Shetland Islands Marine Spatial Plan



The Shetland Islands Council has adopted the fourth edition of the Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan (SIMSP) as ‘Supplementary Guidance’ to the Shetland Local Development Plan. The Shetland Local Development Plan together with any Supplementary Guidance sets out the policies and criteria against which planning applications and works licences submitted in Shetland will be considered.

The SIMSP provides an overarching policy framework to guide marine development and activity out to 12 nautical miles. It incorporates authoritative spatial data on the marine environment, its various uses and assets.

The policies and maps in the SIMSP will be material considerations in decision-making on individual marine planning applications and works licences within Shetland’s coastal and marine waters out to 12 nautical miles. It is hoped the SIMSP will also provide a useful resource for all users of the marine environment including developers, planners and regulators.

The ongoing development of Shetland's marine spatial plan is being guided by the Shetland Islands' Marine Regional Partnership.


Documents to Download:


You can also download data for use with GIS or Google Earth.


Supporting documents and information:

A number of projects have been developed alongside the Marine Spatial Plan to provide supporting information. These include:


Current and Future Projects

The following projects, funded by Marine Scotland, are being progressed through 2013/2014:

  • Mapping cumulative pressure areas based on ecosystem risk assessments
  • Collating information to study the impact of fisheries displacement


Previous Projects

Contact Information

To contact the Marine Spatial Planning team please email or tel: 01595 772000.


Other Publications

Kelly C., Gray L., Shucksmith R., Tweddle JF. (2014) Investigating options on how to address cumulative impacts in marine spatial planning. Oceans and Coastal Management 102, 139-148

Shucksmith, R., Kelly, C. (2014). Data collection and mapping- principles, processes and application in marine spatial planning. Marine Policy 50, 27-33

Shucksmith, R., Gray, L., Kelly, C., Tweddle, J.F. (2014). Regional Marine Spatial Planning- the data collection and mapping process. Marine Policy 50, 1-9

Tweddle, J.F., Gray, L., Kelly, C., Shucksmith, R. (2014). Developing Regional Locational Guidance for wave and tidal energy in the Shetland Islands. Marine Policy 50, 53-66

Kelly C., Gray L., Shucksmith R., Tweddle JF. (2014) Review and evaluation of marine spatial planning in the Shetland Islands. Marine Policy, 46: 152-160