Publication - Consultation responses

Aquaculture and Fisheries Consultation Analysis - Summary Report

Published: 10 Aug 2012
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781780459943

Summary report of the analysis of the responses to the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill Consultation, partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report

44 page PDF

719.2 kB

44 page PDF

719.2 kB

Contents
Aquaculture and Fisheries Consultation Analysis - Summary Report
7 Section 4 - Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Management

44 page PDF

719.2 kB

7 Section 4 - Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Management

Question 23. Do you agree that we should introduce a specific duty on Boards to act fairly and transparently?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 9 1 2
2. Aquaculture 17 0 1
3. Marine fisheries 3 0 3
4. Freshwater fisheries 34 15 1
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 12 3 6
7. Individuals/Politicians 19 4 11
8. Other Commercial 3 1 1
Overall 99 24 26

7.1 Many consultees across the stakeholder groups, particularly aquaculture and the public sector, were supportive of the proposal for a duty for Boards to act fairly and transparently.

7.2 However, some consultees were not convinced that a specific duty was the best way of achieving this. Some freshwater fisheries respondents in particular held the view that Boards already act in a fair and transparent manner. Others suggested adherence to a Code of Practice ( CoP) as a preferable alternative.

7.3 Some questioned the practicalities of implementation of such a duty, and asked for clarification of definitions and criteria.

7.4 Consultees made several suggestions as to what should be included in the implementation of such a duty, e.g. advance publishing of plans, making DSFBs subject to FoI and environmental regulations, consideration of other (non-migratory) fish species, using a phased approach and making provision for compensation.

Question 24. Do you agree that there should be a Code of Practice for wild salmon and freshwater fisheries?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 9 0 3
2. Aquaculture 16 0 2
3. Marine fisheries 3 0 3
4. Freshwater fisheries 49 1 0
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 14 0 7
7. Individuals/Politicians 21 2 11
8. Other Commercial 3 1 1
Overall 117 4 28

Question 25. If yes, should such a Code of Practice be statutory or non-statutory?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 2 6 4
2. Aquaculture 4 11 3
3. Marine fisheries 2 1 3
4. Freshwater fisheries 12 36 2
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 1 1 1
6. Voluntary Sector 7 7 7
7. Individuals/Politicians 13 8 13
8. Other Commercial 1 2 2
Overall 42 72 35

7.5 While introduction of a Code of Practice ( CoP) was strongly supported across the stakeholder groups, there was opposition from many to making it statutory.

7.6 However, several respondents considered that development of a new CoP was not necessary. Some respondents noted that codes of practice already exist, including the ASFB-developed CoP which is being followed by a number of DSFBs, and a Code of Best Practice ( CoBP) for Fisheries Management which is under development. Some considered that their current adherence to the existing CoP was sufficient.

7.7 Several aquaculture respondents felt that aspects of the CoP for finfish aquaculture could be useful in the development of the new CoP.

7.8 Most respondents suggested a non-statutory code, but there was also support for a non-statutory code with a reserved legal power in instances of non-compliance. Others queried what action could be taken against those who did not comply with a non-statutory CoP.

7.9 Several respondents discussed the scope of the CoP and made suggestions about its contents, including consultation and transparency of meetings and accounts, and inviting evidence/submissions from the public. Several felt that a 'one size fits all' approach would not be appropriate across the DSFB network.

7.10 Some felt that those responsible for managing trout or non-salmonid fisheries should not be exempt from fishery management controls. Several felt that the CoP should also cover protection of coarse fish species.

