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

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.

Appendix 5: Report of the Consultation Events

During the consultation a series of drop-in information events were held in various locations throughout Scotland to allow members of the public to meet with Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

A table showing the event locations, dates and estimated number of attendees is included below:





18/11/2014 (Tue)



19/11/2014 (Wed)



20/11/2014 (Thur)



21/11/2014 (Fri)



25/11/2014 (Tue)



26/11/2014 (Wed)



27/11/2014 (Thur)



02/12/2014 (Tue)



03/12/2014 (Wed)



04/12/2014 (Thur)



10/12/2014 (Wed)



12/11/2014 (Wed)



13/11/2014 (Thur)



27/01/2015 (Tues)


The Tobermory event was cancelled twice due to poor weather conditions before finally taking place on the 27 th January 2015.

All of the main points raised at each meeting were recorded and have been compiled in this document. Please note that comments conveyed were made by members of the public who attended the events. Similar views may have been expressed by multiple attendees.

The comments in this appendix do not represent the views of Scottish Minsters, Marine Scotland or Scottish Natural Heritage.


WICK 18/11/2014

  • Noss Head management will not affect fishermen as nobody is fishing there at moment anyway with exception of creelers who would not be affected.
  • However <10m vessels in the inshore managed areas for trawls and dredgers will be impossible to police and enforce because the pings are only every 2 hours; in between pings they enter protected areas then go out again before the next ping. Small scallopers do not need to keep their AIS on and often turn it off to avoid it being known where they are.
  • Only way to police/enforce MPA/ SACs is with continuous tracking, every minute.
  • They consider small boats to be main danger for marine environment as there are boats continuously going over the same area.
  • Boundary should be further out to the 3 degree line to include an important sandbank that supports vast numbers of razorbills and guillemots. There are currently boats from all over Scotland as well as Isle of Man fishing that area for scallops.
  • Consider protected areas to be only thing stopping fish from running out and big boats like protected areas as they can fish the edges.
  • No electro-fishing in this area.

ULLAPOOL 19/11/2014


  • Very strong support for the MPA and wanting to see it well managed.
  • Scallop dredging brings no benefit to the local communities. Whereas scallop diving and eco-tourism does.
  • Changing the seasonal closure (Gruinard Bay and Little Loch Broom) to a permanent measure may impact on creel fishermen who benefit from fishing in what would be the space between the 2 lines in winter.
  • The area around the summer isles, Eilean dubh and Bottle Island should be amalgamated into one.
  • Strong support of the Approach 2 measures in the sea lochs (Loch Ewe, Little loch Broom, and Loch Broom)
  • A lot of local interest in Loch Ewe, support from all sectors for a full closure to facilitate shellfish and fish stock regeneration.
  • Enquiries about impacts of a planned offshore wind farm cable which would run through Little Loch Broom. A feeling that this would offer further protection to the areas adjacent to the cable.
  • Comments about the negative impact on the environment of fish farms in the area.
  • Scallop dredgers have been sighted fishing in areas with a voluntary agreement in place. No evidence however so no further action can be taken.
  • Keen to see Several Orders retained,
  • Support for static gear only area opposite Achultibuie.
  • Possible Scottish Parliament petition.
  • Concern that MPAs would not cover trout and salmon.


  • Length restriction should be applied to dredging to make it the same as the 12m trawling restriction.
  • Historic seaweed fishery in this area should perhaps be taken into consideration for further management to prevent this industry restarting.

KYLEAKIN 20/11/2014


  • Good support throughout local community for the MPAs. A feeling that the monitoring needs to be collaborative (with local community) and frequent to be effective and to allow for continuing growth of knowledge.
  • Interest locally in applying to designate the area around the South Skye islands as a demonstration & research MPA for salmon and sea trout.
  • Concern about the detrimental effects fish farms have on the environment.
  • Queries about mobile species MPAs.
  • In the proposed seasonal fishery area in Loch Alsh it is mostly visiting scallop dredgers within the 1 st few weeks of the area opening. They fish very close to the boundary and so monitoring can be difficult.
  • The existing licence condition has had a disproportionate effect on smaller vessels who dredged on the shallower edges which are no longer available.
  • Concern about insufficient resources for monitoring.


