Since the turn of the century marine spatial planning and an ecosystem approach have been promoted as a way of managing anthropogenic impacts upon the marine environment. However, more information is needed on how to apply these in practice. This thesis examines the main international and European legal regimes which facilitate and require the implementation of an ecosystem approach to marine management in order to investigate the Scottish approach to marine spatial planning (MSP). The law of the marine environment has, however, evolved in a fragmentary, reactionary manner at an international, European and national level. Drawing out the connections between different legal requirements and the processes, this thesis highlights how the concept of good environmental status (GES) objectifies the elements of the environment that must be considered in order to implement an ecosystem approach to marine management. At a Scottish level, this thesis discusses the law governing the marine renewable energy industry focussing on offshore wind to scrutinise whether the legislation that introduced marine spatial planning in Scottish waters (the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009) can reconcile ambitious renewable energy targets while progressing towards achieving and maintaining good environmental status. Connecting the laws governing strategic environmental assessments and environmental impact assessments with initial assessments under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) identifies how the law can reconcile increasing marine renewable energy production with the obligation to achieve and maintain GES. However, the key to achieving this are the licensing decisions authorising the developments.