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
B4. Commercial Fisheries

383 page PDF

4.7 MB

B4. Commercial Fisheries

B4.1 Overview

This sector relates to all commercial fishing activity within Scottish waters and includes the subsequent handling and processing of catches. In this study, commercial fishing activity includes wild salmon and sea trout fisheries.

The main fishing sectors are: pelagic trawl fisheries e.g. for mackerel and herring (based mainly in Shetland and north-east Scotland; demersal trawl fisheries e.g. for whitefish - haddock, cod and monkfish; demersal trawl fisheries for Nephrops; inshore fisheries including smaller Nephrops trawls and Nephrops creels (pots).

The Scottish fisheries sector landed 359,000 tonnes of fish with a value of £501 million in 2011. Pelagic species accounted for 56% of landings by quantity (37% by value), demersal species accounted for 26% by quantity (30% by value) and shellfish accounted for 20% by quantity (33% by value) (Marine Scotland, 2012). The total volume of landings decreased by 2% compared to 2010, but the value increased by 13%, mainly due to higher prices being achieved for pelagic species (herring and mackerel). Other countries' vessels also fish in Scottish waters. These include Norway, France, Spain, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia and Faroe Islands.

Figures B4.1, B4.2 and B4.3(a-e) show an overview of fishing activity in relation to the Draft Plan Option areas. Information sources used in the assessment are listed in Table B4.1.

Table B4.1 Information Sources

Scale

Information Available

Date

Source

Scotland

Value and weight of landings by port

Average effort (kw days) in sea areas by UK vessels (range)

Average value of landings from sea areas (range)

Average number of days of foreign vessel fishing activity per ICES square (range)

Reported annual catches by fishing type (fixed engine, rod and line, net and coble)

2005-2009

Baxter et al (2011)

Scotland

Locations and types of fishing; status of stocks; economic and social aspects of the fisheries

2010

Crawley, D. (2010)

Fishing District

Sea Fisheries Statistics for fishing fleet, employment and catches and landings

2009

Marine Scotland - Science

ICES rectangle

Landings data (weight and value of landings into a UK port by vessel size, nationality and gear type for each species)

2000-2010

Marine Scotland

ICES rectangle

Satellite ( VMS) data for UK vessels if available

2006-2010

Marine Monitoring Centre, Marine Scotland

ICES rectangle

Vessel surveillance data by nationality and gear type

2006-2010

Marine Monitoring Centre, Marine Scotland

Statistical Districts

Aggregate catch data for salmon and sea trout fisheries by fishing type

2000-2010

Freshwater Laboratory Field Station, Marine Scotland - Science

Additional data sources:

  • Dunstone (2008) presents 2004-2008 VMS data by gear type, effort and estimated economic value including Scotland
  • Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters ScotMap draft outputs

B4.2 Future Trends

B4.2.1 Fish Catching Activities

The fisheries sector is currently, and is likely to remain, important to many rural areas in Scotland. Fisheries are potentially impacted by both environmental and anthropogenic factors, including:

  • Climate change effects (warming seas), which may result in the decline of stocks of cold-water species, such as cod, in waters around the UK as the stocks move northwards. However, new opportunities for warmer-water species may emerge as these species extend northwards into UK seas. Existing more southerly stocks such as red mullet, John Dory and bass may also experience improved productivity in years with higher average sea temperatures ( UKMMAS, 2010);
  • Anthropogenic effects such as permanent structures, dumping at sea, oil and chemical spills, and the effects of the fisheries themselves, which may impact on the habitats where the fish live; and
  • Profitability and political effects, as detailed below.

There are a wide range of factors influencing the financial performance of individual businesses: some are internal to the business (such as strategic decision making, assets and skills), while others are external (and include sectoral competitiveness, the management framework, market conditions and fuel prices). These interact to determine the actual business performance (Scottish Government, 2010).

Landings of fish subject to UK quotas set under the EU Common Fisheries Policy ( CFP) generally reflect changes in the quota set, therefore, in the future as species-specific quotas are raised or lowered, this will have an impact on the amount of that species landed. This is difficult to predict and will depend on the recovery and sustainability of individual species as well as the details and implementation of CFP reform in 2013, including the implementation of a discards ban.

