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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Proposals to simplify marine law
Herring gull
The government is concerned about the level of legislation
The Scottish government is drawing up plans to simplify the way Scotland's marine environment is overseen.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said the dozens of pieces of legislation regulating Scotland's waters were cluttering up this area.

Mr Lochhead told the Oceans '07 conference in Aberdeen he wanted a simpler regulatory system and more action taken on conservation issues.

He stressed the SNP administration's commitment to a Marine Bill.

"There are dozens of pieces of legislation from three different parliaments that regulate Scotland's waters, which makes the area overly cluttered," said Mr Lochhead.

International experts

"I hope to announce plans for a new single piece of streamlined legislation to protect marine and coastal environments soon."

The minister also stressed the importance of Scotland's coastal and marine environment during his speech at the four-day conference.

International experts on ocean science, engineering and research have gathered for the event.

"With over 11,000km of coastline, our waters generate hundreds of millions of pounds for the economy and support many thousands of jobs, most notably through the oil and gas industry, aquaculture and fishing," Mr Lochhead added.

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