This document provides an analysis of responses to Marine Scotland's Consultation on the Proposed Introduction of new Statutory Scallop Fishing Management Measures. A copy of the consultation can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/consultation-proposed-introduction-new-statutory-scallop-fishing-management-measures/. The consultation sought views on:
- Joint Anglo-Scottish management measures
- Increasing the minimum landing size of scallops
There were 51 responses, with the largest number coming from private individuals, which made up 64 per cent (33) of the total. Fourteen per cent (7) were from environmental organisations. Twelve per cent (6) were from fishermen's associations. Six per cent (3) were from processors and the remaining four per cent (2) were made up of a Scottish local authority and Scottish Water.
A list of those who responded (and who gave permission for their details to be disclosed) can be found at Annex A of this document. Where permission was given, consultation responses have been placed in the Scottish Government library. To make arrangements to view responses contact the Scottish Government Library on 0131 244 4560, or at: Area GD Bridge, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ). Responses can be copied and issued but a charge may be made for this service
Summary of responses
Overall, respondents were mixed in their support for the proposed changes, but clear themes emerged:
- Environmental groups welcomed tighter restrictions within 12 nautical miles but were opposed to lifting restrictions outside 12 nautical miles
- More evidence is required to establish the environmental and economic rationale for adopting the joint management approach to dredge restrictions
- Further analysis is needed to establish the economic impact of increasing the minimum landing size of scallops and whether all stocks of scallops grow to 110mm
A number of responses, particularly those from environmental groups, thought the proposals did not go far enough and a more holistic approach to scallop management, which took account of its impact on the marine environment, was required. Other management measures proposed included curfews on fishing and no-take zones.
There was concern from members of the fishing industry that the Scottish Government should not be embarking on new management measures while uncertainty associated with days at sea limits in Area VII was impacting the industry.
There was also strong support for the introduction of restrictions on bar length instead of (or in addition to) dredge number restrictions.
With the exception of the removal of dredge restrictions outside 12 nautical miles the proposals put forward in the consultation were basically supported by respondents. However, responses raised important questions in relation to the rationale for the proposed management measures and the impact these measures could have on the businesses impacted. Therefore it has been decided to maintain the status quo in relation to scallop management but carry out work to decide whether changes to the current scallop management structure are necessary.
To establish a more complete picture of the scallop sector in Scotland there will be a review of the fishery commencing early next year. The review will analyse economic, environmental and technical aspects of the fishery and if necessary recommend changes to the current management measures. Information on the review will be available on the Marine Scotland website.