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
9. Loch Laxford SAC

236 page PDF

11.9 MB

9. Loch Laxford SAC

9.1. Introduction

9.1.1. Loch Laxford SAC was designated for the constituent habitats of its "large shallow inlet and bay". The consultation presented one management approach for Loch Laxford SAC:

  • The use of demersal trawls, mechanical dredge, or suction dredges (boat or diver operated) would be prohibited throughout the SAC.

9.2. We Asked

9.2.1. The consultation asked: 'Do you support the management approach for this protected area?'

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

9.3. You Said

9.3.1. Only 26 respondents gave direct answers and a very large majority of these supported the preferred approach. Table 9.1 summarises all the responses received.

Table 9.1: Loch Laxford SAC - Support for management approach

Yes

No

Other comments

No reply

Individuals (133)

6

1

-

126

Environment / Conservation (17)

8

1

-

8

Inshore Fisheries Group ( IFG) (3)

-

-

-

3

Industry / Transport (6)

-

-

-

6

Mobile fishing (8)

3

-

-

5

Local authority (3)

-

1

-

2

Local group (7)

-

1

-

6

Recreation / Tourism (13)

2

-

-

11

Static fishing (4)

3

-

1

-

Other (2)

-

-

-

2

Total (196)

22

4

1

169

9.3.2. One static fishing respondent commented without giving an indication of support or otherwise and this response is shown in the 'other comments' column in the table above. The respondent simply stated: "we support proportionate conservation measures with minimum impact on commercial fisheries".

9.3.3. Nineteen of the respondents who answered 'yes' or 'no' went on to add comments. The main theme in these comments was outright support for prohibiting the use of demersal trawls, mechanical dredge, or suction dredges throughout the SAC.

9.3.4. A sub-theme from six respondents (three who answered 'no' and three who answered 'yes') related to static fishing or creeling specifically.

9.3.5. A local authority, an individual and an environment /conservation organisation who answered 'no', together with another environment /conservation respondent who answered 'yes', felt that static fishing should be prohibited or at least limited. Conversely, an individual and a static fishing respondent, both of whom answered 'yes', expressed support for the approach because it would not impact on creeling or other static fishing.

9.3.6. Other comments included:

  • Support for further investigation into the use of static gear and potential interactions with sensitive features within the loch, with a view to establishing safeguards against any future increase in effort or scale of static gear use in the site.
  • Concern that the extent of existing static gear activity is underestimated and that creel fishing pressure may already be greater than currently recorded.
  • The need for monitoring to determine the impacts of the designation and management on the area.

9.3.7. Eleven respondents (five individuals, three environment /conservation, two static fishing and one recreation /tourism) answered 'yes' in response to whether they agreed with the economic, social, and environmental assessments of the impact of the management approaches. Only two of these respondents went on to make further comment. An environment /conservation respondent suggested an assessment of mussel farming activity in Loch Laxford SAC and an individual commented on the need to regulate nomads and unlicensed recreational creeling vessels to avoid damage and over fishing.

9.3.8. Six respondents answered 'no' in response to whether they agreed with the economic, social, and environmental assessments of the impact of the management approaches and additional comments from five of these respondents included:

  • Three environment /conservation respondents commented that the assessment has failed to consider the benefits that the proposed measures may bring, whether economic, social, health and/or environmental.
  • A local authority suggested a need for pre-emptive measure relating to potential negative effects from static gear rather than making provision should a future need be identified.
  • A mobile fishing respondent noted that the environmental report on management measures was not available at the beginning of the public consultation.

9.3.9. Two other respondents in the mobile fishing group did not answer 'yes' or 'no' and commented on lack of time to review the environmental report.

9.4. We Did

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

9.4.2. Loch Laxford is already subject of a seasonal closure to mobile gear. It is rarely used during the rest of the year by mobile gear vessels. Therefore a change in mobile gear management is unlikely to cause any change in creel fishing. Therefore the Scottish Government sees no need to restrict creel fishing in Loch Laxford SAC at this time.

9.4.3. Comments relating to mussel farming have been passed to the relevant authorities.

9.4.4. The current seasonal closure will be revoked and replaced with all year round measures. The reason for revocation is that the existing closed area line is slightly different from the SAC boundary.

9.4.5. We intend to implement the following measures by an Order under the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984;

  • To prohibit the use of the following fishing gears - suction dredge, mechanical dredge, beam trawl, and demersal trawl - throughout the SAC.

9.4.6. The measures and their ecological value are shown in appendix 9.


Contact