Legal basis

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has a duty under Part 3 Section 51 of the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 this Act to “prepare and issue a code, to be known as the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code, setting out recommendations, advice and information relating to commercial and leisure activities involving the watching of marine wildlife”.

“The Code may, in particular, contain information on:

(a) activities which are likely to disturb marine wildlife,

(b) circumstances in which marine wildlife may be approached, and

(c) the manner in which marine wildlife may best be viewed with minimum disturbance.

SNH must review the Code from time to time and may, following such a review, revise it.

SNH must (a) before preparing the Code, and (b) when reviewing it, consult such persons appearing to them to have an interest in marine wildlife watching and such other persons as it thinks fit.

SNH must

(a) publish the Code and any revisions to it in such manner (including on the internet or by other electronic means) as it thinks fit, and

(b) promote awareness and understanding of the Code and any revisions to it”.

The code is not a regulatory instrument – it will comprise “recommendations, advice and information”. There is no specific legal provision for adoption or enforcement.

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