Our waters shape our coastline and our climate, provide energy, food, and stimulate research and exploration and are home to a diverse range of marine species and habitats, from sea lochs to rocky reefs, underwater seamounts to open waters. These incredible habitats support thriving populations of marine mammals including porpoises, dolphins, whales and seals, and are home to vast numbers of seabirds, fish and other remarkable marine wildlife such as sponges, seahorses and deep-sea corals.
Scottish Universities and Innovation Centres are at the forefront of understanding the unique and delicate balance in which the earth and the oceans exists. Scotland supports and leads vital projects in the Arctic waters to our north, the Atlantic and the North Sea, examining the ecosystems, uncovering the impacts of climate change, and harnessing the power hidden in the tidal currents.
To protect, harness and exploit our waters, we need to understand them and the global currents that affect them. From aquaculture to sea mammal studies and unlocking the potential of seaweed, atmospheric sciences, deep sea robotics, the impact of new renewable developments and supporting a multitude of human activities including fisheries, tourism, and shipping – Scotland is a hub for marine sciences.
Discover your next world changing idea in Scotland, where Ideas Become Legend.
Hear from Dr Raeanne Miller, Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Marine Energy at the University of the Highlands and Islands, about Scotland’s deep connection to its coasts and waters and the world leading research that draws international visitors and delegates to Scotland to learn and engage with our diverse Marine sector.
In 2020, Scotland will celebrate the Year of Coasts and Waters promoting opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors. This year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact water has had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to innovations such as wave energy, global leadership in marine science research and world leading offshore wind farms.
How high do birds fly? When is it too noisy for marine mammals to hear? And are salmon particular about their migration pathway? Answering these questions is more than interesting science, it is vital knowledge to understand the potential effects of offshore renewable developments, such as windfarms, on Scotland’s marine environment.
Aquaculture’s increasing importance to Scotland’s economy can’t be underestimated. Heather Jones, CEO of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, outlines what the industry - which is a huge economic driver for Scotland - is doing to tackle some of its biggest challenges.
Reducing the rates at which corals build their skeletons has worrying implications for the future success of reefs. Coral reefs are continually eroded by the impacts of storm and by organisms which bore into and inhabit the reef structures. Calcification rates must be sufficiently rapid to offset these losses.
Scotland has an amazing fact up its sleeve and this is, for me and many other researchers and conservationists, the most impressive. At the time of writing, we have the only Marine Protected Area in the UK that is designated to protect an elasmobranch species – the common skate.
In order to give people an insight into the world of marine planning Marine Scotland, which is the government division that manages the use and protection of Scotland’s seas, organised a workshop where people came along to play a game to help introduce them to the concept of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and the real life decisions facing marine planners.