Fisheries management will continue to focus on bringing down rates of exploitation to Maximum Sustainable Yield ( MSY) targets. The majority of scientifically-assessed stocks continue to be fished at rates well above the levels expected to provide the highest long-term yield ( UKMMAS, 2010), therefore, there is increasing downward pressure on the levels of exploitation allowed. It is likely that pressure to reduce discarding will increase, though without allowing overall catch to rise. Management measures will need to reduce bycatch and discards, and be more responsive to changing patterns of fish migration and movement (Baxter et al. 2011).

Reform of the CFP in 2013 may result in significant changes to the aims and objectives of the policy with a consequent effect on management. The outcome of this reform process cannot be predicted with any certainty but it is likely that EU fisheries will be managed on a more regional basis and fishermen may be more directly involved in the management of the fish stocks. (Baxter et al. 2011).

The certification of sustainable fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council ( MSC) may bring marketing advantages in a climate of increasing public and commercial awareness of sustainability issues, and where there is a desire to source fish and shellfish from environmentally-responsible businesses. Currently, there are six Scottish fisheries with MSC certification, although the certification for the mackerel fishery is currently suspended ( MSC website):

  • Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group ( SFSAG) North Sea haddock - this fishery was certified as sustainable in October 2010. It is located in the North Sea ( ICES Sub-Area IVa, b) and contains 192 vessels using seine and trawl methods;
  • Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group Ltd Atlanto Scandian herring - this fishery was certified as sustainable in March 2010. It is located in the ICES Sub-Area I, IIa, IIb, V and XIV and contains 25 vessels from the Scottish RSW pelagic trawl fleet;
  • Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group Ltd ( SPSG) North Sea herring - this fishery was certified as sustainable in July 2008. The Scottish fleet mainly exploits the Buchan sub-stock of herring located in the central and Northern North Sea within the EEZ of the EU and Norway;
  • Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group Ltd ( SPSG) western component of North-East Atlantic mackerel - this fishery was certified in January 2009 and includes 21 Scottish-owned and operated large refrigerated seawater pelagic mid-water trawl vessels. The certification was suspended in 2012 due to the failure of countries exploiting the stock to agree on allocation of quotas that do not exceed the TAC set for the stock;
  • SPSG West of Scotland herring pelagic trawl - this fishery was certified in April 2012 and includes 28 vessels fishing with pelagic trawl;
  • SSMO Shetland inshore brown and velvet crab, lobster and scallop fishery - this fishery was certified in March 2012 and includes creel and pot fisheries for brown crab and velvet crab, and scallop dredge fishery for king scallops, within 6nm of Shetland.

Planned and possible future offshore renewables development in Scottish seas has the potential to affect the distribution of fishing activity and the value of fish landings in the future. A recent socio-economic assessment carried out for potential future offshore wind, wave and tidal energy development ( ABPmer & RPA, 2013), estimated possible reductions in landings values of between £3.6m to £19.3m (Present value costs discounted over assessment period (2014 to 2035, 2012 prices). Planned and possible oil and gas development may also interact with commercial fishing activity at some locations, but the spatial footprint of such development is likely to be smaller than for offshore renewables. Decommissioning of oil and gas structures, particularly in the North Sea may create new fishing opportunities over the period of the assessment.

B4.2.2 Fish Processing Activities

The availability, quality and conservation of fish stocks are major concerns for the processing industry. Landings of pelagic and demersal species have continued to decrease over the last decade, therefore, there is a lower volume of these species available to the processing industry (Brown, 2009). By contrast there is a larger volume of shellfish available to processors. No industry can continue unchanged while its major raw materials become less readily available. Firms engaged in some secondary processes or other diversification, are best placed to achieve financial stability in the near future. The process of rationalisation, which has been witnessed in recent years, will result in fewer bigger firms which are more likely to be geared up for obtaining supplies via direct routes and from overseas.

B4.2.3 Wild Salmon and Sea Trout

Scotland is famous for its wild salmon Salmo salar and sea trout Salmo trutta. These fish spend several years in rivers, migrate to sea then return as adults to spawn. Marine migrations in salmon are generally more extensive than those of sea trout (Baxter et al. 2011).

All salmon fishing and sea trout fishing rights in Scotland, including in the sea, are private, heritable titles, which may be held separately from any land. They fall into one of three broad categories:

  • Fixed engine fisheries - are restricted to the coast and must be set outside estuary limits;
  • Net and coble fisheries - generally operate in estuaries and the lower reaches of rivers; and
  • Rod and line fisheries - generally operate within rivers and above tidal limits.

