Publication - Consultation responses

2014 Consultation on the management of inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas - Consultation analysis report

Published: 10 Jul 2015
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781785444890

2014 Consultation on the management of inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas - Consultation analysis report. Summary of the responses received relating to each site.

236 page PDF

11.9 MB

236 page PDF

11.9 MB

Contents
2014 Consultation on the management of inshore Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Protected Areas - Consultation analysis report
13. Luce Bay SAC

236 page PDF

11.9 MB

13. Luce Bay SAC

13.1. Introduction

13.1.1. Luce Bay was designated as a SAC for its large shallow inlet and bay and its dunes. The consultation presented three possible management approaches for the Luce Bay SAC:

  • Approach 1 would prohibit the use of demersal trawls, mechanical dredges, or suction dredges (boat or diver operated) throughout the SAC.
  • Approach 2 would be the same as Approach 1 but with a derogation to allow mechanical dredging on a seasonal basis in the inner part of the bay.
  • Approach 3 would prohibit the use of demersal trawls, or suction dredges (boat or diver operated) throughout the SAC. Mechanical dredging would be managed on a zonal basis. This approach would require industry participation in a monitoring programme.

13.2. We Asked

13.2.1. The consultation asked: 'Do you support the preferred approach (number 2) for managing this protected area?' A follow up question asking about support for the alternate approaches were also asked.

13.2.2. The consultation also asked 'Do you agree with the economic, social, and environmental assessments of the impact of the management approaches?'

13.3. You Said

13.3.1. In answer to whether respondents supported the preferred management approach eight answered 'yes' and 49 answered 'no'. Table 13.1 summarises the responses received.

13.3.2. Twenty-five of the respondents that answered this question, 24 that answered 'no' and one who answered 'yes', commented only on Luce Bay and no other areas discussed within the consultation. Twenty of the 25 were individual respondents and the remainder were three recreation /tourism, one local group and an inshore fisheries group.

13.3.3. All recreation /tourism organisations, mobile fishing respondents and local groups that answered were opposed to the proposed approach, together with the one Inshore Fisheries Group that answered. Views were more mixed amongst environment /conservation organisations, static fishing respondents and individuals, although more opposed than supported Approach 2.

Table 13 . 1: Luce Bay SAC - Support for preferred management approach

Yes

No

Other comments

No reply

Individuals (133)

5

23

-

105

Environment / Conservation (17)

2

8

1

6

Inshore Fisheries Group ( IFG) (3)

-

1

-

2

Industry / Transport (6)

-

-

-

6

Mobile fishing (8)

-

3

-

5

Local authority (3)

-

-

-

3

Local group (7)

-

3

1

3

Recreation / Tourism (13)

-

8

-

5

Static fishing (4)

1

3

-

-

Other (2)

-

-

-

2

Total (196)

8

49

2

137

13.3.4. Two respondents, a local group and an environment /conservation respondent, commented without giving an indication of support or otherwise and these are counted in the 'other comments' column in the table above.

13.3.5. A total of twenty-one respondents added comments, five of those who supported the approach, the two respondents who answered neither 'yes' nor 'no' and 14 who did not support Approach 2.

13.3.6. A key theme emerging from additional comments related to scallop dredging; distinct and conflicting views were expressed. Some environment /conservation and recreation /tourism organisations as well as a local group expressed serious concerns regarding Approach 2, including:

  • that it will fail to meet conservation objectives, undermine site integrity and will potentially result in a breach of duties set out in the Habitats Directive.
  • that mechanical dredging in the inner bay may disturb Greenland white-fronted geese.
  • that Approach 2 appears to differ dramatically from the approach proposed in 2014 workshops and that some stakeholders expected to go forward with only minor changes.
  • that an assessment of two potential Annex 1 habitats is required.
  • that insufficient attention and weight is given to the potential value that might be realised in the recreational sector as a trade off against potential losses in mobile fishing.

13.3.7. In contrast, some individuals as well as static and mobile fishing respondents and a local group expressed concern that Approach 2 impacts on the viability of scallop fishing in the area.

13.3.8. Those who did not support Approach 2 were asked: 'Do you support one of the other approaches?' and 39 respondents indicated that they supported Approach 1, whilst ten answered 'no' suggesting they supported none of the approaches outlined in the consultation. The environment /conservation respondent who had commented on the proposed approach, without indicating definitive support or otherwise, answered here that they preferred Approach 1.

13.3.9. The key recurring theme in additional comments made by respondents supporting Approach 1 was that all mobile activity and/or scallop dredging specifically should be totally prohibited throughout the SAC.

13.3.10. The recurring theme from those respondents that indicated they supported none of the approaches was that Approach 3 is the nearest to their preferred approach but without the imposition of a 'curfew'.

13.3.11. Five respondents referred to a recent meeting between stakeholders and Marine Scotland and a subsequent proposed alternative map (Figure 13.1) of restricted areas 'without a curfew' as a potential solution. The map referenced in these comments is reproduced overleaf for reference.

Figure 13.1: Alternate proposal from fishermen for Luce Bay SAC

Figure 13.1: Alternate proposal from fishermen for Luce Bay SAC

13.3.12. Eight respondents, comprising four individuals, two local groups and two static fishing respondents answered 'yes' in response to whether they agreed with the economic, social, and environmental assessments of the impact of the management approaches ; 18 respondents from across a wide range of groupings answered 'no'.

13.3.13. Twenty-two respondents made further comments, including four that had answered neither 'yes' nor 'no'.

13.3.14. The main theme from those that commented related to economic impacts on local businesses; two different views emerged.

13.3.15. Four recreation /tourism respondents commented that declining fish stocks are resulting in diminishing visitor numbers and that loss of business from sea anglers and other tourists is adversely affecting revenue and viability. An environment /conservation respondent also commented more broadly on the potential value of the recreational sector and another noted the importance of good environmental condition of the bay for tourism.

13.3.16. Conversely, one recreation /tourism respondent, a static fishing organisation and three individuals commented on the business derived locally from expenditure by scallop fishing crews during winter months. The static fishing respondent also noted the employment created locally in scallop processing and the manufacture of fishing gear.

13.3.17. Three environment /conservation respondents expressed concerns again at this question regarding potential breach of the Habitats Directive and commented on the need for an appropriate assessment within the site.

13.3.18. Two mobile fishing respondents referred to a lack of time to consider the environmental report and reservations regarding the relevance and completeness of data provided in economic and social assessments.

13.3.19. As seen in other areas, three environment /conservation respondents commented that the assessment fails to take account of wider benefits that some of the proposals would bring.

13.4. We Did

13.4.1. Broad and conflicting views have been expressed by responders to the consultation. In light of this the Scottish Government has not reached a conclusion on what the proposed measures should be.

13.4.2. To assist the completion of those deliberations a one day stakeholder workshop will be held on 26 June 2015. Further details can be found in Appendix 13.

13.4.3. After this additional process is completed an addendum to this report will be published detailing the Scottish Government's conclusion. Luce Bay SAC has pre-existing management measures which in effect mean that there will be no scallop dredging permitted until 01 November 2015. It is therefore our current intention to ensure that any new measures are implemented on that date.


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