A summit on the management of the Firth of Clyde’s marine ecosystem will be held later this year.
The event this spring will bring together representatives of the fishing industry, environmental groups, tourism and leisure organisations and others with a stake in how the Firth is managed.
It is part of the Clyde 2020 programme, set up to explore ways to support the regeneration of marine biodiversity in the Clyde Basin.
Mr Lochhead said: “The Clyde is one of our most important and celebrated waterways, an area of natural beauty that is intrinsic to Scotland’s identity and heritage,” Mr Lochhead said.
“However its industrial past has taken its toll on the marine environment and now is the time to take action to regenerate the Clyde ecosystem.
“My vision for the Clyde Basin is for a healthy and thriving marine ecosystem that supports sustainable fishing, tourism and leisure while offering protection to the most fragile natural habitats.
“I am keen to harness the expertise and enthusiasm of organisations and individuals with an interest in managing the Clyde to define how we achieve that vision. A Clyde 2020 summit will be held this spring to develop that vision and chart the way forward for the development of an action plan to ensure this unique sea area can have a great future.”
Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell, who attended a reception at the Scottish Parliament on January 9 on the future of the Clyde, said: “This successful event has highlighted the potential to deliver a thriving marine ecosystem for the Clyde.
“The Clyde’s industrial past has hampered efforts to protect this important waterway and so I welcome today’s announcement from the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.”
No announcement has yet been made on where or when the summit will be held.