- This section introduces the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill - Consultation Document and the Consultation Analysis Main Report, explaining the context within which it has been prepared.
- An overview of the consultation process is provided, and the method used to analyse the consultation and report on the findings, including reference to the relevant guidance, is summarised.
1.1.1 The Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill - Consultation Document  set out the key issues and priorities in relation to Scotland's aquaculture, wild salmon and freshwater fisheries industries. The document discussed potential for amendments to existing legislation and scope for additional measures. It built on best practice and voluntary arrangements where appropriate, to protect the interests of those who have invested in the highest standards of management and husbandry.
1.1.2 The Consultation Document explored possible legislative measures for a potential Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill during the current Parliament. It also covered wider issues, such as provisions to protect shellfish growing waters.
1.1.3 The Consultation Paper was published on the Scottish Government website on 6 December 2011 with responses to the consultation requested by 2 March 2012. The document was accompanied by a Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental ( SEA) Report  and a partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment ( BRIA)  of the proposals, published on 22 and 8 February 2012 respectively. The initial consultation period was extended to 13 April 2012, to provide consultees with additional time to consider the accompanying impact assessments.
1.1.4 The consultation paper contained 48 questions, including 38 'yes' or 'no' questions and ten further questions where consultees were asked for their views or suggestions on a range of issues.
1.2.1 In accordance with the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005, the consultation was advertised publicly in the print media (The Scotsman and The Edinburgh Gazette) in February 2012.
1.2.2 Representations to Marine Scotland on the Aquaculture and Fisheries Consultation were invited. In addition to their responses to the consultation questions, respondents were asked to clearly state their name, address and whether they gave permission for these details to be made available to the public as a respondent to the consultation.
1.2.3 Due to a large number of respondents electing to remain anonymous, this consultation report has been prepared such that any comments received from consultees have been attributed to the respective stakeholder groups only and are otherwise anonymous.
1.3 Analysis Method
1.3.1 The analysis of responses to the consultation has been undertaken following the Scottish Government's Good Practice Guidance (updated May 2010). This guidance ensures that the responses are analysed objectively and accurately, and that the reporting of the findings is accessible and transparent.
1.3.2 The guidance sets out a number of requirements about reporting the findings of consultation analysis. This includes using appropriate methods of analysis, combining qualitative discussion with quantitative assessment of views, and methods for ensuring that the full range of views submitted is properly recognised.
1.3.3 The guidance is available online at:
1.3.4 The analysis has been undertaken by the Scottish Government's Environmental Assessment Team, on behalf of Marine Scotland.
1.4 Report Structure
1.4.1 This report has been prepared to set out the results of the analysis of consultation responses. It is structured as follows:
- Section 1 provides an introduction to the consultation and background to the consultation documents.
- Section 2 provides an overview of the responses to the consultation.
- Section 3 sets out and summarises the responses to the consultation questions.
- Section 4 sets out the other comments and issues raised by the respondents to the consultation.
- Section 5 sets out the key findings from the consultation analysis.
1.5 Report Availability and Distribution
1.5.1 The consultation has been undertaken in accordance with the requirements of Section 16 of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005. This report has been compiled in line with best practice and the analysis has been made available to maximise the transparency of the decision making process.