海洋空间规划（MSP）越来越被认为是海洋生态系统可持续管理的重要工具。为准备在整个苏格兰发展 MSP，苏格兰政府通过苏格兰海洋局，于 2006 年通过苏格兰可持续海洋环境倡议 (SSMEI) 首次试行了区域海洋规划。 SSMEI 的总体目标是开发和测试不同管理方法的有效性，以实现苏格兰沿海和海洋环境的可持续发展。设得兰群岛的海洋空间计划 (SMSP) 最初是在 SSMEI 计划下制定的，2014 年设得兰群岛委员会打算在法定基础上采用第四版的 SMSP 作为其地方发展计划的补充指南。使用地理信息系统 (GIS)，SMSP 已将有关现有海洋和沿海环境、社会经济和文化特征和活动的空间数据纳入决策过程，是基于地点的管理的一个例子。这需要从一系列数据源收集和整理 127 个数据集，并利用当地利益相关者来验证证据。这一过程需要专门的海洋空间规划团队以及当地利益相关者提供大量资源。 SMSP 中的数据还被用于制定空间特定的政策，以指导设得兰群岛沿海和海洋环境的未来发展。它已被包括开发人员和决策者在内的一系列用户用于规划和评估开发区域，从而可以在开发过程的早期避免或减轻潜在的冲突。
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is increasingly being recognised as an important tool in the sustainable management of marine ecosystems. In preparation for the development of MSP across Scotland, the Scottish Government, via Marine Scotland, first piloted regional marine planning in 2006, through the Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative (SSMEI). The overarching aim of SSMEI was to develop and test the effectiveness of differing management approaches to deliver sustainable development in Scotland's coastal and marine environment. The Shetland Islands' Marine Spatial Plan (SMSP) was first developed under the SSMEI programme, and in 2014 the Shetland Islands Council is intending to adopt the fourth edition of the SMSP on a statutory basis as Supplementary Guidance to its Local Development Plan. Using Geographic Information Systems (GISs) the SMSP has incorporated spatial data on existing marine and coastal environmental, socio-economic and cultural features and activities into the decision making process, and is an example of place based management. This has required collecting and collating 127 data sets from a range of data sources, and has utilised local stakeholders to verify evidence. This process has required significant resources by a dedicated marine spatial planning team, as well as by local stakeholders. The data within the SMSP has also been used to develop spatially-specific policies to guide the future development of Shetland's coastal and marine environment. It has been used by a range of users including developers and decision makers in planning and assessing areas for development, allowing potential conflicts to be avoided or mitigated early in the development process.