Question 26. Do you agree that Scottish Ministers should have powers to introduce a statutory system of carcass tagging for wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 9 0 3
2. Aquaculture 17 0 1
3. Marine fisheries 3 0 3
4. Freshwater fisheries 45 2 3
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 12 0 9
7. Individuals/Politicians 22 3 9
8. Other Commercial 3 0 2
Overall 113 5 31

7.11 There was strong support for powers to introduce a carcass tagging system in Scotland, with respondents recognising numerous benefits from the proposal. These included (amongst others) provision of information on salmon migratory habits, reducing the potential market for illegally caught fish, and securing conservation benefits for wild salmon, as well as bringing Scottish legislation into line with English and Welsh legislation. Some preferred an extension of the voluntary scheme currently operating in some parts of Scotland, including an extension to rod and line fisheries through local initiatives.

7.12 Opposition to the proposal was based on potential additional administrative and financial burdens for local fisheries. Some respondents also questioned the benefits relative to the costs.

7.13 Some emphasised the importance of additional discussion and local consultation on this issue.

Question 27. Do you agree that Scottish Ministers should have powers to take or require fish and/or samples for genetic or other analysis?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 9 0 3
2. Aquaculture 5 12 1
3. Marine fisheries 3 0 3
4. Freshwater fisheries 46 1 3
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 1 1 1
6. Voluntary Sector 13 0 8
7. Individuals/Politicians 13 8 13
8. Other Commercial 1 3 1
Overall 91 25 33

7.14 There was strong support for this proposal, but the aquaculture industry and other commercial sector respondents were largely opposed. Some respondents linked their responses to those of Question 22, which proposes similar powers for taking samples from farmed fish for tracing purposes.

7.15 Opposition was largely based around several issues, including some consultees feeling that Ministers already have powers for this, disagreement with powers requesting others to take samples, and some preferring this practice to remain voluntary.

7.16 Some respondents emphasised that genetic samples could be taken without killing the individual fish, but added that if this was not the case, the respective DSFB should be consulted prior to sampling.

Question 28. Do you agree that Scottish Ministers should have the powers to initiate changes to Salmon District Annual Close Time Orders?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 4 1 7
2. Aquaculture 16 0 2
3. Marine fisheries 1 0 5
4. Freshwater fisheries 34 9 7
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 10 2 9
7. Individuals/Politicians 12 10 12
8. Other Commercial 3 0 2
Overall 82 22 45

7.17 There was strong support for Ministerial powers to change Annual Close Time orders across nearly all of the stakeholder groups.

7.18 Some supporters felt that this power could be used in situations such as when there are no DSFBs in place, when a DSFB is not fulfilling its duties, or when Marine Scotland has significant concerns about the status of salmon stocks. However, the question of how concerns about stock status would be gauged was also raised.

7.19 Some respondents felt that this issue should be subject to further debate.

7.20 The potential financial implications of introducing such a power were also raised as a concern.

Question 29. Do you agree that Scottish Ministers should be able to promote combined salmon conservation measures at their own hand?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 4 1 7
2. Aquaculture 16 0 2
3. Marine fisheries 2 0 4
4. Freshwater fisheries 17 26 7
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 9 3 9
7. Individuals/Politicians 13 8 13
8. Other Commercial 3 0 2
Overall 66 38 45

7.21 While the majority of respondents to this question supported the proposal, there was strong opposition from DSFBs/ RAFTS consultees.

7.22 Those disagreeing with the proposal considered that continuation of the current system would be more appropriate (i.e. applications for conservation measures from the local Board to Ministers), that combined measures should be undertaken by local Boards, and that such a power should only be used in cases where there is no DSFB in place.

7.23 Others were concerned about a lack of background information to justify the proposed measure. It was suggested that the proposed powers should also include all aspects of all species' spawning times, and not just those of salmon and sea trout.

7.24 Some respondents considered that, if such powers were introduced, Ministers should undertake consultation with local Boards prior to implementation.

