A NEW organisation is being set up to manage Scotland's seas.
Marine Scotland will be up and running by 1 April, bringing together the roles of a number of separate bodies.
The Scotsman has called for a single marine management body to be created in our Save Our Seas campaign.
Marine Scotland will have responsibility for marine science, planning, policy development, management and for monitoring compliance.
The current functions of Fisheries Research Services, the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency and the Scottish Government's Marine Directorate will be brought together in the new organisation.
Richard Lochhead, the environment secretary, said the new body would help to deliver "sustainable economic growth". He added: "Marine Scotland will be the champion for our marine environment."
Scottish Environment LINK, a coalition of Scotland's environment charities, welcomed the announcement
Calum Duncan, chair of Scottish Environment LINK's Marine Task Force, said: "This new body must now develop and meet tough targets for the sustainable management, protection and recovery of Scotland's seas."