There are 45 fishing stations in mainland Scotland: East coast - 22; North coast - 5; and West coast and islands - 18.

Salmon and sea trout fishing takes place within estuaries or on the coast, and no management measures or cost impacts are anticipated for wild salmon and sea trout fisheries as a result of the establishment of potential MPAs in Scottish waters.

B4.3 Potential for Interaction

The potential for interaction between commercial fisheries and offshore renewable development was assessed during the Inception Phase. Whether each potential interaction required detailed assessment or not, and how the economic impact would be assessed, were determined (see Table B4.2). The columns in the table below provide the following information:

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;

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

Table B4.2 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

Loss of or displacement from traditional fishing grounds

All arrays, export cables

Reduction in landings and income

√ (arrays)

See section B4.4

Displacement from fishing grounds leading to increased conflict over diminishing fishing grounds

All arrays, export cables

Loss of static fishing gear, increased stress, loss of traditional trawling areas

X

Assessment of loss of traditional fishing grounds takes worst case scenario, assuming that the value of landings from the area would be lost. This assumes effort is not displaced, however, potential displacement effects are assessed qualitatively.

Displacement of fishing vessels leading to changes in fishing patterns including gears used and species targeted

All arrays, export cables

Change in costs and earnings profile of vessels

X

See above

Disturbance of commercially-important species and disruption or damage to habitats, nursery and spawning grounds

All arrays, export cables

Reduction in landings/Catch per Unit Effort ( CPUE)

X - assumed that impacts to fish populations will be minimised in accordance with EIA and HRA requirements and that residual impacts will not have significant impact on fishing sector.

Not required.

Obstruction of navigation routes

All arrays, export cables

Increased steaming times for vessels, increased fuel cost

√ (arrays)

Assessment of potential magnitude of impact and scale of deviation. Not possible to monetise, as precise location of arrays within Draft Plan Option areas are uncertain. Small fishing vessels may navigate through arrays in fair weather conditions. Identify as potential qualitative impact.

Fouling of fishing gear on cables or seabed infrastructure

Export cables

Loss of fishing gear, increase in gear costs, loss of fishing time and revenue

√ (export cables)

Assessment of potential frequency of fouling events based on discussions with fishermen's representatives and cables industry, based on possible locations of export cables

Consequential impacts to fish processors

All arrays, export cables

Loss of profit for fish processors

√ (arrays)

See section B4.4

Assessment of impact of any significant reduction in landings to fish processors ( NB import substitution may occur)

- Consultation with industry

Spillover benefits of de facto closed areas, refuge for fish and shellfish species, protection of important habitat types (spawning and nursery grounds)

All arrays

Increased landings

X - not possible to assess potential benefits in any detail.

Identify as potential qualitative benefit.

Salmon and sea trout fisheries

All arrays

Loss of landings

X - netting occurs in estuaries and inshore area, not expected to be affected by Draft Plan Option areas. Environmental impacts avoided through EIA and HRA process

Not required

B4.4 Scoping Methodology

Potential negative impacts on commercial fisheries may occur principally through the loss of (or displacement from) traditional fishing grounds due to the location of wind, wave or tidal devices. For the purposes of this assessment, this potential negative effect was considered to occur for Draft Plan Option areas which overlap with fishing activities of all gear types. Through this process, and due to the widespread nature of fishing activity in the marine environment, all Draft Plan Option areas were scoped in to the fisheries assessment. This assumes a worst-case scenario in terms of the potential impact on the commercial fisheries sector, because in practice there may be potential for some activities ( e.g. potting) to continue at some level within lease areas.

The loss of fishing grounds would lead to a reduction in catches/landings and income for affected vessels. This has been quantified as the value of landings derived from the area of the Draft Plan Option area that would be occupied by wind, wave or tidal arrays under the different development scenarios. Because this assessment assumes a worst-case scenario, that all landings from the renewables areas are lost, potential displacement effects are not quantified, but are discussed qualitatively.

Impacts on fisheries may also occur through increased conflict and competition over diminishing fishing grounds, and changes in fishing patterns including gears used and species targeted, as a result of adapting to new fishing grounds. However, these impacts have been scoped out because the worst-case scenario of loss of fishing grounds assumes loss of activity and the value of the activity from the area. As described above, the potential impacts of such displacement are discussed qualitatively.

