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Sustainable Marine Tourism

The Moray Firth: preparing the way for sustainable marine leisure, recreation & tourism development

This ambitious project set out to achieve:

  • The provision of a comprehensive and comparative baseline dataset of current resources and uses of the Moray Firth that is required to inform the Moray Firth Partnership’s (and others') functions in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and in terms of wider stakeholders, information requirements for future marine planning;
  • The identification of knowledge gaps and suggestions on how to acquire the information;
  • The provision of suggestions for further environmental management enhancements to help mitigate the effects of future increases in coastal population, developments, tourism and leisure uses, that will ensure the sustainable stewardship and best practice management of our valuable marine resources.

The project contributes to requirements for future marine planning by filling information gaps and identifying where additional work may be required. The aims are to:-

  • build up the marine and coastal recreation profile, through a recreation and tourism activities survey, including outline economic data
  • carry out Marine Traffic and Recreational Boat Usage Surveys (desk-based)
  • identify “top ten” areas for different activities around the Firth
  • identify key areas with environmental or socio-economic sensitivities under future pressure from increased recreational usage, population increases etc.
  • consolidate and update information on MF harbours and make this publicly available to web and mobile phone users
  • create a web-enabled Moray Firth Directory (key organisations and facilities)
  • create a register of Environmental Impact Assessments for the Moray Firth and procedures for future updating and maintenance of data.
  • identify coastal and marine related Bye-laws, Codes of Conduct and other environmental mitigation measures; assess their potential effectiveness and uptake / public awareness.

The key research and surveys have been completed and a draft report presenting the findings is available to download.  The report is still under review from the steering group and funders and a final version will be available in due course.

The Sustainable Marine Tourism project is being funded by The Crown Estate and Scottish Natural Heritage.