Publication - Progress report

Draft Sectoral Marine Plans for Offshore Renewable Energy in Scottish Waters: Socio - Economic Assesment

Published: 25 Jul 2013
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781782567509

The study reported here provides a high level socio-economic appraisal of the potential costs and benefits to activities that may arise as a result of offshore wind, wave or tidal development within the Draft Plan Options as part of possible future Scotti

383 page PDF

4.7 MB

383 page PDF

4.7 MB

Contents
Draft Sectoral Marine Plans for Offshore Renewable Energy in Scottish Waters: Socio - Economic Assesment
Appendix B. Description of Interactions with Activities and Assessment Methods

383 page PDF

4.7 MB

Appendix B. Description of Interactions with Activities and Assessment Methods

B1. Aquaculture

B1.1 Overview

Aquaculture relates to the production of marine species such as finfish and shellfish within aquaculture installations including cultivated shellfish beds. Figure B1 shows an overview of aquaculture activity in relation to the Draft Plan Option areas. Information sources used in the assessment are listed in Table B1.1.

Table B1.1 Information Sources

Scale

Information Available

Date

Source

Scotland

Production and turnover 2005-2009

2005-2009

Baxter et al (2011)

Scotland

Scottish shellfish production survey

2010

Marine Scotland (2010)

Scotland

Scottish fish farm production survey

2009

Marine Scotland (2009)

UK

Future trends

2006+

Wilding et al (2006)

Regional

Economic value and trends

2010

Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (2010)

B1.2 Future Trends

Aquaculture continues to be the world's fastest-growing animal-food-producing sector. In the period 1970-2008, the production of food fish from aquaculture increased at an average annual rate of 8.3 percent and is set to overtake capture fisheries as a source of food fish ( FAO, 2010; Commission of the European Communities, 2009). The global demand for seafood, coupled with the need to replace land-based sources suffering from climate change and the current health of the world's wild fish stocks, has seen an increased demand for Scottish production (Baxter et al. 2011).

Despite an overall decrease in rainbow trout production from 2008-2011, the immediate prospects for Scottish finfish aquaculture overall are good. The Scottish Government (2010) predicted that the opportunity for sustainable growth in the next five years for salmon may equate to an ex farm value of £152 million and a potential of 400 new jobs, partly due to an increased worldwide demand due to the collapse of Chilean salmon stocks. The salmon production industry in Scotland has outlined a plan to increase annual production to 210,000 tonnes by 2020, and in 2011 the SSPO reported that 86% of its companies planned to expand their business in the next five years, with 272 new jobs already created in 2011 ( SSPO, 2012). A 2010 agreement to open the Chinese markets to Scottish salmon offers opportunity for further expansion of salmon exports. Scottish Development International have pledged to support Scotland's salmon industry in reaching targets set by the Scottish Government to increase salmon exports by 50% by 2017 ( SSPO, 2010). The Scottish Government has stated its support for the ambitions of the aquaculture sector to increase production of farmed fish by 50 per cent by 2020 compared to 2009 [18] . This target implies fin fish production in the order of 230,000 tonnes, up from 150,000 tonnes in 2009.

Emerging aquaculture species such as tilapia, barramundi, bass and bream may also increase the size of the UK finfish aquaculture market (Defra, 2008). Cod, haddock and halibut farming (which are currently only farmed on a relatively small scale) are also predicted to grow (Pugh, 2008). However, cod farming is now seen as a less attractive option due to recent increases in North Sea cod catch quotas. 'No Catch', Britain's only supplier of sustainable organic cod, based on the Shetland Isles, went into administration in early 2008. Due to a shortage of available investment there is now no commercial cod production and only three halibut producers in Scotland, despite reports from the British Marine Finfish Association that there is potential to increase halibut production. A number of aquaculture businesses are currently considering plans for the production of wrasse as a sea-lice control within salmon farms.

Scotland is well positioned to contribute to continued growth in shellfish aquaculture within the EU, in line with the EU Aquaculture Strategy. In the 2009 European Fisheries Fund awards, grants to the mussel sector were made which could alone lead to a further increase of more than 2,000 tonnes of production (Baxter et al. 2011). A decline in Dutch mussel production may also contribute to an expansion of the Scottish industry, which has the potential to double its production by 2020 to 160,000 tonnes without having a significant impact on overall market supply and avoiding a reduction in the market value (Marine Scotland, 2011).

The Scottish Government has stated its support for the ambitions of the aquaculture sector to increase production of shellfish by 100 per cent by 2020 compared to 2009 [19] . This target implies shellfish production in the order of 13,000 tonnes by 2020.

