Under the terms of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's (RCEP) framework agreement with the department, a government response to their reports should be published within one year of publication. We agreed with the Royal Commission a longer timetable for the response in this case. The Royal Commission recognised that the delay enabled the response to reflect developments on the Marine Bill.
The key recommendation in the RCEP report was the need for a new framework for marine management. This could only be addressed in the Government response by including developments on the Marine Bill, after the public consultation on the Bill was launched on 29 March.
The Scottish Executive responded separately to the Royal Commission's report. We agreed that they should respond to recommendations 66 to 70, 72 and 73 on aquaculture as these recommendations were directed specifically to them.