  • The measures will affect smaller dredgers most. May be forced to upsize vessel from one operating 4-a-side to a vessel capable of 8-a-side.


  • Displacing scallop dredging from here may result in sensitive habitats near Skye coming under increased pressure.
  • A number of tows would be affected by the Sound of Canna measures under both approaches. These are used most by smaller vessels.
  • Potential for increased gear conflict, creel proliferation and increased unlicensed fishing.


  • It looks like the measures have been designed to stop scallop dredging.

MALLAIG 21/11/2014

  • Fishing industry unhappy about the proposed closures around the small isles as previously agreed closed area only covered the fan mussel beds.
  • Interest from local fish farm owners as to the impact upon their business.
  • For future events MS should consider dropping flyers in key businesses such as grocers, chandlery, fuel depot etc., as few people read the local newspapers.
  • Concerns amongst trawlermen as there more <12m boats fishing in Sound of Canna than the Scotmap data suggests.
  • Fishermen would like to see SNH consider allowing fishing in areas between the sea fans in the proposed closed area in the Sound. Their concern is that previous Management Options Paper had no management for northern sea fan and feather star but now there is to maintain consistency with SAC reef habitat management. Their concern is that this is widening the area requiring management. Alternatively to keep the fan and horse mussel beds in Sound of Canna only and look elsewhere in the MPA for other areas to manage the MPA for northern sea fan and feather star.

ARRAN 25/11/2014


  • Want to see no mobile gear fishing in whole MPA.
  • MCO areas should be highly protected but drawn much closer to the actual maerl beds. A buffer of 100m should be acceptable to local static gear fishers.
  • Fish stocks, particularly cod, will not recover with such a high intensity of nephrops trawling.
  • Approach 3 may deliver spatial management but gives no real control over the amount of effort in the area where mobile fishing would continue.
  • The whole Clyde would benefit from at least a half mile limit where no mobile gear fishing takes place.
  • Concern that mobile gear management may create a honeypot effect for creel fishing.
  • Want to see proper compliance monitoring and enforcement action / prosecution if there are offences committed.
  • Would like to see the 3 NM limit reintroduced not only around Arran but around the whole coastline of Scotland. A feeling that the removal of this in the 1980's contributed greatly to declining fish stocks.
  • Would like to see a wider variety of commercial fish.
  • Would like to see greater opportunities for angling.
  • Closures/restrictions need to be measures so that the difference made is clear.
  • Concerns about the ability to ensure compliance.
  • Desire to see the proposed MPA closed completely to mobile gear fishing.

ARDROSSAN 26/11/2014

  • Ecotourism could improve in rural areas with healthy marine environment. Could have increased kayaking, diving, snorkelling, angling etc.
  • People retire on Arran and like things not to change and want idyllic setting. They can be upset by fishing vessels close to shore not realising that this has happened for many years.
  • Hunterston lagoon is important for terns and population increasing. Speculation that sandeels are more plentiful in the Clyde than in previous years.
  • Fish stocks were overfished and fishing methods were too efficient.

STRANRAER 27/11/2014


  • Recreational sailors pleased that the management will not affect them. Supportive of Scotland's seas being well managed.
  • Creel fishermen work in partnership with local scallop industry.
  • Ensuring that the local economy thrives is the primary consideration, not protection of the marine environment.
  • Something like Approach 3 would probably be best for fishermen but would require some modification. The proposed daily curfew will affect vessels that are covered by Western waters effort regime, but not others. This would be an unfair solution. Some form of permit scheme may be better.
  • Scallops tend to reach a high abundance on a 7-10 year cycle; a few years ago there were a lot more scallops and at moment there is a bit of a dip in numbers.
  • Luce Bay is never the 1 st fishing ground of choice for scallop fishermen. They only operate there when they are unable to access other grounds due to prevailing conditions.
  • Areas of kelp and cobble reef in Luce Bay have been flattened buy dredgers. This has caused a decline in fish numbers where were found in the reef areas. This has caused less anglers to visit the area.
  • Species such as Tope much rarer these days. Speculation that electro-fishing for razorfish is affecting them.
  • Razorfish fishermen are being threatening towards others which is creating a lot of concern in the area.
  • Fishermen feel angry at what they consider to be lies being told by the environmental NGOs about the impact of dredging and other fishing on the environment.


