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
20. Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil MPA

236 page PDF

11.9 MB

20. Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil MPA

20.1. Introduction

20.1.1. Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil MPA was designated to protect a range of seabed habitats and species.

20.1.2. The consultation presented two management approaches for the recovery of the flame shell bed and two approaches for the rest of the habitats. All approaches would prohibit the use of suction dredges (boat or diver operated) and there would be a vessel capacity restriction of 75 Gross Registered Tonnage ( GRT). In addition:

  • Approach 1a (flame shell bed) proposed that no fishing should take place or the deployment of anything onto the seabed, or removal of anything from the seabed with the recovery area based on the existing voluntary fisheries management arrangement.
  • Approach 1b (flame shell bed) has the same proposals as Approach 1a but based on the potential extent of the flame shell bed.
  • Approach 2a (rest of habitats) would prohibit the use of demersal trawls or mechanical dredges on a zonal basis.
  • Approach 2b (rest of habitats) would create designated fishing areas for the use of demersal trawls or mechanical dredges.

20.2. We Asked

20.2.1. The consultation asked: 'Do you support the proposed high level of protection for the recovery of the flame shell bed?' If supported a further question relating to the possible permitting of activities.

20.2.2. The consultation asked: Do you support the preferred spatial approach for flameshell bed recovery (number 1a) and preferred approach for the rest of the area (number 2a) for managing this protected area? A follow up question asking about support for the alternate approaches was also asked.

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

20.3. You Said

20.3.1. In response to the proposed high level of protection for the recovery of the flame shell bed, 17 respondents said that they supported it, seven said they didn't' and two made other comments. This responses are summarised in Table 20.1.

Table 20 . 1: Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil MPA - Support for high level of protection for the recovery of the flame shell bed

Yes

No

Other comments

No reply

Individuals (133)

4

2

-

127

Environment / Conservation (17)

6

2

-

9

Inshore Fisheries Group ( IFG) (3)

-

-

-

3

Industry / Transport (6)

-

-

-

6

Mobile fishing (8)

3

-

1

4

Local authority (3)

1

-

-

2

Local group (7)

1

1

-

5

Recreation / Tourism (13)

-

2

-

11

Static fishing (4)

2

-

1

1

Other (2)

-

-

-

2

Total (196)

17

7

2

170

20.3.2. Sixteen respondents commented further. This included nine of those who said 'yes', they support the proposed high level of protection for the recovery of the flame shell bed. The main themes to emerge from this group of respondents included:

  • Three respondents reiterated their support for the proposed high level of protection.
  • Two mobile fishing respondents commented that voluntary measures are already in place to restrict fishing in an agreed area.
  • One local authority asked that care is taken in drawing the boundary to ensure no unnecessary impact on "the existing anchorage at Port Ann; anchorage and moorings at Otter Ferry; and the existing intertidal and subtidal oyster farm at Ballimore, by restricting activity and small scale development at locations where flameshell beds may not occur and/or are unlikely to recover". This respondent also commented that clarity is needed as to what exactly is being prohibited.
  • An individual said that management measures must be enforceable and also suggested that Upper Loch Fyne be closed to all mobile gear.
  • Two environment /conservation respondents commented on the importance of flame shell beds.

20.3.3. Five respondents who did not support the proposed high level of protection for the recovery of the flame shell bed commented. These respondents wanted to see greater restrictions than those proposed for this area, most said all of Loch Goil and Upper Loch Fyne should be closed to mobile fishing gear.

20.3.4. Two other respondents commented; a static fishing respondent said they "support proportionate conservation measures with minimum impact on commercial fisheries". A mobile fishing respondent supported "protection in a balanced and fair way".

20.3.5. Respondents were also asked: 'If you support a high level of protection for the flame shell bed should provision be made to permit certain activities under specific circumstances?' All seventeen who had supported the proposed high level of protection for the recovery of the flame shell bed answered, as did six others.

20.3.6. Eight respondents said 'yes' provision should be made to permit certain activities under specific circumstances. Fourteen said 'no' and one said 'yes and no'.

20.3.7. Seventeen of these respondents added comments. This included four who said provision should be made to permit certain activities under specific circumstances and one who had answered 'yes and no':

  • One mobile fishing respondent reiterated their support for a high level of protection.
  • One individual wanted to see mobile gear banned while another wanted to see "Creeling only in Upper Loch Fyne, with maximum number of creels, possibly local permits". A static fishing respondent said dredging or trawling should be prohibited but static fishing allowed.

20.3.8. A local authority commented again on the need to ensure the boundary does not impact on "the anchorage at Port Ann, moorings and anchorage at Otter Ferry, or the oyster farm at Ballimore". Failing this, they commented, there will be a need for provision for anchoring in designated areas. This respondent also suggested provision "to allow shellfish diving and/or low level creel fishing to occur within the wider recovery area but outwith the current extent of the flame shell bed".