B1.3 Potential for Interaction

Table B1.2 shows potential interaction pathways between aquaculture and wind, wave and/or tidal arrays.

Explanation of column content:

Column 1: Describes the potential interaction between the activity and any renewable technology;

Column 2: Identifies the types of offshore renewable development (wind, wave or tidal) for which the interaction may arise;

Column 3: Identifies the potential socio-economic consequence associated with the interaction identified in Column 1;

Column 4: Indicates whether detailed assessment will or will not be required if activity is scoped in; and

Column 5: Identifies how the socio-economic impact will be assessed.

Table B1.2 Potential for Interaction

1

2

3

4

5

Potential Interaction

Technology Relevance (Wind, Wave, Tidal)

Potential Socio-economic Consequence

Requires Detailed Assessment (√) or Does Not Require Detailed Assessment (X)

How the Economic Impact Will be Assessed

Displacement of existing or future aquaculture activity

All arrays, export cables

Reduction in income for aquaculture producers

See Section B1.4

Disturbance or injury to aquaculture species in n production (underwater noise)

All arrays during construction

Reduction in income for aquaculture producers

See Section B1.4

B1.4 Scoping Methodology

B1.4.1 Displacement of Aquaculture Activity

Potential negative impacts on aquaculture may occur through the direct displacement of aquaculture installations. This potential negative effect was considered only likely to occur where Draft Plan Option areas (or associated cable corridors) and aquaculture interest areas directly overlap. Using this assumption:

  • Draft Plan Option areas or cable corridors which did not overlap with aquaculture interest areas were scoped out.
  • Draft Plan Option areas or cable corridors which did overlap with aquaculture interest areas were considered to require more detailed assessment.

The output of this scoping exercise is presented in Appendix C1.

B1.4.2 Disturbance or Injury to Aquaculture Species in Production (Underwater Noise)

Potential negative impacts on aquaculture may occur through disturbance or injury to aquaculture species in production through underwater noise. Noise associated with installation activities and operation might arise from vessel traffic, turbine movement, possible requirements for bed levelling, driving and drilling of piles, and installation of the power export cable ( i.e. ploughing through sediment areas, rock cutting in hard sea beds, bolting to the sea bed and/or directional drilling). There is an increasing understanding of the source noise levels and frequencies associated with marine construction activities from various reports largely associated with offshore wind farms (Nedwell & Howell, 2004; Thomsen et al., 2006). The impacts from pile driving and the use of explosives are of most concern ( e.g. IECS, 2007). This is because pile driving generates very high sound pressure levels over a relatively broad frequency range (20Hz - >20kHz). Studies indicate that some exposures will result in changes or damage to sensory structures and hearing capabilities, impacts on other aspects of fish physiology and mortality (Hastings & Popper, 2005). Specifically, noise impacts from pile driving may result in permanent or temporary threshold shifts for species in close proximity to the activity (Thomsen, et al. 2006).

Offshore wind arrays may use large diameter piling and are likely to emit more intense noise than wave or tidal arrays which would be expected to either use much smaller diameter piling or no piling (such as for gravity base or floating structures). Using this assumption:

  • Draft Plan Option areas > 5km (Wind) or 2km (Wave and Tidal) from aquaculture interest areas were scoped out of the assessment.
  • Draft Plan Option areas < 5km (Wind) or 2km (Wave and Tidal) of aquaculture interest areas were considered to require more detailed assessment.

The output of this scoping exercise is presented in Appendix C1.

B1.5 Assessment Methodology

B1.5.1 Displacement of Aquaculture Activity

An assessment of the potential impact on revenue due to displacement has been based on scale of spatial overlap and information on production (using information on farm activity and size as a proxy for production data which can't be released for individual sites due to commercial confidentiality).

Currently there is still uncertainty surrounding the precise routes which cables will be laid within the indicative corridors. However, given that aquaculture installations only cover small areas, a large degree of overlap occurring between a cable route and aquaculture site is unlikely. In addition, it is assumed that cable routes will generally be able to be modified slightly through spatial planning to avoid aquaculture installations. Displacement of aquaculture sites due to cable routes has therefore not been assessed in more detail as part of this study.

B1.5.2 Disturbance or Injury to Aquaculture Species in Production (Underwater Noise)

The assumption has been made that if an aquaculture site (including a 5km noise buffer for wind and a 2km noise buffer for wave/tidal) only represents a small percentage of a Draft Plan Option area it would easily be possible to locate the arrays at a distance which would not produce noise disturbance to aquaculture species.


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