Planning & Locational Guidelines
Category 1, 2 and 3 areas are designated on the basis of Marine Scotland predictive models to estimate environmental sensitivity of sea lochs. Details in "Locational Guidelines for the Authorisation of Marine Fish Farms in Scottish Waters".
Chapter 7 (Aquaculture) of Scotland's National Marine Plan, Policy 3 states:
AQUACULTURE 3: In relation to nutrient enhancement and benthic impacts, as set out under Locational Guidelines for the Authorisation of Marine Fish Farms in Scottish Waters, fish farm development is likely to be acceptable in Category 3 areas, subject to other criteria being satisfied. A degree of precaution should be applied to consideration of further fish farming development in Category 2 areas and there will be a presumption against further fish farm development in Category 1 areas.
Marine Scotland aims to update this data layer every quarter. Although Marine Scotland updates the published Locational Guidelines quarterly this may or may not result in changes to loch categories. This may account for the date of data being more than one quarter ago. Please check the link under the 'Data Sources' tab below for more information.