20.3.9. Twelve respondents who did not support provision to permit certain activities under specific circumstances commented. The main themes from these responses were:

  • That there should be no mobile fishing allowed in the area (four respondents).
  • That there should be no creeling or static fishing in the area (five environment /conservation respondents).
  • Another environment /conservation respondent commented that management approaches should support, not hinder, a conservation objective of 'recover'.
  • Support for recreational sea angling and recreational SCUBA diving (two environment /conservation respondents).
  • Two mobile fishing respondents commented that while the fishing industry has agreed voluntary measures other activity such as the laying of a submarine cable has been allowed. They asked for "a balanced and equal approach to all marine sectors" and commented "given the need for high level protection it is vitally important that all marine sectors are treated equitably".

20.3.10. Respondents were then asked: 'Do you support the preferred spatial approach (number 1a) for managing recovery of the flame shell bed?' and, as can be seen in the Table 20.2, 11 said 'yes' and 18 said 'no'. One, from the static fishing group, commented that Approach 1a was not outlined in the consultation document.

Table 20.2: Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil MPA - Support for preferred management approach for the flame shell bed

Yes

No

Other comments

No reply

Individuals (133)

1

6

-

126

Environment / Conservation (17)

7

4

-

6

Inshore Fisheries Group ( IFG) (3)

-

-

-

3

Industry / Transport (6)

-

-

-

6

Mobile fishing (8)

-

4

-

4

Local authority (3)

1

-

-

2

Local group (7)

1

1

-

5

Recreation / Tourism (13)

-

2

-

11

Static fishing (4)

1

1

1

1

Other (2)

-

-

-

2

Total (196)

11

18

1

166

20.3.11. Sixteen provided comments with their answers and this included seven of those who answered 'yes'; most of these respondents simply reiterated support for this option. A local authority qualified their support, asking again for "amendment to the proposed recovery area to allow use of the anchorage at Port Ann, anchorage and moorings at Otter Ferry and oyster farm at Balliemore".

20.3.12. Nine of those who said 'no' they do not support the preferred spatial approach (number 1a) for managing recovery of the flame shell bed, gave their reasons.

20.3.13. This included four mobile fishing respondents; two of whom commented that "the evidence and information available on resettlement of flame shells is based on modelling work which is unproven".

20.3.14. Two individuals and an environment /conservation respondent wanted to see mobile gear prohibited while a recreation /tourism respondent wanted a greater reduction in mobile gear.

20.3.15. Those who did not support the preferred option were asked: 'Do you support the other approach for managing recovery of the flame shell bed?' Six (from the individual and mobile fishing groups) said 'yes', 12 (mainly from the environment /conservation, individual and recreation /tourism groups) said 'no'.

20.3.16. Fifteen commented further including four who said 'yes' they support the other approach. Comments from these four respondents, all from the mobile fishing group, included:

  • Reiteration of support for Approach 1b.
  • Two respondents commenting that this approach is nearer to the existing voluntary agreement but saying they are "unconvinced on the case put for extending the area already agreed upon for voluntary measures and would
    expect that a monitoring programme should be put in place to determine if the restrictions imposed actually do enhance restoration".
  • One who said "fishermen have to be aware of the new systems and that Marine Scotland should develop a mechanism to assist in informing fishermen of the changes". They also wanted to see improved legislation relating to creeling.

20.3.17. Eleven of the respondents who said 'no' they did not support the other approach also commented. Points raised by these respondents included:

  • Four environment /conservation respondents said that the area is too small.
  • Two environment /conservation respondents and one from the static fishing group felt the option will not allow recovery of the features.
  • Four respondents felt there should be a total exclusion of bottom towed mobile gear and one wanted a greater reduction that that proposed.
  • One individual felt "the 3 'green areas' should be joined to make one demersal free zone".

20.3.18. In respect of the other habitats, the consultation asked: 'Do you support the preferred approach (number 2a) for managing the rest of the protected area?' and, as can be seen in Table 20.3 most, 23 respondents, said 'no' while seven said 'yes'.

Table 20.3: Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil MPA - Support for preferred management approach for rest of the habitats

Yes

No

Other comments

No reply

Individuals (133)

2

5

-

126

Environment / Conservation (17)

1

10

-

6

Inshore Fisheries Group ( IFG) (3)

-

-

-

3

Industry / Transport (6)

-

-

-

6

Mobile fishing (8)

2

2

-

4

Local authority (3)

1

-

-

2

Local group (7)

-

2

-

5

Recreation / Tourism (13)

-

2

-

11

Static fishing (4)

1

2

-

1

Other (2)

-

-

-

2

Total (196)

7

23

-

166

20.3.19. Sixteen commented further and this included four of those who said 'yes' they support the preferred approach (number 2a) for managing the rest of the protected area. Two of these respondents, from the mobile fishing group, felt that this option would be simpler to manage. The others felt that this option includes the better management of mobile fishing.

