1. This is a Partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment ( BRIA) for the issues set out in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill Consultation Paper published on 12 December 2011. The consultation paper can be accessed here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/12/06081229/0.
2. The consultation paper is intended to stimulate discussion and consideration of relevant issues and possible approaches and legislative provisions. It does not at this stage constitute firm legislative plans.
3. Many of the issues and measures set out in the paper reflect and build on discussions and developments taken forward with relevant stakeholder interests over, in some cases, long periods. However specific measures, and their anticipated impacts, have been the subject of limited detailed discussion so far, primarily with industry sectoral umbrella bodies. We will be engaging further and in more detail with stakeholders on anticipated business and regulatory impacts (and other matters) as a consequence of the consultation exercise; as part of ongoing business and in more detailed development of plans in relevant areas (such as the proposed technical standard for finfish aquaculture); and as we firm up our plans for legislation. Meanwhile, we have where possible provided some commentary and indicative figures on anticipated impacts of options and proposals.
4. We welcome comments and suggestions for developing the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment, to help ensure that discussions about the impacts of proposed legislation, when we reach that stage, are as well informed as possible.
5. A number of the measures under discussion would constitute 'enabling' rather than specific measures and their actual impacts are not able to be assessed in advance of specific implementation proposals. Some measures are not expected to involve industry in any substantive costs. These measures have not been subject to BRIA at this stage.
6. Proposed measures for the protection of shellfish growing waters are subject to a separate consultation exercise and BRIA, so are not covered here.
Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments
7. A partial BRIA is set out in the following pages covering each of the following issues (with, in some cases, issues brigaded together where we think this is appropriate):
- Statutory requirements relating to Farm Management Agreements and appropriate scale Management Areas, and related dispute resolution provisions;
- Measures to address unused consents;
- Additional data collection and, where appropriate, publication;
- Provisions to reduce or remove biomass consents;
- Additional controls on wellboats;
- Additional controls on processing facilities;
- Improved regulation of seaweed cultivation;
- Additional controls on commercially damaging species.
Aquaculture and Wild Salmonid Interactions
- Introduction of a Technical Standard for finfish farms operating in Scotland;
- Powers to take or require samples of fish from fish farms, for genetic or other analysis.
Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Management
- Modernising the operation of District Salmon Fishery Boards;
- Enhancing the management of Salmon Fisheries including mixed
stock fisheries including:
- Powers to require carcass tagging of wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout;
- Powers to take or require genetic samples or fish for genetic or other analysis;
- Amendments to existing provisions on salmon conservation measures;
- Powers to amend licensing scheme for introductions of fish to freshwater.
- Extension to scope and scale of Fixed Penalty Notices;
8. The issues set out in the consultation paper for which no BRIA is provided (for the reasons set out above) are:
- Technical amendments to enforcement provisions - section 30 of the Fisheries Act 1981 (no substantive costs identified);
- Charging - where we propose enabling legislation. The costs to industry, and related benefits, would depend on the charging options chosen.
Purpose and Intended Effect
9. The overall aim of the measures discussed in the consultation paper is to ensure efficient and effective management practices, to ensure in turn sustainable aquaculture and fisheries which contribute to the overall Scottish Government purpose of sustainable economic growth.
10. The measures discussed reflect and build on existing arrangements, discussions and developments undertaken, in many cases, in partnership with the relevant stakeholder interests.
Key objectives of the measures are to:
- strengthen and modernise legislation and management practices in relation to aquaculture and fisheries in Scotland; and
- promote greater openness and transparency, including on the collection and publication of key data on aquaculture and salmon and freshwater fisheries.
In depth background is available in each of the separate proposal sections.
Rationale for government intervention
In depth rationale is available in each of the separate proposal sections.
The consultation paper has been subject to consultation across Scottish Government. We believe the issues and measures it discusses are consistent with UK and EU policy.
The consultation paper comprises public consultation on the measures. Responses will help inform legislative plans and further development of BRIAs.
As explained above, initial discussions only have been held with umbrella organisation representatives - including from the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation ( SSPO), Association of Salmon Fishery Boards ( ASFB), Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland ( RAFTS) and Salmon Net Fishing Association of Scotland ( SNFAS), the British Trout Association, Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers and the Scottish Fishermen's Federation ( SFF).
On the proposed technical standard, there has been wide engagement with the salmon and trout finfish farming industry, net, pen and mooring suppliers & manufacturers and engineers - through a SARF project to develop a Scottish Technical Standard ( STS) for finfish aquaculture. This included workshops in Inverness, Shetland and Oban in June 2011 to which all finfish production businesses and trade associations operating in Scotland, fish farm equipment manufacturers and suppliers were invited.
The consultation paper/process comprises further, formal consultation with business, and we will be engaging further with industry interests as we take forward more detailed consideration of measures.
11. In depth consideration of options, sectors & groups affected, benefits & costs are available in each of the separate proposal sections.
Scottish Firms Impact Test
12. As previously explained in the consultation section, we have had wide ranging discussions so far with the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation ( SSPO), Association of Salmon Fishery Boards ( ASFB), Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland ( RAFTS) and Salmon Net Fishing Association of Scotland ( SNFAS), the British Trout Association, Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers and the Scottish Fishermen's Federation ( SFF).
13. Policy officials have already and will continue to engage with the salmon farming, shellfish and wild & recreational fishery industries along with others affected. Due to the continued industry engagement we have planned we feel it is not proportionate to have face-to-face discussions with individual businesses.
- Competition Assessment
We have fully considered the questions posed in the Office of Fair Trading ( OFT) competition assessment test above and conclude that our proposals are unlikely to hinder the number or range of businesses or the ability for operators to compete. The proposals are unlikely to significantly affect competition and will apply equally to all.
- Test run of business forms.
No new forms will be introduced as a result of these proposals.
Legal Aid Impact Test
14. As no new criminal penalties are introduced by these regulations, we do not anticipate that there will be an impact on the Legal Aid Fund.
Enforcement, sanctions and monitoring
15. In depth analysis of these areas is available in each of the separate proposal sections.
Implementation and Delivery Plans
16. These will also be developed and refined in light of responses to the consultation paper and this Partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment, discussions with stakeholders and as we firm up our legislative plans.
Summary and recommendation
17. Summary and recommendations are available in each of the separate proposal sections.
18. Consultation responses should be submitted no later than Friday 16 March 2012. It is important that a Respondent Information Form is submitted with consultation responses, so that we can treat responses appropriately.
Please send your response to :
1B-North, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ
Telephone 0131 244 6243
Fax 0131 244 6512
If you have any queries contact Catriona Graham on 0131 244 6243.