We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill Consultation Analysis - Main Report

Listen

2 Overview Of Responses

Summary

  • This Section provides an overview of the responses to the consultation.
  • The consultation generated 1,342 responses, of which 1,193 were "Interest Group" responses and 149 were detailed responses.
  • Most of the Interest Group responses were from consultees affiliated with the aquaculture industry, with a smaller proportion of consultees affiliated with the voluntary and DSFB sectors.
  • A third of the detailed responses were from the freshwater fisheries sector, and just under a quarter were from individuals/politicians, with the voluntary sector and aquaculture sector making up 14% and 12% of respondents respectively.
  • There was a good cross-section of interested opinion from the aquaculture, marine, freshwater fisheries, environmental, voluntary and public sectors, with a range of additional responses from interested members of the public and other commercial businesses.

2.1 Number of Responses

2.1.1 A total of 1,342 responses were received to the consultation. Of these, some 1,193 were in the form of "Interest Group Responses" received from individuals associated with the aquaculture industry and voluntary sector, consisting of letters providing general comments on the paper but not addressing the questions asked in the consultation, and questionnaire proforma endorsing the responses of the respective industry organisations.

2.1.2 A further 149 were in the form of "Detailed Responses" referring to the length and detail of comments on the consultation questions in many of these responses. Most of the detailed responses focused on the consultation questions, although some consultees chose not to answer some of the questions. Many commented on the proposed Bill and the wider industry itself, either in addition or in preference to directly answering the consultation questions.

2.1.3 Each response received for the consultation was read in detail and it was a key principle of the consultation analysis and the Bill development process that each response be given due consideration. However, the main focus of the consultation analysis was on the content of the responses rather than the number and, as such, it was primarily focused on the detailed responses.

2.1.4 While the Interest Group Responses received consideration in the consultation process, they were not directly included in the analysis for two reasons:

  • The letter-style "Interest Group Responses" did not answer or address the issues raised in the consultation questions, and were limited to general comments and views on the upcoming Bill.
  • The large number of proforma questionnaires submitted contained the same views and content for each respondent. This content also reflected that expressed in detailed responses submitted by other respondents, particularly from the aquaculture industry. As the analysis was mainly focused on the content of responses, the proforma questionnaires were not individually considered in this analysis. However, the views contained within them have been captured in several detailed responses.

2.2 Respondent Classification

2.2.1 Each respondent to the consultation was assigned initially to one of eight broad stakeholder groups, and then to a further sub-group to allow a detailed analysis of their responses. Table 2.1 shows the eight groups and 18 sub-group categories used in the consultation analysis, consistent with previous consultation analysis undertaken by Marine Scotland.

Table 2.1 - Definitions of Stakeholder Categories

Broad Stakeholder Group Detailed Stakeholder Group
1. Public Bodies 1.1 Local Authorities
1.2 SEA Consultation Authorities
1.3 Other Public Bodies
2. Aquaculture 2.1 Fish Farms
2.2 Aquaculture Industry Bodies
2.3 Other Aquaculture Related Businesses
3. Marine Fisheries 3.1 Marine Fisheries Businesses
3.2 Marine Fisheries Industry Bodies
4. Freshwater Fisheries 4.1 Anglers/Fishermen's Associations
4.2 District Salmon Fishery Board (DSFB) / Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS)
4.3 Other Freshwater Fisheries Related Businesses
5. Professional and Academic Bodies 5.1 Scientists, Universities and Research Units
6. Voluntary Sector 6.1 Campaign Groups
6.2 Non-Government Organisations (NGO)
7. Individuals and Politicians 7.1 Politicians
7.2 Private Individuals
8. Other Commercial 8.1 Non-Fisheries Businesses
8.2 Wider Industry Organisations

2.3 Interest Group Responses

2.3.1 Responses received in the form of letters or proforma questionnaires included:

  • 1,003 responses received on questionnaire proformas submitted by individuals and conforming to the detailed response of an aquaculture industry respondent.
  • 18 responses received on questionnaire proformas from employees of a fish farming company and conforming to that company's detailed response.
  • 45 responses received on proformas developed by and submitted by individuals and conforming to the detailed response of a voluntary sector respondent.
  • 75 letters received from employees of a fish farming company endorsing that company's detailed response.
  • 7 letters received from employees of a fish farming company.
  • 45 letters received from employees of a fish farming company endorsing the company's detailed response.