Arrays may cause obstruction of navigation routes, resulting in increased steaming times for vessels to reach their fishing grounds, increased fuel costs and reduced time available for fishing for those fleets limited by days-at-sea restrictions. Fouling of fishing gear may occur on intra-array and export cables and seabed infrastructure, causing loss of fishing gear, increase in gear costs and loss of fishing time and revenue. This has been assessed qualitatively.

Offshore renewable developments may cause disturbance of commercially-important species and disruption or damage to habitats, nursery and spawning grounds from the arrays and from cables, resulting in a reduction in landings and catch per unit effort ( CPUE). The methodology for this assessment assumes that impacts to fish populations will be minimised in accordance with EIA and HRA requirements and that residual impacts will not have a significant impact on the fishing sector. This has therefore been scoped out.

Reductions in landings may cause consequential impacts to fish processors resulting in loss of profit. This may arise from a loss of local landings available for processing, reducing turnover, or increased costs in sourcing additional material from imports or from further afield.

There may or may not be 'spillover benefits' of de facto closed areas and protection of habitats for fish and shellfish species, however, it is not possible to assess potential benefits or otherwise in any detail.

Salmon and sea trout fisheries occur mainly in rivers and estuaries, or from fixed engines close to the shore. The Draft Plan Option areas are not located in any of these areas, therefore no interaction is expected and it has been scoped out of the assessment. Salmon and sea trout are protected under Habitats Regulations legislation, which requires that a Habitats Regulations Assessment is conducted for individual wind, wave and tidal developments. This requires that environmental impacts on salmon and sea trout are avoided. Salmon and sea trout fisheries have therefore been scoped out of the assessment.

The output of this scoping exercise is presented in Appendix C4.

B4.5 Assessment Methodology

The assessment methodology presented in this section takes account of the existing best practice guidance relating to assessment of the impacts of developments on commercial fisheries ( e.g. UKFEN & Seafish, 2012). This indicates that the level of detail of assessment carried out on financial and economic impacts on the fisheries sector should be proportionate to the study (size, length, resources) and provides guidance on methodologies for assessing impacts.

The methodologies adopted to assess each interaction type are described below.

B4.5.1 Loss of or Displacement from Traditional Fishing Grounds

The potential worst-case impact of loss of fishing grounds from development of offshore renewable sites was quantified in terms of the value of fish landings from the proportion of the Draft Plan Option area that is likely to be developed under each scenario. For example, some Draft Plan Option areas are large, but it is likely that only a small percentage of the overall area would be occupied by wind, wave or tidal arrays, in order to achieve the power output level expected under each scenario. Because the precise location of the arrays within the Draft Plan Option areas is not yet known, this has been treated in a pro-rata manner, proportionate to the area of the Draft Plan Option area expected to be developed under each scenario.

The average value of landings for 2007-2011 attributable to individual ICES rectangles was provided by Marine Scotland, broken down according to:

  • Species group (cod; haddock; monkfish; other whitefish; herring; mackerel; other pelagic; nephrops; scallops; other shellfish);
  • Vessel length (10m and under; over 10m under 15m; 15m and over; unknown length over 10m);
  • Gear type (demersal trawl; nephrops trawl; beam trawl; pelagic trawl; other trawl; gill nets; long lines; dredges; pots; shell fishing by hand; other gear).

These data included landings from under-15m vessels (non- VMS) and over-15m vessels (with VMS), and included both UK vessels landing into UK and non- UK ports, and foreign vessels landing into UK ports. They exclude landings from non- UK vessels into non- UK ports and therefore may underestimate the impact of offshore renewables development on foreign fleets.

The value of landings from each individual Draft Plan Option area was calculated using the proportional area technique ( UKFEN & Seafish, 2012). For each ICES rectangle that overlapped with a Draft Plan Option area, the proportion of the ICES rectangle within the Draft Plan Option area was calculated (adjusting as necessary for coastal ICES rectangles that include some areas of land). This proportion was then multiplied by the value of landings from that ICES rectangle to obtain an approximation of the value of landings from the part of the ICES rectangle that overlapped with the Draft Plan Option areas. The values were then summed for all the ICES rectangles that the Draft Plan Option areas overlapped, to obtain the total value of landings attributable to the Draft Plan Option areas. This total value was then multiplied by the proportion of the Draft Plan Option areas expected to be occupied by arrays under the different development scenarios, to obtain an estimate of the value of landings affected by offshore renewables development in each case.

