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 R - Wyre & Rousay Sounds MPA

77 page PDF

570.7 kB

Protected Area R - Wyre & Rousay Sounds MPA

This section sets out the proposed management approach for this protected area.

A description of this protected area can be found in the main consultation document is Annex A, Protected Area R. Maps to support understanding of the approaches can be found under Protected Area R in the technical maps document. Figure R1 shows Wyre & Rousay Sounds in context with other protected areas.

Measures for Wyre & Rousay Sounds would be delivered by Statutory Instrument using powers under the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984.

Questions 50 and 51 refer to Wyre & Rousay Sounds.

The site features and conservation objectives

Protected Feature

Conservation objective

Maerl beds

Conserve

Kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment

Conserve

Summary of the management advice

Feature

Mobile gear

Static gear

Other gear

Maerl beds

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

Consider reduce / limit pressure

Remove / avoid pressure from diver operated suction gear

Kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment

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

Consider reduce / limit pressure

Remove / avoid pressure from diver operated suction gear

Maerl beds are highly sensitive to physical disturbance caused by mobile gears which can cause surface and sub-surface abrasion/penetration. The three dimensional structure, quality and associated communities of maerl beds can be substantially affected by mobile demersal gear fishing from crushing, burial of live maerl and disruption of the surface and underlying sediment. Maerl beds have a low rate of recovery due to their very slow growth rate.

In addition to direct impacts maerl beds are sensitive to increased levels of sedimentation which can be caused by passing mobile/active fishing gear, which causes smothering of the maerl as well as associated fauna and flora. The deployment and retrieval of static gear over maerl beds has the potential to cause sufficient surface abrasion that would result in a detrimental effect. However, the extent of these impacts on maerl beds would be dependent on the intensity of fishing.

Kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment have low to medium sensitivity to pressures associated with demersal mobile gear. Species of kelp and seaweed can be removed by passing trawls and dredges. Low energy sites with dense kelp and seaweed coverage are the most sensitive. However, many animal species associated with the habitat are mobile or infaunal and so are likely to avoid most effects of surface disturbance.

The approach to management

Static gear assessment

It is evident from the healthy condition of the protected features that the creel fishery does not have any effect on these habitats.

The proposed measures

Demersal trawl, mechanical dredging and suction dredging (boat and diver operated) would be prohibited all year round.

The benefit

The data held by Marine Scotland shows that this area would appear to free of activity from any of the methods noted above. Therefore the new measures would be a case of making the current status quo a permanent statutory arrangement. This would ensure that from a fisheries perspective the conservation objectives would be furthered and an exceptional example of a maerl bed conserved.

The costs

There is no VMS data within the MPA from 2007 to 2013. There is no overlap with the MPA from the Scotmap layers for trawling or dredging. Therefore the impact is considered to be virtually zero.

The displacement effects

SCOTMAP data shows no 15m trawl or dredge effort inside the MPA. In addition VMS data from 2007 to 2013 place no vessel inside the MPA throughout that period. Therefore no displacement is anticipated.


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