Assessing Orkney’s Marine Environment: Have Your Say

Orkney Islands Council is seeking views about the marine environment out to 12 nautical miles from the islands.

OIC carried out the Orkney Islands Marine Region: State of the Environment Assessment .

It’s a very lengthy document which you can download here: Orkney Islands Marine Region: State of the Environment Assessment

Comments can be passed on by email to

The closing date for feedback is 4th October.

The assessment has been carried out as part of the Orkney Marine Environment Project:

“which seeks to improve the availability and accessibility of environmental, social and economic information for marine planning, management and education purposes.”

The project is backed by funding worth £119,000 from the Scottish Government awarded as under the European Maritime and Fisheries Funding (EMFF) scheme.

The Council worked with stakeholders and gathered previously published data in drawing up the state-of-the-seas appraisal. New research did not take place.

The report looks at the main issues affecting the marine environment. It presents an overview of existing environmental, social and economic conditions and, where information permits, likely trends, such as sea level rise and the economic growth of key marine sectors.

The issues identified are assessed according to levels of ‘concern’ ranging from ‘unknown’ to ‘many concerns’. Also recorded are the trends of the concerns – from ‘unknown’ to ‘deteriorating’ and the confidence of the data from ‘low’ to ‘high’.

The UNKNOWN assessed listings comprise significant users of the marine environment:

  • commercial fish and shellfish(climate change and over fishing);
  • wider fish community (climate change and over fishing);
  • offshore wind energy;
  • wave energy;
  • marine supply chain, search and services.

A Marine Planning Partnership is still being developed in Orkney and this assessment of the marine environment is part of that process. Shetland was one of the first areas to set up its Marine Planning Partnership. SIC Marine Planning

The OIC has stated that the feedback received from the consultation will be reflected in a final version of the document, which will play a role in the preparation of an Orkney Marine Plan.

credit: Petra Jochen Bruckhaus

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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