These calculations were broken down by gear type, species type and vessel length, to enable identification of the fleet sectors likely to be most affected by the developments.

It is recognised that this 'proportional area technique' can be inaccurate as it assumes the value of landings from an ICES rectangle is evenly distributed across the rectangle, which may not be the case. This method is adequate in this case due to the fact that the precise areas in which arrays will be developed within the Draft Plan Option areas are not yet known, so it is not possible to pinpoint the areas that will be affected. Furthermore, the method reflects the value of landings from both the over-15m vessels and the under-15m vessels, which is not the case for other data sources which are available at higher resolution ( e.g. for value of landings based on VMS estimates, which is available for over-15m vessels only).

In order to address this, a qualitative assessment of whether the area of the Draft Plan Option areas represented an area of above or below average landings from within the ICES rectangles involved was carried out. The value of landings based on fishing effort from ICES sub-rectangles (50 sub-rectangles per ICES rectangle, measuring 5.4 km by 11.1 km in the north, to 6.3 km by 11.1 km in the south) ( i.e. landings adjusted for fishing effort from VMS data) for the over-15m fleet was overlain on the Draft Plan Option areas. This was used to qualitatively assess, within an ICES rectangle, whether the fishing grounds within the Draft Plan Option areas were more or less important than the fishing grounds outside the Draft Plan Option areas, according to whether the value of landings based on effort distribution was above or below average for the ICES rectangles involved. This provided an indication of whether the quantitative estimate of value of landings affected using the proportional area technique was an over-estimate or an under-estimate for the over-15m fleet. This was also cross-checked against the proportion of the value of landings accounted for by the over-15m fleet. Where this was greater than 85%, the VMS-based estimates were considered to be a good representation of the overall value of landings. Conversely, where the under-15m fleet represented more than 15% of the overall value of landings, VMS-based estimates were not considered to be a good reflection of the overall activity of the fleet. For the under-15m fleet, an interim output of the ScotMap project was used, which provides a spatial indication of the average annual earnings for all gear types at a higher resolution than the ICES rectangle data.

The advantage of this methodology is that the ICES rectangle data incorporate landings from both the over- and under-15m sectors and therefore a consistent data source is used across both fleet sectors. The disadvantage is that the data used for the over-15m fleet are not as spatially resolved as the VMS-based estimates.

To take account of the effects of the displacement of current (and future) output due to the footprint of the renewable technologies an adjustment is made to convert change in value of landings to GVA. This is based on the potential direct reduction in GVA due to the potential reduction in the value of landings. The Seafish Industry Authority Multi-year Fleet Economic Performance Dataset (Seafish, 2013) has been used as the basis for this calculation. However, directly comparable data on fleet segments and gear types were not available. Therefore, a GVA ratio of 39% has been used to convert PV assessment of impacts on the value of landings to GVA, based on the average GVA % across all Scottish fleet segments. This 39% factor has been used with the projected change in value of landings to estimate the change in GVA.

The knock-on effects on GVA for commercial fisheries have been estimated using the Type I and Type II GVA multipliers. The 2007 Scottish Input-Output multipliers have been applied as these were the most recent available at the time of the report. Data on landings have been used to inform the consideration of downstream supply chain effects (such as impacts on fish processors) but no estimate has been made of the GVA impact on processors. Instead, this is assessed as part of the (qualitative) social assessment. Knock-on employment impacts are based on the value of landings and use the Type I and Type II employment effects.

Foreign Vessels

The above data used to assess the value of landings from Draft Plan Option areas do not include the value of landings from non- UK vessels that land their catches outside the UK. Surveillance data were provided to identify which non- UK fleets might be most affected, but these did not differentiate between vessels actively fishing and not fishing. Cefas data layers on effort of non- UK fleets were not available for use in the analysis. It was therefore not possible to assess the potential impact on non- UK fleets.

