CHAPTER 3: CONSULATION ON THE PROPOSED INTRODUCTION OF NEW STATUTORY MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR THE SCALLOP SECTOR
3.1 King scallops are one of Scotland’s most valuable species with £31.9 million worth landed in 2010 by Scottish vessels – an increase of nearly £9 million from 2006. The year 2010 saw Scottish vessels land 18,700 tonnes of the species - an increase of nearly 8,000 tonnes from 2006.
Graph 1: Value and landings of scallops landed by Scottish vessels.
3.2 The Prohibition of Fishing for Scallops (Scotland) Order 2003 ( SSI 2003/371)(“the 2003 Order”) introduced limits on the number of scallop dredges that could be towed on either side of a vessel depending on how far away from the Scottish coast the vessel was fishing.
3.3 Larger Scottish scallop dredgers, like other such UK based vessels, travel all around the coast of the UK. Given the nomadic nature of this part of the industry, it is seen as beneficial that more closely aligned measures across the UK are pursued. More closely aligned measures will assist in preventing the problem of displacement – where tighter restrictions in one part of the UK mean vessels move to another part where regulation is more favourable.
Proposed Package of Measures
To safeguard the Scottish scallop industry for the future and to ensure equality in scallop technical regulations between Scotland and England we propose the following measures:
- Restrict the number of scallop dredges that can be towed within 12 nautical miles of the Scottish coast to 8 per side;
- Remove the current limit on the number of scallop dredges that can be towed beyond 12 nautical miles of the coast;
- Exempt from regulation, attachments to dredges whose use is to increase the safety and speed of handling/tipping the dredge;
- A phased increase to the minimum landing size for scallops.
4. Gear Restriction
4.1 The 2003 Order saw the introduction of an 8 dredge per side restriction between 0-6 nautical miles from the coast and a 10 dredge per side limit for vessels fishing between 6-12 nautical miles of the coast of Scotland. In order to discourage larger vessels with the capability of fishing with more dredges from targeting the area within the 12 mile zone and to standardise the rules we are proposing making this zone 8 per side only. This will help to promote sustainable stocks for the smaller scale fleet whose fishing activities are more restricted by the distance of the fishery from home port and weather.
Question 1: Do you support the introduction of a flat rate 8 per side limit on dredges within the 12 nautical mile zone?
4.2 The 2003 Order limited the use of scallop dredges outside 12 nautical miles of the coast of Scotland to a maximum of 14 dredges per side. As part of a joint Anglo-Scottish approach to technical restrictions, we intend to lift this limit. This will ensure that British fishing vessels operating outside 12 nautical miles of the coast are not subject to restrictions on the number of scallop dredges which would/do not apply to vessels of other EU member states. This proposal delivers equality of treatment both at a UK and EU level.
4.3 If introduced, the lifting of restrictions on the number of dredges that can be used out with 12 nautical miles will be kept under review and, if necessary, consideration will be given to their reintroduction and engaging with other EU member states on the need to do the same.
Question 2: Do you support the removal of restrictions on dredges outside 12 nautical miles of the Scottish coast?
5. Attachments to a scallop Dredge
5.1 The 2003 order prohibits the use of a dredge in the Scottish zone to which anything has been attached, which attachment obstructs in whole or in part the rings or netting on any part of the dredge. This is because attachments can limit the size of the belly rings, reducing selectivity and increasing the likelihood of catching undersize scallops or fish. There is scope, however, to exempt attachments used to increase the safety and speed of handling/tipping the dredge.
5.2 We propose that the intention of the 2003 Order is clarified by stating that attachments for the purposes of safe handling of the dredge are not prohibited.
Question 3: Do you support exempting from regulation, attachments to dredges whose purpose is to increase the safety and speed with which dredges can be handled?
6. Increasing the minimum landing size of Scallops
6.1 One of the primary reasons for setting a minimum landing size ( MLS) is to permit sufficient numbers of individuals to survive to maturity in order to reproduce and to safeguard the production of future generations. The size at which scallops reach maturity is dependent on growth rates and therefore the MLS needs to be set to reflect typical growth rates.
6.2 In order to safeguard scallops for future generations we intend to introduce a phased increase in the minimum landing size of scallops. The first increase would take effect from the coming into force of a new Scallop Order and would see the minimum landing size for scallops increase from the current 100mm to 105mm. The next increase would see the minimum landing size increase from 105mm to 110mm, taking effect two years after the increase of the minimum landing size to 105mm.
Question 4: Would you support the introduction of a phased increase in the minimum landing size for scallops from 100mm to 105mm and then to 110mm?
6.3 As stated previously, the scallop industry can be highly nomadic and can see vessels fish in different territorial waters around the UK. This can create policing problems where a vessel begins a fishing trip in an area with one minimum landing size and then moves to another area with different landing size restrictions. In order to facilitate effective enforcement, we propose that all scallops landed into Scotland and which are carried in the Scottish zone must comply with the Scottish minimum landing size.
Question 5: Do you agree that all scallops landed into Scotland and carried within the Scottish zone must comply with the Scottish minimum landing size?
Responding to this consultation paper
We are inviting written responses to this consultation paper by 16 April 2012
Please send your response with the completed Responder Information Form to:
Malcolm MacLeodMarine Scotland
The Scottish Government
If you have any queries contact Malcolm MacLeod on 0131 244 4421 or by email
We would be grateful if you would use the Responder Information Form provided or could clearly indicate in your response which questions or parts of the consultation paper you are responding to as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.
The Respondent Information Form is available online
This consultation, and all other Scottish Government consultation exercises, can be viewed online on the consultation web pages of the Scottish Government website at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations.
The Scottish Government now has an email alert system for consultations ( SE consult: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations/seconsult.aspx). This system allows stakeholder individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly email containing details of all new consultations (including web links). SE consult complements, but in no way replaces SG distribution
lists, and is designed to allow stakeholders to keep up to date with all SG consultation activity, and therefore be alerted at the earliest opportunity to those of most interest. We would encourage you to register.
Handling your response
We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be made public.
Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form as this will ensure that we treat your response appropriately. If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.
All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
Next steps in the process
Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public in the Scottish Government Library (see the enclosed Respondent Information Form). You can make arrangements to view responses by contacting the SG Library on 0131 244 4552. Responses can be copied and sent to you, but a charge may be made for this service.
What happens next ?
Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us reach a decision.
Comments and complaints
If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to:
The Scottish Government
Area 1b, Victoria Quay
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback