1. Executive summary
This report provides a summary of the analysis of responses submitted on the designation of a deep sea marine reserve, the West of Scotland possible Marine Protected Area. The consultation opened on the 27 September 2019 and closed on 31 December 2019.
Following the collection of consultee responses, a mixed method approach was adopted for the consultation analysis. This ensured a comprehensive review of the qualitative and quantitative data.
Additionally, responses to comments raised through the consultation are given to provide clarification or further information where possible.
1.2. Responses received
In total, 44 respondents provided responses for the consultation. Respondents were identified in different categories to allow for further analysis. The respondent categories are as follows:
- Fishing Group or Organisation;
- Other Industry Association; and
- Regulator or Local Authority.
1.3. Summary of responses
In total, 38 (86%) respondents stated that they support the designation of the deep sea marine reserve. One (2%) respondent said that they did not support the proposed designation. A further one respondent (2%) did not know whether they supported the designation and four (10%) respondents did not provide an answer.
When asked whether they believed that the scientific evidence justified the designation of the proposed deep sea marine reserve, 37 (82%) respondents answered 'Yes' and three (7%) respondents answered 'No'. The remaining respondents either did not know (7%) or did not provide an answer (4%).
The most frequent issue raised by respondents in support of the proposed deep sea marine reserve was that the designation will help to protect and/or enhance biodiversity. This comment was raised by 14 (32%) respondents.
The most frequent issue raised by respondents with concerns relating to the proposed deep sea marine reserve related to their opposition to or reservations about the upper level management scenario of the designation. This comment was raised by 13 (30%) respondents.