2.3.2 As previously stated, while these have received due consideration in the development of the upcoming Bill, they have not been included in the detailed analysis set out in this report.

2.4 Detailed Responses

2.4.1 The detailed responses received from consultees on the Consultation Document, the Environmental Report and the Partial BRIA were allocated to the respective broad stakeholder groups and sub-groups. These are shown in Tables 2.2 and 2.3 respectively.

2.4.2 As Tables 2.2 and 2.3 demonstrate, the highest represented group amongst respondents was the freshwater fisheries sector who accounted for 34% of all detailed responses. This proportion was higher than that observed in the previous consultation analysis[4] undertaken in 2006 for the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill, where this group accounted for 29% of the total responses. Almost two-thirds of the respondents within this stakeholder group were from DSFBs or Fishery trusts, and as shown in Figure 2.2, the spatial representation of these respondents covered much of Scotland. Angler's/fishermen's associations and other freshwater fisheries businesses accounted for 28% and 10% respectively.

Table 2.2 - Response Rates by Broad Stakeholder Group

Broad Stakeholder Group Total Replies Percentage Share
1. Public Bodies 12 8%
2. Aquaculture 18 12%
3. Marine Fisheries 6 4%
4. Freshwater Fisheries 50 34%
5. Professional and Academic Bodies 3 2%
6. Voluntary Sector 21 14%
7. Individuals and Politicians 34 23%
8. Other Commercial 5 3%
TOTAL 149 100%

Figure 2.1 - Response Rates by Broad Stakeholder Group

Figure 2.1 - Response Rates by Broad Stakeholder Group

2.4.3 Private individuals and politicians were well represented with a quarter of all detailed responses. This was a lower share than that recorded in the previous consultation undertaken on the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill in 2006 (46%). All but two of the respondents to the consultation responses were individuals. A number of individual responses were also received via aquaculture industry businesses or groups.

2.4.4 As in many of the consultation questions, a number of respondents endorsed the view of their sectoral representative body, specifically the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards (ASFB) (the majority of the freshwater fisheries sector) and the SSPO (respondents from the aquaculture industry).

2.4.5 The voluntary sector, comprising campaign groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), accounted for 14% of substantial responses received. The aquaculture sector accounted for 12%, largely comprising those who are involved in aquaculture related business (56%); fish farms and aquaculture industry bodies comprise 28% and 17% respectively of these responses.

2.4.6 Other stakeholder groups accounted for 8% of responses individually and a total of 17% of total responses.

2.4.7 In all, a good cross-section of interested opinion from the aquaculture, marine, freshwater fisheries, environmental, voluntary and public sectors responded to the consultation.

Table 2.3 - Response Rates by Stakeholder Sub-Group

Detailed Stakeholder Group Total Replies Percentage Share of Total Respondents[5] Percentage Share of Broad Group
1.1 Local Authorities 5 3% 42%
1.2 SEA Consultation Authorities 2 1% 17%
1.3 Other Public Bodies 5 3% 42%
2.1 Fish Farms 5 3% 28%
2.2 Aquaculture Industry Bodies 3 2% 17%
2.3 Other Aquaculture Related Businesses 10 7% 56%
3.1 Marine Fisheries Businesses 1 1% 17%
3.2 Marine Fisheries Industry Bodies 5 3% 83%
4.1 Angler's/Fishermen's Associations 14 9% 28%
4.2 DSFB/RAFTS 31 21% 62%
4.3 Other Freshwater Fisheries Related Businesses 5 3% 10%
5.1 Scientists, Universities and Research Units 3 2% 100%
6.1 Campaign Groups 4 3% 19%
6.2 NGOs 17 11% 81%
7.1 Politicians 2 1% 6%
7.2 Private Individuals 32 21% 94%
8.1 Non-Fisheries Businesses 3 2% 60%
8.2 Independent Membership Organisations 2 1% 40%

Figure 2.2 - Distribution of DSFB/RAFTS Respondents

Figure 2.2 - Distribution of DSFB/RAFTS Respondents