Publication - Consultation paper

2014 Consultation on the Management of Inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas Approaches.

Published: 11 Nov 2014
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781784128913

2014 Public Consultation on the Management of Inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas Approaches.

77 page PDF

570.7 kB

77 page PDF

570.7 kB

Contents
2014 Consultation on the Management of Inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas Approaches.
Protected Area N - Treshnish Isles SAC

77 page PDF

570.7 kB

Protected Area N - Treshnish Isles SAC

This section sets out 2 possible management approaches for this protected area.

Approach 1 is preferred because it would put in place the necessary management measures to safeguard the most sensitive habitats. Risk of negative effect would be minimised.

A description of this protected area can be found in the main consultation document is Annex A, Protected Area N. Maps to support understanding of the approaches can be found under Protected Area N in the technical maps document. Figure N1 shows Treshnish Isles in context with other protected areas.

Measures for Treshnish Isles SAC would be delivered by Statutory Instrument using powers under the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984.

Questions 35 to 37 refer to Treshnish Isles.

The site features and conservation objectives

Qualifying Feature

Conservation objective

Reefs (bedrock and stony)

maintain

Summary of the management advice

Feature

Mobile gear

Static gear

Other gear

Reefs

Remove / avoid pressure from demersal trawl, mechanical dredges, or suction dredges.

Consider reduce / limit pressure

Remove / avoid pressure from diver operated suction dredging

The sensitivity of bedrock reef and stony reef primarily relates to activities which cause abrasion and physical disturbance to the seabed surface, such as those caused by mobile/active fishing gear. For bedrock reef there is a risk of direct impact to the attached fauna, especially where trawling/dredging activities are targeting grounds very close to bedrock reef.

Mobile/active fishing gear may be used over stony reef where this is interspersed with areas of target ground types. This can result in the damage or death of fragile, erect species, such as sponges and corals, and changes to the structure of the habitat and the long term survival of its associated species. In addition to direct impacts, bedrock reef and stony reef are sensitive to smothering from increased levels of sedimentation which can be caused by passing mobile/active fishing gear which causes smothering of fauna and flora on the rock surface.

Static gear over bedrock and stony reef can also cause surface abrasion when being deployed or recovered, and this has the potential to cause mortality of the fragile epifauna on the reef habitat. However, the extent of these impacts on reef environments is variable, and will be dependent on intensity of fishing and the recovery rates of the species involved.

The approaches to management

Static gear assessment

Static gear activity is moderate according to Scotmap. Consequently no static gear management is proposed. However if future studies found there to be a negative effect then this would be addressed then.

Measures common to both approaches

The use of suction dredges (boat or diver operated) would be prohibited throughout the SAC.

Approach 1 (preferred approach)

This use of demersal trawl or mechanical dredge would be prohibited throughout the SAC as shown in figure N2.

The benefit

By removing or avoiding the pressures being exerted on the reef habitat the measures will ensure that these activities will not prevent the achievement of the conservation objectives. It also would mean that future changes to fisheries policy and management would not require an appropriate assessment.

The management measures would also protect the significant maerl beds and seagrass beds which are present within the SAC but do not form part of the qualifying features.

The costs

In the table below trawl and mechanical dredge activity have been amalgamated to avoid potential disclosure issues for over 15m vessels.

Gear

Effort (Hours)

Value (£s)

Demersal trawl / Dredge

76.5

8707

Table N1: Average fishing effort by over 15m vessels in SAC (2010-2013)

Treshnish Isles covers part of ICES rectangles 41E3 and 42E3. According to the analysis of Scotmap data for trawl and dredge fisheries approximately 3% of the total value of those ICES Rectangles is taken from the SAC. This equates to approximately 5 effort days and £5,000 for 2013.

The displacement effects

There are a significant amount of nephrops trawl and scallop dredge grounds within 20 nm which equates to 2-3 hours steaming time as shown in figures N5, N6, and N7. Therefore any displacement of activity from the SAC can be dispersed over a wide area. Given the low amount of effort this is unlikely to have any effect on the environment outwith the SAC.

Approach 2

This use of demersal trawl or mechanical dredge would be prohibited on a zonal basis within the SAC as shown in figure N3.

The benefit

By removing or avoiding almost all of the pressures being exerted on the reef habitat the measures will ensure that these activities will not prevent the achievement of the conservation objectives. It also would mean that future changes to fisheries policy and management would not require an appropriate assessment.

The management measures would also protect the significant maerl beds and seagrass beds which are present within the SAC but do not form part of the qualifying features.

The costs

In the table below trawl and mechanical dredge activity have been amalgamated to avoid potential disclosure issues for over 15m vessels.

Method

Average annual MPA value

Average annual value affected

% of value affected

Average annual effort hours in MPA

Average annual effort hours affected

% of effort affected

Trawl / Dredge

£8.75

£7.5

86%

76.5

63

82%

Table N2: Average annual impact of approach 2 based on 2010 to 2013 data for over 15 metre vessels (rounded to nearest £000s)

Treshnish Isles covers part of ICES rectangles 41E3 and 42E3. According to the analysis of Scotmap data for trawl and dredge fisheries approximately 3% of the total value of those ICES Rectangles is taken from the SAC. This equates to approximately 5 effort days and £5,000 for 2013. If the activity affected was the same as the proportion of effort affected for over 15 metre vessels then the impact is approximately 4 effort days and £4,000.

The displacement effects

There are a significant amount of nephrops trawl and scallop dredge grounds within 20 nm which equates to 2-3 hours steaming time as shown in figures N5, N6, and N7. Therefore any displacement of activity from the SAC can be dispersed over a wide area. Given the low amount of effort this is unlikely to have any effect on the environment outwith the SAC.


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