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
B15. Water Sports (Sea Angling, Surfing and Windsurfing, Sea Kayaking, Scuba Diving and Small Boat Activities)

383 page PDF

4.7 MB

B15. Water Sports (Sea Angling, Surfing and Windsurfing, Sea Kayaking, Scuba Diving and Small Boat Activities)

B15.1 Overview

Water sports are recreational activities undertaken on or immersed in a body of water. The main marine water sports undertaken in Scotland are recreational angling, surfing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, scuba diving and small sail boat activities (such as dinghy sailing) ( BMF et al., 2009; Baxter et al ., 2011). Small sail boat activity is defined as dinghies, day boat or other small keelboats, usually taken out of water at the end of use. Recreational boating activity in larger vessels such as yachts is covered in Section B11. General tourism is described in Section B13 of this report as the interactions and issues in relation to marine renewable developments are often distinctly different. Figure B15 shows an overview of tourist activity in relation to Draft Plan Option areas. Information sources used in the assessment are listed in Table B15.1.

Table B15.1 Information Sources

Scale

Information Available

Date

Source

Scotland

Number of sea anglers

2006-2007

Radford et al (2009)

Scotland

Economic impact of sea angling (by region)

No date

Radford et al (2009)

Scotland

Angler days by resident, by origin, by type (short, boat, charter)

No date

Scotland

Expenditure

No date

Scotland

Trends (days fished, competitiveness of region)

No date

Scotland

Output of DREAM® model gives multipliers (associated with angling)

No date

Scotland

Estimated regional sea angling activity and expenditure (also for Scotland)

No date

Baxter et al (2011)

Scotland

Origin and destination of overnight fishing trips to Scotland

2006-2007

Radford et al (2009)

Highlands and Islands

Statistics on water sports

No date

George Street Research & Jones Economics (2004)

UK/Scotland

Snorkling and Diving Locations (not spatial

www.snorkeling.co.uk and www.ukdiving.co.uk

UK/Scotland

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing locations (user-updated)

www.thewindmap.com

UK

Indicative location of coastal watersports centres

2010

Defra/ CP2

Scotland

Surfing and diving locations

2011

Scotland's Marine Atlas Ch5

UK

Surfing locations

SAS (2009) and the 'Stormrider Guides' ( www.lowpressure.co.uk)

UK

Indicative location of coastal diving areas (Recreational and otherwise)

CP2 / Magic Seaweed

UK

Statistics on water sports participation levels

2010

BMF (2011a)

UK

Location of scuba diving sites

Dive Site Directory www.divesitedirectory.co.uk/uk

UK

Location of windsurf sites

Windsurf Magazine www.windsurf.co.uk/beach-guide

B15.2 Future Trends

The leisure and recreation sector has experienced large growth in a number of diverse areas over the past decade. The growth and stability of the water sports sector in Scotland is heavily dependent on the general health of the UK economy. A strong economy means that consumers have more disposable income and are more inclined to spend money on this sector than when the economy is weaker. The recent UK economic downturn may lead to a reduction in such activities but in the long-term the sector is expected to continue to grow.

There is little information on future levels of recreational angling activity. Levels of activity are likely to vary in response to trends in the overall economy, changes in fish stocks as a result of improved fisheries management and changes in fish distributions in response to climate change. The nature and direction of these changes remains unclear.

B15.3 Potential for Interaction

Table B15.2 shows potential interaction pathways between water sport activities 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;

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

Table B15.2 Potential for Interaction

1

2

3

4

5

Potential Interaction

Technology Relevance (Wind, Wave, Tidal)

Potential Socio-economic Consequence

Scoped in (√) or Out (X) of Assessment

How the Economic Impact Will be Assessed

Impacts to seascape / setting

All arrays

Reduction in activity levels leading to loss of revenue for water sport business

See Section B15.4

Spatial overlap between Draft Plan Option areas and water sport activity

All arrays

Reduction in activity levels leading to loss of revenue for water sport business

Spatial overlap between cable routes and water sports activity

All arrays

Reduction in activity levels leading to loss of revenue for water sport business

Impacts to wave quality (surfing)

All arrays

Reduction in surfing activity leading to loss of revenue for water sport business

X - Evidence from existing offshore renewables developments indicates that there have been negligible or only very minor significant changes in wave quality at the shoreline as a result of developments ( RPS, 2005; Halcrow, 2006; ASR Ltd, 2007; PMSS, 2007; Seascape Energy Ltd 2002; ABPmer, 2003 and CEFAS, 2005). However, to date research and EIA studies have concerned the impacts of offshore renewable energy developments that are considerably smaller in scale than proposed future developments. SAS (2009) highlighted concerns that the increased scale associated with future offshore renewable energy development has the potential to impact on surfing resources and recreation. Following consultation it was highlighted that this remains a key issue for both the SAS and Scottish Waveriders Association.

