THE Scottish Government has unveiled its long-term ambitions for Scotland’s "blue economy", setting out targets for the sustainable use of the nation’s ocean resources.

Scotland enjoys 617,000 square kilometres of marine area – seven times greater than the size of the land itself – and 18,743 kilometres of coastline, with the economy surrounding these supporting nearly 75,000 jobs.

The "Blue Economy Vision for Scotland", published on 31 March, sets out six key outcomes for Scotland’s seas and waters through to 2045.

These aims include ensuring Scotland’s marine ecosystems are healthy and functioning; making Scotland’s blue economy resilient to climate change and contributory to climate mitigation and adaptation’; ensuring established and emerging marine sectors are innovative, productive and international competitive; more equal access to the benefits of oceans resources for communities, and making sure Scotland is an ocean literate and aware nation.

These document also articulates the ambition for Scotland to become a global leader in producing healthy, high quality and sustainably harvested “blue foods”.

The Vision’s publication signals the beginning of the Scottish Government’s latest efforts to deliver what it describes as a “collaborative approach” to marine-related activity in Scotland. This will be followed by the development of detailed porgrammes and policies to deliver upon the six initial aims laid out in the Vision.

Commenting, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Together, we can achieve an ambitious transformation of the value of Scotland’s seas as we move from blue economy theory into delivery, driving forward innovative solutions to deliver bold and ambitious change, helping to tackle the twin crises of nature and climate change, bringing real benefits to people and communities throughout Scotland and globally.

“Scotland’s seas and coasts support vital jobs across our economy, especially in coastal and island communities providing many goods and services as well as contributing to our overall wellbeing.

“There is potential for an ambitious and inclusive blue recovery for people and nature and the blue economy vision starts us on that journey.”