  • Sea anglers believe skate need safe areas in the shallows for them at night so should ensure no boats towing at night in shallows.


  • Concerns over an effluent pipeline that is going into Loch Ryan from a creamery could damage the native oyster population. Concern that there has not been contact from SEPA regarding this and concern over what may be going into the lobsters and whether it remains safe to eat.

CAMPBELTOWN 02/12/2014


  • Lots of complaints about the likelihood of prawn ground being lost. Concern that up to 70% of income would be lost. Concern also that the non-affiliated vessels would be hardest hit. The proposed Designated Fishing Areas for trawling are very important to local trawlers. Welcome the proposed 100 GRT restriction for these areas.
  • The seabed around South Arran changes all the time and changes from mud to sand and sandy mud. Certain closed areas around S. Arran may be difficult to navigate and may cause boats to be blown into some the closed areas.
  • Extra data reported around NTZ in Arran that makes the VMS data seem more concentrated than it is.
  • Fishermen think SG want to close whole of Clyde eventually!
  • South Arran proposals will not make too much impact on fishing in general, but will hit a few individuals quite hard.
  • West coast vessels would like a reduction of large boats in same way as there is a reduction of them on east coast.


  • The upper section of Upper Loch Fyne has an area where the navy have dummy mines. Therefore no trawling takes place which makes the 2b approach designated trawl area worthless to trawlers. With some adjustments approach 2a could work well.
  • The closed part in the middle of Upper Loch Fyne may not be right for fireworks anemone as fishermen think it is too deep.
  • Upper Loch Fyne - Possibility that the logbooks may be off slightly as close to edge of the ICES rectangle. Some may have been logging where their catch against the other rectangle that they spend more time in over the year.


  • A number of complaints about the approach taken by SSE to the mainland Jura cable.
  • Concerns that the minimum landing size for prawns wasn't being adhered to. Concerns that compliance wasn't picking this up. Assertion that vessels had large numbers of Pilipino crew men who spending all of their time tailing undersized prawns.
  • Prawn fishing effort by vessels from out with the Clyde had increased fishery may only last a few more years if undersized landings are not stopped.
  • Should be minimum landing size increased to be same as everyone else for nephrops as everyone wants it - should not be taking all the small prawns out of the sea. Also would help the fishermen make a better living.
  • The trend for bigger vessels fishing in the Clyde is causing significant concern. The gear is bigger and heavier. Therefore covering far more ground in one tow. Query as to where the ICES 6a effort is coming from.
  • Feeling that the 70ft length restriction is now outdated and needs to include a power limit. This would help the smaller vessels who are feeling squeezed out of their traditional grounds.
  • Lack of protection for local Clyde fishing communities
  • Concerns from fishermen regarding run-off from fishfarms; fish farms end up with a lot of dead fish that pollute the environment.
  • At moment there is the most marine life fishermen have ever seen in Clyde. Seal numbers are increasing who are eating all the fish! So the Clyde cannot be as devoid as life as some groups say if seals are increasing.
  • Licence to shoot seals is only for fish farmers and river basin managers. Question over what is a sustainable seal population.
  • Campbeltown relies on windfarms, farming and fishing.

INVERARAY 03/12/2014


  • Upper Loch Fyne would be better with lesser spatial measures and greater general restrictions such as winter only trawling, no twin rig, and restricted to even smaller vessels than 75 tonnes. This would recognise its importance to the smaller vessels in bad weather.
  • There are too many creels in the water and there should be a balance in limitations on trawling and creeling. Creel vessels often see better catches after some trawling has taken place.
  • People say there are no fish in the loch for anglers. The trouble is they come in summer when the fish aren't present. During winter they are there and this was recently proven by an angling party who recently caught significant quantities of cod in the loch.
  • Would like to see whole of Loch Fyne and Loch Goil closed to mobile gear. Loch Goil has fish with concave bellies as no food for them after trawls.
  • MPAs need governance; they cannot be self-governed or voluntary- important to make sure policing done properly.
  • Juvenile fish getting caught in fish farms
  • Loch Long and Fyne have lots of sandeel and sprat, but sometimes get jellyfish swarms and anglers think jellyfish are eating leftover food from fish farms.
  • High numbers of sea-stars but less juvenile fish