Question 30. Do you agree that Scottish Ministers should be able to attach conditions, such as monitoring and reporting requirements, to statutory conservation measures?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 5 0 7
2. Aquaculture 16 0 2
3. Marine fisheries 2 0 4
4. Freshwater fisheries 39 5 6
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 12 0 9
7. Individuals/Politicians 17 4 13
8. Other Commercial 3 0 2
Overall 96 9 44

7.25 There was strong support across all stakeholder groups for this proposal.

7.26 As an alternative to the use of conditions, a partnership approach was recommended, involving DSFBs, Fishery Trusts, SEPA, Marine Scotland Science and universities, amongst others. Others felt it should be supported by the DSFB and RAFTS networks.

7.27 Several respondents preferred a local management approach to Ministerial intervention, and the importance of securing the agreement of the Fishery Trusts and Boards prior to the attaching of conditions was emphasised.

7.28 Several respondents emphasised the importance of a proportionate approach, and raised concerns about the potential expense of new monitoring and reporting requirements and/or expertise required by DSFBs.

Question 31. Do you agree that we should introduce statutory provisions related to mediation and dispute resolution, to help resolve disputes around salmon conservation, management and any related compensation measures?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 8 1 3
2. Aquaculture 2 14 2
3. Marine fisheries 2 0 4
4. Freshwater fisheries 24 23 3
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 1 1 1
6. Voluntary Sector 11 2 8
7. Individuals/Politicians 9 12 13
8. Other Commercial 1 2 2
Overall 58 55 36

7.29 Overall there were mixed views on this proposal. Only the public and voluntary sectors were strongly supportive; the aquaculture industry was strongly opposed.

7.30 A range of respondents, as for Questions 3 and 4, felt that this proposal was not necessary, as there is already adequate provision under existing Scottish arbitration law and / or that this is already a function of the (former) Tripartite Working Group and FMAs.

7.31 Some respondents supported the proposal for a mediation process but felt that such mediation would be better undertaken by parties other than Ministers, e.g. at the local level or through the ASFB. Several identified the types of disputes where mediation would be helpful. Some respondents suggested that the scope of mediation should extend to disputes between parties about migratory species and other fish species. Others wanted Ministers to make the final decision in the event of mediation being unsuccessful.

7.32 The scope of mediation was also discussed. Some respondents felt that mediation should only consider disputes about compensation.

7.33 The benefits of the proposal, compared to its costs, were questioned. Compensation was discussed by some consultees. There were also suggestions for the costs of mediation to be shared or based on the ability of an applicant to pay.

Question 32. Do you agree that there should be a legal requirement to provide comprehensive effort data for rod fisheries?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 7 1 4
2. Aquaculture 16 0 2
3. Marine fisheries 3 0 3
4. Freshwater fisheries 38 8 4
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 12 1 8
7. Individuals/Politicians 16 6 12
8. Other Commercial 3 0 2
Overall 97 16 36

7.34 There was strong support for the collection of comprehensive rod effort data from all the stakeholder groups. The benefits of this requirement were considered to include, for example, the strengthening of the assessment of salmon and sea trout stocks.

7.35 Some consultees suggested the DSFBs, Fishery Trusts and MSS should undertake the data collection, with one suggesting that co-operation between them could help to obtain consistent and useable data.

7.36 Some respondents questioned the value of this information, and highlighted the need for careful interpretation until fuller trend data is established. Difficulties in collecting rod data were raised, including the objectivity of data, the need for verification and willingness to provide the information.

7.37 Some respondents expressed concerns about potential costs arising from this level of data collection. A voluntary scheme for data collection was suggested as an alternative.

Question 33. What additional information on the fish or fisheries should proprietors and/or Boards be required to collect and provide; and should this be provided routinely and/or in specific circumstances?
95 responses

7.38 The majority of respondents generally agreed with the principle of providing additional information on both fish and fisheries. However, a smaller number had reservations about this and considered that there was no need for further information provision.

7.39 A need for information on fish introductions, restocking activities and hatchery operations was expressed by many respondents, based on a view that there is a lack of transparency about activities and impacts. Several respondents suggested specific information to be included in the data collection, ranging from data on stock and management, to fishing activity and associated environmental conditions. Information on disease and stock condition was also supported by several consultees. Some also sought further financial information.