20.3.20. Twelve respondents who did not support Approach 2a also commented and this included:

  • Eight, many from the environment /conservation group, who wanted to see all dredging and trawling further reduced or prohibited.
  • Two mobile fishing respondents said this approach would affect fishing patterns or activities.
  • Two simply said they did not support Approach 2a.
  • One individual felt the areas should be joined rather than separate.
  • One environment /conservation respondents commented on the need for monitoring to understand the impact of measures on the protected features and on the need for "research, compliance, monitoring and additional funding be made available to ensure that the effect of marine activities within and outwith marine protected areas can be fully assessed". They added "as well as considering the high level of protection of these areas, the three pillar approach of species, sites and wider-seas measures must be applied throughout".

20.3.21. Those who did not support the preferred option were asked: 'Do you support the other approach for managing the rest of the protected area?' Five said 'yes' while 18 (mainly from the environment /conservation and individuals groups, said 'no'.

20.3.22. Four of those who said 'yes' commented further. Two of these respondents wanted mobile gear prohibited with no derogation.

20.3.23. Two, from the mobile fishing group, pointed out "that this area is heavily fished currently and has been for the last 70 years, and if quahogs are still present Marine Scotland should consider that the fishing can't be harming them as they are still there". They also felt that this option could affect semi pelagic white fishing in the three mile limit and that it will cause displacement that will affect adjacent areas. One noted that some data for upper Loch Fyne is not accurate.

20.3.24. Twelve respondents who said 'no' they did not support the other approach commented:

  • Seven wanted to see mobile gear completely prohibited.
  • Three felt the proposal too complicated
  • Two simply said they did not support Approach 2b.

20.3.25. Two mobile fishing respondents who said 'yes' to Approach 2a were concerned that the other approach is overcomplicated and unnecessary.

20.3.26. Finally, in this section, eight respondents, mainly individuals, said 'yes' that they agreed with the economic, social, and environmental assessments of the impact of the management approaches. Two commented further; a local authority asked that "the economic impact of management measures for the three MPA proposals within the Firth of Clyde are considered cumulatively by Marine Scotland as well as individually". An individual commented: "Loch Fyne is suffering from not only trawling but an immense number of finfish farms". They also said there will need to be clear management plans and objectives in place for creeling licences.

20.3.27. Nine respondents, mainly from the environment /conservation group, said 'no' and five of these respondents added their reasons:

20.3.28. One commented that the assessments do not take into account future cost benefits while one said they do not take into account the well-being benefits that may accrue. There was also a comment that the assessments have not considered the full range of benefits that will occur. These respondents were all from the environment /conservation group.

20.3.29. Others, from the same group, felt that the measures proposed are not sufficient "to protect the burrowed mud or associated features"; these respondents wanted a more precautionary approach.

20.3.30. Six respondents made other comments; these were mainly from the mobile fishing and environment /conservation groups:

  • A recreation/tourism respondents commented that the flame shell beds are not in an area that would be used for anchorage as there are more appropriate anchorages in the area.
  • Two respondents from the mobile fishing group did not specify an answer, instead reserving judgement as they have not had time to evaluate the Environmental Report that was not available at the start of the consultation. Another from this group commented: "a fair balance with the social and economic benefits which fishing brings to the area should at all times be carefully factored".
  • Two environment /conversation respondents commented that more protection is needed in this area and that this would bring additional benefits.

20.4. We Did

20.4.1. Please see broad issues section regarding creel fishing and the environmental report.

20.4.2. The Scottish Government accepts the view that non-fishing issues be addressed through the marine licensing system where appropriate. Furthermore issues relating to anchoring can be addressed through the management plan in conjunction with local stakeholders, sailing interests, and Scottish Natural Heritage. This combination will address non-fishing issues in relation to recovery of the flame shell bed.

20.4.3. On fisheries issues the Scottish Government has noted the general lack of support for any of the management approaches. For some stakeholders this is from an environmental perspective and for other it is economic issues.

20.4.4. The Scottish Government has concluded that a simplified management solution is appropriate. This retains limited access to both lochs for demersal trawling. This is a balanced approach that furthers the conservation objectives without unnecessary potential short term socio-economic impact.

20.4.5. To minimise the risk of impact on the recovery of the flame shell beds within the Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil MPA the use of mechanical dredges will be prohibited throughout.

20.4.6. We intend to implement the following measures for Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil MPA by an Order under the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984;

  • To prohibit the use of the following fishing methods - suction dredge, mechanical dredge, beam trawl, and demersal trawl - throughout the MPA.
  • By way of derogation demersal trawl will be permitted in specified areas by vessels of less than 75 registered gross tonnes.
  • In addition all static gear would be prohibited in the area identified for recovery of the flame shell bed.

20.4.7. The measures and their ecological value are shown in appendix 20.


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