  • Anglers have seen collapse in numbers of fish, which is driving people away and has seen loss in number of fishing shops. Luce Bay for example is empty of fish for anglers
  • MPAs should provide full protection not just in certain areas for individual features.
  • Would like to see 3 mile limit come back or even 1 mile limit
  • Predators are feeding on jellyfish not fish as cod etc are not eating jellyfish - increase in dog whelks too that are eating fish farm effluent and food.
  • Concern that SEPA and MS Compliance not doing enough.

BARRA 04/12/2014

  • One local creel boat working within East Mingulay SAC, this is the main area for working in the first half of the year.
  • Works about 500 creels, 500 elsewhere. Doesn't fish on the reef but can be close to the buffer boundary.
  • A bigger nomadic creel boat fishes in the area occasionally.
  • Safe to put creels down here as very little or no mobile gear boats working in this area.
  • It is unclear why fishing at such low levels at East Mingulay could even have a risk of likely significant effect.
  • It would appear that the change in policy regarding application of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive to fishing is a direct result of pressure applied to DEFRA by the Marine Conservation Society and ClientEarth.

OBAN 10/12/2014

  • Creelers happy with what is being proposed for Loch Sunart and Sound of Jura.
  • Recreational boaters concerned as to whether there will be restrictions for anchorages, though there is very little of concern for anchorages with exception of Whiting Bay.
  • Enquiries about the process to designate Loch Etive as an MPA.
  • Small Isles MPA proposals likely to hit smallest boats in the South Minch hardest. They depend on being able to fish in the shelter of the islands and move around according to the prevailing conditions.
  • Fishermen disappointed with the change in SNH advice regarding Northern Seafan and Sponge Communities having engaged in the displacement study and other meetings

KIRKWALL 17/12/2014

  • Scallop dredgers do not fish in either the MPA or SAC and support the management proposed so long as there is no creep out from the site boundary.
  • Fishermen would like definitive maps of where they can / cannot fish once measures are in place so that they can stay compliant.
  • The myriad of fisheries regulations and "paperwork" has become too complex and would benefit from simplification.

STORNOWAY 18/12/2014

  • Concern that the existing fisheries management of Broad Bay was going to be revoked.
  • Concern that the existing fisheries measures in Broad Bay were not achieving its aim, and should be revoked.
  • The Dorney Sound at Wester Ross MPA is important to Western Isles scallop dredgers
  • The zonal management proposal for East Mingulay is a pragmatic solution, and should be an exemplar of what can be done when fishers knowledge is incorporated.
  • Western Isles fishermen have become more relaxed about MPAs over the last 18 months due to being engaged in various meetings in that period.
  • Interest in the next steps with community-led management of Sound of Barra.
  • A number of questions about the landings obligation, about which separate contact would be made
  • Question about whether the Halibut fish farm was still operational.

TOBERMORY 27/01/2015

  • Concern that Marine Scotland would allow mobile gear fishing in Marine Protected Areas. Assertion that, by definition, such sites should be fully protected. Mobile gear fishing in some areas within a MPA boundary would not constitute protection.
  • Concerns about how scallop diving might be treated.
  • Concerns also about moorings and whether they would still be accessible after designation.
  • Concern about the impact of fish farms. The waste and chemicals were harmful to the environment. The fish farms were Norwegian owned. Fish farms also caused problems for salmon and sea trout.
  • The Firth of Lorn was full of scallops. Could spat or mature scallops be transferred/ relocated to adjacent areas. Scallop spat transfer, in particular, had been mooted for some time. Suitable seabed habitat and water temperature may be relevant.
  • Concerns about illegal fishing and whether MPAs would help to deter.
  • Fishing interests unlikely to comply with MPA management. Likely therefore that more stringent would be required.


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