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Publication - Agreement

Seaweed Review Steering Group: terms of reference

Published: 13 Jan 2020

Terms of reference for the Seaweed Review Steering Group.

13 Jan 2020
Seaweed Review Steering Group: terms of reference


During the parliamentary scrutiny of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019, Roseanna Cunningham, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform committed to a strategic programme of work reviewing the regulatory regime for kelp harvesting; our understanding of where kelp resources are; the broader marine ecosystems which exist within and around them; and the research needs to ensure we are better informed of the environmental impacts of kelp removal. To inform this work the Cabinet Secretary committed to establishing a steering group drawn from key environmental agencies, non-governmental organisations and sectoral stakeholders.  

Main membership 

Membership is appointed by Marine Scotland and subject to regular review to ensure an appropriate blend of expertise and representation is maintained, initially: 

  • Marine Scotland (Science, Licensing, Policy) 
  • Scottish Government Manufacturing and Industries Division 
  • Scottish Environment Link 
  • Scottish Natural Heritage 
  • Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS)  
  • Crown Estate Scotland Interim Management (CES, IM) 
  • Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC)  
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) 
  • Local Authority planners 
  • Inshore Fisheries Group 
  • Communities inshore fisheries alliance (CIFA) 
  • Scottish Fishermen's Federation 
  • Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation 
  • Scottish Seaweed Industry Association (representing small and larger scale harvesters and cultivation interests) 

Group to consider expanding the membership to include Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and how best to ensure community groups and seaweed harvesters are represented. 

Group remit 

  • advise and inform the review’s strategic programme of work
  • advise on current and historic seaweed related science and research ensuring that the review uses the most up to date approaches and considers the best available evidence
  • advise on how the review can be future proofed so that it is relevant as the sector evolves
  • establish a mechanism to coordinate and help prioritise future research requirements as identified during the review
  • provide support and ensure that the review reflects the views of a wide range of stakeholders
  • establish a mechanism to ensure regular and clear public reporting of progress as set out in a communication strategy to be agreed and followed by the membership

Mode of operation 

  • SRSG meetings will be Co-chaired by Helena Gray, Deputy Director of Marine Planning, Policy and Licensing Division and Richard Rollison, Deputy Director of Scottish Government Manufacturing and Industries Division
  • members are expected to represent the range of their organisation’s membership’s interests and disseminate information in line with the agreed steering group communication strategy 
  • Scottish Government will establish an internal Governance Group to ensure joined up cross-government input and links to wider initiatives and strategies
  • the steering group will meet quarterly initially, starting in May 2019 - with updates on progress publicly reported. Additional / ad-hoc meetings can take place using online conferencing as required
  • draft agenda should be circulated two weeks before the meeting with all other papers circulated to members at least one week in advance of a steering group meeting and to be considered in confidence unless stated otherwise
  • meetings could include external expert attendance to enhance discussion and stimulate debate where appropriate
  • location can be flexible but venue should be central and near to train station and have teleconferencing / video conferencing capability
  • as standing agenda items, meetings could include the following: reports of work stream activity including progress against agreed objectives; communications; relevant policy and sectoral updates including review of current issues; co-ordination and operational matters – ensuring that the group is aware of key meetings, activities, actions, initiatives, projects or programmes of work that may be taking place
  • a note of each meeting summarising key points and agreed actions will be drafted by the secretariat and circulated around the group (in confidence) within 10 working days for comment 
  • once agreed, the note should be made publicly available within a week
  • date and venue for the next meeting should be agreed two months before

Communications strategy 

  • to be agreed by the whole group
  • the steering group should agree a holding statement following each meeting to ensure early dissemination of consistent messages to their members during the interim period before the note of the meeting has been published 
  • a note of each meeting summarising key points and agreed actions should be drafted and circulated around the group quickly; and subsequently cleared quickly to allow members to update their organisational interests 
  • once agreed, the note should be made publicly available
  • there should be a central portal where progress is publicly reported and enquiries can be directed to

Proposed deliverables 

  • to be agreed at the 2nd meeting in September and set out in an agreed action plan with realistic timeframes of deliverables
  • deliverables to be based on the aims set out  in the Scope document and delivered sequentially rather than all together at the end