B4.5.2 Obstruction of Navigation Routes

Data on VMS pings relating to 'steaming' (average speed since last ping equal to or greater than 5 knots) were provided by Marine Scotland. These were plotted in GIS and the Draft Plan Option areas were overlain. This was used to assess whether the Draft Plan Option areas overlap with areas that show a concentration of VMS steaming pings, and therefore may impact on fishing vessels' navigation routes. Consultation with industry also explored the potential disruption of navigation routes and deviation required.

It was not possible to quantify or monetise the impact due to obstruction of navigation routes, as the precise location of arrays within Draft Plan Option areas are uncertain. Furthermore, small fishing vessels may navigate through arrays in fair weather conditions. Additionally, since arrays will only occupy a proportion of the Draft Plan Option areas, it may be possible to locate them in areas that cause least disruption to steaming routes. An indication of the magnitude of impact from obstruction of navigation routes was assessed by identifying the ports with steaming routes affected, and the number of vessels (split by under-15m and over-15m sectors) which are registered at those ports as their home ports on the MMO UK fishing vessel list ( MMO, 2013).

Fouling of Fishing Gear on Cables

For export cables, precise routes are too uncertain to provide a quantitative assessment of their impact on the commercial fisheries sector. Furthermore, cables are likely to be buried where possible and therefore impacts on catches should be minimised. This potential impact was described qualitatively through consultation with the industry and identification of likely cable routes.

B4.5.3 Consequential Impacts to Fish Processors

The results of the assessment of impacts on landings from loss of or displacement from traditional fishing grounds were used to assess the regions the significance of the reduction in landings compared to the overall landings of each species group (whitefish, pelagics, shellfish). This presents a worst-case scenario because in reality the impact may be less, as a degree of import substitution may occur to compensate for the loss of landings.

Baseline Value and Future Projections

The potential impact on commercial fisheries within each region between 2014 and 2035 was then calculated as follows:

  • The total value of fisheries landings affected in each Draft Plan Option area in the region (£ million) (average for 2007-2011) (calculation method described above) was adjusted for inflation to provide baseline commercial fisheries values at 2012 prices using the GDP deflator. The average value for 2007-2011 was assigned to the mid-point (2009) and adjusted to 2012 prices.
  • The value of fisheries landings was projected forwards to 2035 based on a static baseline, and discounted at a rate of 3.5% in line with Treasury Green Book guidance.
  • The value of fisheries landings affected was then converted into GVA by applying a fleet-wide GVA multiplier of 39% ( GVA as a percentage of fishing income, average for 2007-2011), an average of relevant UK fleet segments fishing in Scottish waters from the Seafish economic indicators 2013.

In order to quantify the potential impact of offshore renewables development on fisheries between 2014 and 2035, future trends should be taken into account. The value of fisheries landings is dependent on a range of interacting factors, including:

  • Fishing activity, which changes in response to a number of factors including:
    • Scientific advice and resulting catch limits (quotas);
    • The location of fish;
    • Policy measures such as limits on fishing effort (days spent fishing multiplied by the power of the vessel);
    • Closed areas;
    • Fleet size and composition which may be affected by decommissioning schemes;
    • Profitability including the influence of fuel price and technological developments.
  • Policy developments such as the forthcoming Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and the impact this may have on fishing activity and stock recovery;
  • Fish prices and market support measures;
  • Climate change effects, which may result in shifts in geographical distribution of stocks;
  • Anthropogenic effects such as permanent structures, dumping at sea, oil and chemical spills and the effects of the fisheries themselves, which may impact on the habitats where fish live;
  • Profitability and political effects including internal and external factors affecting business performance.

The baseline review ( ABPmer & RPA, 2012) did not identify any clear future trends for commercial fisheries. Total fishery landings and employment in the fishing industry have been fairly stable since the mid-2000s. Species-specific quotas may be raised or lowered according to stock status and scientific advice, but this is difficult to predict and a species- and area-specific analysis of this type, which would require bio-economic modelling to predict the response of individual fleet métiers and stocks to management measures under the Reformed CFP, is beyond the scope of this study. The Impact Assessment for the Marine Conservation Zones ( MCZs) in England also assumed the spatial distribution and value of landings would remain constant over the 20-year timeframe of the assessment, due to the lack of micro-scale forecasts of future activity (Annex H7 of the MCZ Impact Assessment).

B4.5.4 Cumulative Assessment

After the initial analysis, a cumulative assessment was carried out to identify where there might be a concentration of impacts on particular types of fishing or fleet segments in particular areas.


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