPA. The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform also requested that necessary steps were taken to ensure that Priority Marine Features (PMFs) were being protected in accordance with the National Marine Plan.

The principal aim of the project is to ensure that the necessary fisheries management measures are in place to ensure protection of PMFs, and comply with the relevant policy in the National Marine Plan. Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) identified 11 habitats which are particularly sensitive to impact from bottom contacting mobile fishing gears.

Whilst the focus in this project is on managing fisheries to ensure the conservation of these important habitats and species, it is anticipated that the SNH advice documents form part of a wider context. It is expected that the advice in the assessment of each PMF will have relevance to all industries and regulators. Separately, SNH is also developing more detailed guidance on those habitats and species which are regularly assessed in relation to development proposals.

The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on the scope of the project to improve protection given to PMFs outside the MPA network. It seeks views on the scoping report, methodology, data and advice sources, management approach and potential alternatives. This consultation is not asking whether measures should be implemented. Another consultation will follow where measures will be proposed and it will be accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal.

Read more, and submit your response online here.

Read the response from Friends of the Sound of Jura.

Opening Date: 5th July 2018

Closing Date: 31st August 2018

Responses published on: TBC

This White Paper ‘Sustainable fisheries for future generations’ sets out the UK government’s vision for future fisheries management and they want to hear your views.

Outside the EU, the UK will be an independent coastal state and will regain control of its waters and the natural resources within them. The UK will also have the flexibility to negotiate with other countries and ensure stocks are fished sustainably.

This paper charts the course for managing fisheries after leaving the European Union. Through this paper the government are seeking views on all aspects of the emerging approach. This document is set out in four sections: 1: setting our course, 2: pursuing sustainable management, 3: resourcing the new approach, 4: partnership working.

Some of the proposals outlined in this paper will apply to the whole of the UK, while some apply to England only.

Read more, and submit your response online here.

Opening Date: 4th July 2018

Closing Date: 12th September 2018

Responses published on: TBC

Consultation on the options for distinct elements of a deposit return scheme on beverage containers, seeking views on which options will deliver the best results for Scotland.

The intention is to design a deposit return system that will work well for everyone in Scotland, providing increased recycling rates and quality of recycling, reductions in littering and business opportunities. The consultation asks for as wide a range of views as possible to help design an effective system. This will then go forward as regulations under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

Read more, and submit your response online here.

Opening Date: 27th June 2018

Closing Date: 25th September 2018

Responses published on: TBC