While it remains unlikely that many future developments will significantly affect wave quality, given the current uncertainty, applying broad assumptions and criteria at a Sectoral level is likely to provide inaccurate results. Instead it is recommended that the economic consequences of impacts to wave quality are discussed at project-level. This should be based on the output of wave modelling studies and in consultation with relevant stakeholders as part of the EIA scoping and consultation process. The issue will therefore not be assessed in more detail as part of this study.

See Section B15.4

B15.4 Scoping Methodology

B15.4.1 Impacts to Seascape / Setting

Potential negative impacts on water sports may occur through visual effects on the landscape and seascape [24] deterring visitors to an area or deterring water sports related expenditure and investment. The importance of seascape for participants and the priority this has over other factors which contribute to the attraction of a water sport site is likely to vary between different activities and individuals. This is because the user experience is to some extent subjective making potential economic consequences of visual impacts to water sports participants difficult to assess.

For the purpose of this assessment, this potential negative effect for Offshore Wind Array Draft Plan Option areas was considered to only be likely to occur for Draft Plan Option areas which were located within 10km of a water sports site and these are in line with the assessments carried out for tourism (see B13).. Using this assumption:

  • Wind Draft Plan Option areas > 10km from a water sports site were scoped out of the assessment; and
  • Wind Draft Plan Option areas < 10km from a water sports site were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment.

The height of many wave and tidal devices above sea level (often less than 10m), makes them more analogous to fish farms, which tourists perceive as being of less impact visually than wind farms (Riddington et al. 2008). Therefore, the effects of impacts to landscape and seascape on water sports would generally be expected to be less than for wind farms. Therefore, a potential negative effect was considered only to be likely for devices located within 5km of a seascape unit with a capacity score of 4 or more [25] based on Scott et al (2005). Using this assumption:

  • Wave and Tidal Draft Plan Option areas > 5km from a water sports site located in a seascape unit with a capacity score of 4 or more were scoped out of the assessment;
  • Wave and Tidal Draft Plan Option areas < 5km from a water sports site located in a seascape unit with a capacity score of 4 or more were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment.

The spatial data used to identify popular water sports activity sites can be seen in Table B15.3.

Table B15.3 Data Used to Identify Water Sports Sites

Activity

Data

Surfing and Windsurfing

Surfing and windsurfing sites highlighted in the baseline report ( ABPmer, 2012) including those listed in SAS (2009); 'Stormrider Guide', 2010 ( http://www.lowpressure.co.uk) and the Windsurf Magazine 'Beach Guide', 2011 ( http://www.windsurf.co.uk/beachguide).

Sea Kayaking

Sea kayaking sites are defined as those listed in the top ten most popular kayaking locations based on a 2011 questionnaire survey undertaken by Canoe Scotland. A buffer extending offshore to 3km has been used around these (see Table 15.2 for rationale).

Scuba diving

Visual impacts assumed to be negligible given that the focus of the activity is underwater--no assessment required.

Small sail boat activities

RYA racing and sailing areas and sailing clubs (which support small sail boat activity highlighted in the baseline report ( ABPmer, 2012).

Sea angling

Visual impacts assumed to be negligible-no assessment required

The output of this scoping exercise is presented in Appendix C15.

B15.4.2 Spatial Overlap Between Draft Plan Option Areas and Water Sport Activity

Potential negative impacts on water sports may also occur through direct overlap between a Draft Plan Option area and water sport site causing displacement or obstruction of water sports activity and a potential collision risk for humans or vessels. This could cause a reduction in activity levels leading to loss of revenue for water sport business. The scoping criteria which had been used are different for each water sports activity. A summary can be seen in Table B15.4.

Table B15.4 Criteria Used to Identify Overlap Between Draft Plan Option Areas and Water Sport Activity

Activity

Criteria

Surfing and Windsurfing

Activities are undertaken close to beaches and so no direct overlap with Draft Plan Option areas expected to occur - no assessment required.

Sea kayaking

The majority of sea kayaking is undertaken close inshore, exploring interesting aspects of the coast such as sea caves, inlets and wildlife. Safety issues and a lack of interesting features in general prevent kayaking further offshore. However, open crossings (between two points such as a headland and an offshore island), often through strong tidal currents are regularly undertaken by more experienced sea kayakers. Unlike other water sports activities which are often undertaken in relatively discrete areas (such as a surf spot or diving site), sea kayaking has the potential to be undertaken along much of the Scottish coast and is only constrained by the availability of suitable launching spots such as beaches or slipways. The assumption has therefore been made that kayaking could be undertaken along any stretch of Scottish coastline offshore to 3km. This area has been extended offshore if it is possible to undertake an open sea crossing between two parts of land less than 12km apart (such as the mainland and a nearby headland/island or one island to the next). Using this assumption:

  • Draft Plan Option areas > 3km off the coastline (or 12km in areas where an open crossing is possible) were scoped out of the assessment
  • Draft Plan Option areas < 3km off the coastline (or 12km in areas where an open crossing is possible) were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment

Small sail boat activities

Most small sail boat activity is expected to occur within RYA racing or sailing areas or in the vicinity of sailing clubs. Using this assumption:

  • Draft Plan Option areas which do not overlap with small sail boat locations [26] were scoped out of the assessment
  • Draft Plan Option areas which overlap with small sail boat locations were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment

