Publication - Consultation paper

Protected areas for mobile marine species: consultation on proposals to designate four new Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters

Published: 7 Jun 2019
Directorate:
Marine Scotland Directorate
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781787818958

An overview of the consultation on proposals to designate four new Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters, including short summaries of the available documentation.

25 page PDF

677.6 kB

25 page PDF

677.6 kB

Contents
Protected areas for mobile marine species: consultation on proposals to designate four new Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters
North-east Lewis pMPA

25 page PDF

677.6 kB

North-east Lewis pMPA

Site description

North-east Lewis pMPA is the most northerly of the four sites. The proposed protected features are Risso's dolphins, sandeels, and geodiversity features. The site is at the north of the Risso's dolphin range and represents an area where they are recorded in high numbers year-round. The site supports important sandeel habitats, which are a key prey of many fish, seabird, whale and dolphin species.

Conservation Objectives and Management Advice

The conservation objectives of this site are to conserve the features, meaning to keep the status of the features in favourable condition. This does not include where there is alteration of the feature through natural processes.

Risso's dolphin are considered to be sensitive to underwater noise, collision with vessels, and entanglement in fishing gear. SNH advises that in order to conserve Risso's dolphin, risk of injury and death should be minimised, access to resources within the site should be maintained, and supporting features should also be conserved.

The management advice to reduce these pressures includes:

  • Use of best practice to reduce risk of boat collision;
  • Reduce disturbance from noisy activities through best practice mitigation;
  • Exclusion of drift and set net fishing gear; and
  • Use of best practice to reduce fishing bycatch.

Sandeels are sensitive to pressures from targeted fishing and activities which affect their habitat. In order to conserve this species access to resources within the site should be maintained, and supporting features should also be conserved.

The management advice to reduce these pressures includes:

  • Minimising impacts to sandeel habitat through appropriate siting of new developments;
  • Exclusion of hydraulic fishing methods from sandeel habitat; and
  • Exclusion of targeted fishing for sandeels.

The geodiversity features are Quaternary of Scotland and marine geomorphology of the Scottish shelf seabed. The former is not sensitive to human activities and the latter may be sensitive to changes to water flow and physical changes.

Sustainability Appraisal

The SEA concluded that, under the intermediate management scenario, designation of the North-east Lewis pMPA could have a negligible to very minor beneficial impact on the environment and provide potential for future benefits. There will be small negative impacts from fishing displacement, but these will be outweighed by the environmental benefits of reducing fishing pressures and replacement of some Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs).

The SEIA found that the total potential cost impacts from the North-east Lewis pMPA could be £134,000 over 20 years, under the intermediate management scenario. Table 3 shows the cost impacts for relevant sectors. The sectors with the greatest economic impacts would be finfish aquaculture, ports and harbours, and coastal protection. The principal costs to finfish aquaculture under this scenario would be the cost of replacement of ADDs with 'cetacean-friendly' models and the increased assessment costs. The latter is also the source of costs to ports and harbour, and coastal protection. The costs for commercial fisheries cannot be disclosed for data protection reasons because the data represents five or fewer individuals. There are also high costs to power interconnectors under the upper scenario which is due to increased survey costs of the planned Western Isles HVDC (High-Voltage Direct Current) cable if a restriction on sub-sea surveys in the summer months was imposed.

Table 3: Quantified Economic Costs for the North-east Lewis pMPA (£'000) costs discounted over assessment period (2019-2038), 2019 prices

Sector Lower Estimate Intermediate Estimate Upper Estimate
Finfish Aquaculture 9 71 107
Shellfish Aquaculture 9 9 9
Coastal Protection 16 16 16
Commercial Fisheries (direct GVA) 0 Cannot be disclosed Cannot be disclosed
Ports and Harbours 27 27 27
Power Interconnectors 6 6 478
Telecommunication Cables 4 4 4

Contact

Email: lily.burke@gov.scot