7.40 Some respondents suggested an integrated national data collection strategy and database/public register for fish movements and introductions.

7.41 Several respondents felt that data collected should be published and made available for scrutiny in a consistent manner. Suggestions included publication on Marine Scotland's website.

7.42 Some consultees recommended additional consultation on this issue. Several noted the importance of reaching agreement on the collection of any additional information with proprietors, Boards and regulatory authorities beforehand.

7.43 Several respondents highlighted the potential for significant cost implications for Boards and Fishery Trusts.

Question 34. Should Scottish Ministers have powers to require Boards and/or proprietors or their tenants to investigate and report on salmon and sea trout and the fisheries in their district?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 6 2 4
2. Aquaculture 16 0 2
3. Marine fisheries 3 0 3
4. Freshwater fisheries 18 24 8
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 11 1 9
7. Individuals/Politicians 16 5 13
8. Other Commercial 3 0 2
Overall 75 32 42

7.44 There was overall support amongst most stakeholder groups for this proposal, with the exception of freshwater fisheries and DSFB/ RAFTS respondents. Some respondents felt that this proposal would duplicate existing data collection by Boards and Fishery Trusts.

7.45 Some consultees suggested that a CoP for DSFBs could help to ensure that this information is provided in a consistent manner.

7.46 Other suggestions for the collection of data included the provision of information to a national agency or using an outside party or organisation to report rather than Boards and/or proprietors. Others suggested that the Scottish Government should be directly involved.

7.47 Several respondents discussed cost implications of this proposal, and raised questions about funding. Others emphasised that any such power should be used in a proportionate way.

7.48 The inclusion of comparable measures for brown trout as well as sea trout was suggested by two aquaculture industry respondents.

Question 35. Do you agree that Scottish Ministers should have powers to recall, restrict or exclude the jurisdiction of Boards in relation to fish introductions, in certain circumstances?

Sector Yes No No comment
1. Public Bodies 10 0 2
2. Aquaculture 16 0 2
3. Marine fisheries 2 0 4
4. Freshwater fisheries 35 9 6
5. Professional/Academic Bodies 2 0 1
6. Voluntary Sector 11 1 9
7. Individuals/Politicians 16 5 13
8. Other Commercial 3 0 2
Overall 95 15 39
Question 36. If so, why and in what circumstances? 96 responses

7.49 Respondents had mixed views on fish stocking/ introductions; some opposed the practice and others supported it. These views influenced the responses to Question 35. Those who opposed introductions cited adverse effects on local fish populations and/or ecology, including the genetic integrity of fish populations, and the introduction of non-native or non-indigenous species. Those who supported the practice considered that stocking was a valuable and necessary wild fisheries management tool, particularly in instances where natural recruitment is limited.

7.50 There was strong support for the proposal amongst all stakeholder groups, and particularly for greater transparency in introduction/ stocking activities. A small number of respondents disagreed with the proposal, and felt that this should be left to the local level, e.g. Boards, local fishery managers and River Trusts. Others felt that the proposed Ministerial powers would be a safety net for cases where DSFBs are not fulfilling their responsibilities, where environmental damage is proven or where there are conflicts of interest, e.g. Boards authorising their own actions.

7.51 Several respondents noted that the ASFB and RAFTS have developed guidance on fish stocking practices, as well as guidance for undertaking stocking programmes in Special Areas of Conservation.

7.52 Many respondents, predominantly from the aquaculture industry, suggested that all fish introductions, whether for fish farming or freshwater fisheries restocking, should be brought within the existing legislation for aquaculture. Many considered that an assessment of the effects of stocking practices on wild fish should be carried out as a matter of course within fisheries management.

7.53 Others felt that Ministers should undertake a review of introduction and stocking practices, and of decision making by Boards and MSS on these activities.


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