Scuba diving

Scuba diving is generally undertaken at discrete diving sites such as wrecks or areas with interesting features such as rich marine life or seascapes. Based on the direct overlap with dive sites identified in the baseline:

  • Draft Plan Option areas which do not overlap with dive sites were scoped out of the assessment
  • Draft Plan Option areas which overlap with dive sites were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment

Sea angling

The majority of sea angling is undertaken within 6nm of the coast [27] . For those SORER regions with Draft Plan Option areas proposed within 6nm of the coast, the total combined area of development (for Wind, Wave and Tidal Sectors) which falls within 6nm was measured and calculated as a percentage of the total area of coastal water within 6nm (or 11km) for the appropriate SORER region. The total combined area of development was based on the proportion of each Draft Plan Option areas area likely to be occupied under the High Case, Central Case and Low case development scenarios for each sector (26.5% Wind, 1% Wave and 5.1% Tidal).

The assumption has been made that if the total area of development represents less than 1% of region, the interaction is assumed not significant and can be scoped out. Based on this assumption:

  • Total combined area of development representing <1% of a region were scoped out of the assessment
  • Total combined area of development representing >1% of a region were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment

B15.4.3 Spatial Overlap Between Cable Routes and Water Sports Activity

In addition, cable routes have the potential to overlap with some water sport activity sites which could also potentially cause some displacement during construction. The scoping criteria which had been used for each water sports activity is summarised in Table B15.5.

Table B15.5 Criteria Used to Identify Overlap Between Cable Routes and Water Sport Activity

Activity

Criteria

Surfing and Windsurfing

SAS have suggested that any restriction in access that may be implemented for any duration throughout the installation period of the cable at the cable landfall site could impact surfers using beaches. They have also raised concerns that any alteration of the seabed due to sediment transportation at a cable landfall site could have the potential to alter the wave regime. Based on this information:

  • Draft Plan Option areas cable routes which do not overlap with surf sites were scoped out of the assessment
  • Draft Plan Option areas cable routes which overlap with surf sites were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment.

Sea kayaking

Sea kayakers would be expected to be able to navigate safely around any restriction to access at a cable landfall site during installation with any temporary restriction not expected to extend far offshore.

Small sail boat activities

Small sail boats would be expected to be able to navigate safely around any restriction to access at a cable landfall site during installation with any temporary restriction not expected to extend far offshore.

Scuba diving

Scuba diving is generally undertaken at discrete diving sites such as wrecks or areas with interesting features such as rich marine life or seascapes. Based on the direct overlap with dive sites identified in the baseline:

  • Draft Plan Option areas cable routes which do not overlap with dive sites were scoped out of the assessment
  • Draft Plan Option areas cable routes which overlap with dive sites were considered to require a quantitative impact assessment

Sea angling

Concerns have been raised relating to the impact of EMF (electromagnetic fields) arising from cables on elasmobranch species, and in-particular, whether EMF may alter the foraging behaviour and migration patterns of elasmobranch species and the subsequent impact on sea angling activity and economic input into local economies.

There is still some uncertainty concerning actual environmental impacts of EMF (Gills and Bartlett, 2010; Normandeau et al . 2011). Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA) that will be prepared to accompany future sectoral plans for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy will help provide the necessary environmental information to inform an assessment of potential socio-economic impacts, should this be required. In addition, developers have a legal obligation under various environmental legislation to ensure that adverse effects on species are avoided or minimised. The issue will therefore not be assessed in more detail as part of this study but should be considered as part of the EIA process for specific developments.

B15.5 Assessment Methodology

The impact to boat-based sea angling has been assessed quantitatively where the combined area of offshore wind, wave or tidal Draft Plan Option Areas estimated to be populated by arrays exceeded 1% of the total area within 6nm of the coast for a given SORER. The impact was assessed as a reduction in expenditure by boast based sea anglers (loss of income to the supply chain e.g. potential reduced spend in tackle shops, charter boat hire and expenditure by private boat owners ( e.g. fuel purchase)). The total reduction in expenditure/loss of income was estimated by multiplying the percentage potential loss of area by the estimated value of boat-based sea angling in the relevant SORER (derived from Radford et al, 2009). Estimates of impacts for individual technologies (offshore wind, wave and tidal energy) were then calculated based on the relative size of area occupied by respective arrays under each scenario. The assessment has assumed constant prices in real terms based on 2012.

For the other water sports considered, economic data in Scotland is limited and a qualitative assessment has been undertaken for sites scoped into the assessment based on available data. This might include data on visitor numbers, economic values of competitions held in the area and the extent that the site helps support associated local business such as water sports shops or hotels (through visitor expenditure). Where possible the assessments have also taken into account the importance of the site based on other more intrinsic values ( e.g. a surfing spot can have a 'world class' reputation due to the quality of the waves but is rarely surfed by many people owing to its remoteness). Water sports can also provide important health and social benefits and so any available information which highlights these factors has been reviewed (Depledge and Bird, 2009).


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