Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill Consultation Document Environmental Report February 2012

This Environmental Report sets out the results of the assessment of the possible environmental effects of provisions in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill.

Appendix 2: Environmental Protection Objectives

Legislation/Policy/Programme/Strategy/Plan Objectives
Biodiversity, Flora & Fauna
UN Convention on Biological Diversity (1992)
Article 6 requires that all parties to the Convention develop national biodiversity strategies, plans or programmes, and that they seek to integrate the provisions of these across other policy sectors. Article 7 requires the identification of key resources and their protection. Monitoring of potentially damaging processes and activities should also be undertaken. To establish representative networks of protected areas in the maritime environment by 2012.
Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals 1979 Aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian species through international co-operation.
Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic ( OSPAR Convention). This Convention led to establishment of a cross-regional commission promoting an ecosystems approach to marine management, including establishment of a network of Marine Protected Areas. Its five work areas are biodiversity and ecosystems, eutrophication, hazardous substances, offshore industry, and radioactive substances). Climate change is also a key cross-cutting theme. Also includes a Biological Diversity and Ecosystems Strategy.
UN Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks 2001 Sets out principles for the conservation and management of specified fish stocks and establishes that such management must be based on the precautionary approach and the best available scientific information. The Agreement elaborates on the fundamental principle, established in UNCLOS, that States should co-operate to ensure conservation and promote the objective of the optimum utilisation of fisheries resources both within and beyond the exclusive economic zone.
The Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean of 2 March 1982 Seeks to promote the conservation, restoration, enhancement and rational management of salmon stocks.
Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the Habitats Directive) Established a commitment to designating networks of sites of ecological importance across Europe. These are known as Natura 2000 sites and include special protection areas ( SPAs designated under the Birds Directive - see following paragraph) and special areas of conservation ( SACs).
Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (1979) Aimed to promote co-operation between European states to protect biodiversity.
The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (1995) The Strategy aims to reverse the decline of landscape and biological diversity, by promoting innovation and proactive policy making. It supports preceding measures for protecting natural heritage, and aims to supplement this by further promoting a number of action themes relating to different environmental resources. Emphasises the rapid decline of some key characteristics and resources, including traditional human-made landscapes, coastal zones, marine areas, wetlands, mountains and grassland.
EU Biodiversity Strategy (1998) Aims to "anticipate, prevent and attack" any reduction or loss of species and habitats across Europe. Supports implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives, supports the establishment of networks of protected sites, aims to achieve conservation by making plans for priority resources. Also notes the importance of biodiversity outside of protected areas. Refers to agriculture and its role in relation to biodiversity conservation.
United Kingdom
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 Provides the framework for protection of species other than European Protected Species. Sets out protection objectives for specified birds and wild animals. The Act's various schedules detail the species that are protected under the Act, including dolphins, porpoises, and numerous birds such as geese and ducks. This was reviewed and updated in December 2008 and it was recommended that several further species of marine fish should be added to the lists attached to the Act, including shark, seahorse and ray species.
The amendments to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 resulting from the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 comprise: protect game species under the 1981 Act (which includes provision for close seasons and "poaching" offences);abolish "areas of special protection" for wild birds; provide further for the use of snares to catch animals; extend the regime for controlling non-native and invasive species; amend licensing functions under the Act, and enable the delegation of those functions; provide for new wildlife offences, including for vicarious criminal liability for certain offences; provides for offences by Scottish partnerships and unincorporated associations; provide for Part 1 of the 1981 Act to apply to the Crown; and extend the powers of wildlife inspectors.
The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 1994 as amended Transposes the requirements for protection of designated sites under the Habitats and Birds Directives, and the framework for protection of European Protected Species. Applies within 12nm. Several marine species are protected by various development consenting regimes covered by the Act. This includes marine turtles, all species of dolphins, porpoise and whale, seals and several types of marine fish (Atlantic salmon, barbel etc.)
The Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 2007 (the Offshore Marine Regulations) The Regulations extend protection to important species and habitats under the Birds and Habitats Directives beyond UK territorial waters ( i.e. outside 12nm). Give protection to marine species, wild birds and habitats, mainly through the creation of offences and site protection mechanisms. Provide the definition of deliberate disturbance applicable to cetaceans, turtles and the Atlantic sturgeon
UK Biodiversity Action Plan 1994 ( UKBAP) In response to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, this describes the UK's biological resources, commits a detailed plan for the protection of these resources. Sets out 1150 species and 65 habitats which are priorities for conservation action in the UK. The list was last updated in 2007 and includes 87 species in the marine group. Numerous habitats are also relevant to Scotland's marine environment, including several which are specific to coastal areas (salt marsh, sand dunes) or the marine environment (including machair, maerl beds, mud habitats in deep water, estuarine rocky habitats, blue mussel beds, carbonate mounds, tide swept channels, reefs, and intertidal mudflats).
Nature Conservation (Scotland ) Act 2004 Introduced a 'duty to further the conservation of biodiversity' for all public bodies, and sets out more specific provisions within this including for Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Also states a requirement for the preparation of a Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, to which all public bodies should pay regard. Applies to 12nm around Scotland and includes protection measures for marine species.
Scotland's Biodiversity - It's In Your Hands. A strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland (2004) Sets out Scottish aims relating to biodiversity over 25 year period. Seeks to go beyond a previous emphasis on protecting individual sites to achieve conservation at a broader scale. Aims to halt loss and reverse decline of key species, to raise awareness of biodiversity value at a landscape or ecosystem scale, and to promote knowledge, understanding and involvement amongst people. The Strategy notes the importance and health of Scotland's ecosystems, and summarises key trends.
Marine Nature Conservation Strategy The strategy outlines Marine Scotland's vision, aims and objectives for protecting marine biodiversity. It sets out Marine Scotland's vision and framework for marine nature conservation based on a three pillar approach: species conservation; site protection; and wider seas policies and measures. The strategy outlines how Marine Scotland is implementing the 3 pillar approach to marine nature conservation and how this work fits with wider marine planning and other work under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC This provides an overarching strategy, including a requirement for EU Member States to ensure that they achieve 'good ecological status' by 2015. River Basin Management Plans ( RBMPs) were defined as the key means of achieving this. Recent Marine Strategy Directive will extend coverage of coastal waters beyond 1nm.
United Kingdom
Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 Implements Directive 96/61/EC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control). Regulating industrial and commercial activities which may cause environmental pollution and to prevent and control emissions that are capable of causing any pollution.
Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 ( WEWS Act) Transposes the Water Framework Directive into the Scottish context. Aims to protect the water environment by ensuring a reliable and high quality supply of water, reducing groundwater pollution, and protecting marine and other waters.
The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 Sets out the process by which activities that have the potential to affect Scotland's water environment are regulated. Authorisation under the CAR is required for discharging to waters, disposal of pollutants to land, abstractions, impoundments and engineering works affecting water bodies.
Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000 See Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999
SEPA (2008) River Basin Management Plans Scotland River Basin District / Solway Tweed River Basin District Notes the key pressures and their environmental impacts on Scottish water bodies including coastal areas. Key issues affecting coastal areas include diffuse and point source pollution, organic matter and ammonia, faecal pathogens, toxic substances, and loss of intertidal areas. Some of these issues may be exacerbated by climate change. Objectives for specific water bodies can be found in an interactive map on SEPA's website [67] . This also shows the variation in quality of coastal water bodies at present.
Industry and Other
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 ( UNCLOS) Defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of natural resources.
EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2007 ( MSFD) The MSFD is the most recent marine obligation on EU Member States. It extends the requirements of the Water Framework Directive ( WFD) into seas beyond 1nm. The MSFD requires Member States to "take necessary measures to achieve or maintain good environmental status in the marine environment by the year 2020…".
European Integrated Maritime Policy 2007 Aims to deliver a sustainable development approach for Europe's oceans and seas. Its scope includes: a marine transport strategy and new ports policy; research and data collection and management strategies, and work to mitigate the effects of climate change on coastal regions.
United Kingdom
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 The key issues covered by the Act comprise: the creation of a Marine Management Organisation ( MMO); planning in the marine area; licensing activities in the marine area; marine nature conservation; managing marine fisheries; reform of inland and migratory fisheries; modernisation and streamlining of enforcement powers; administrative penalties scheme for domestic fisheries offences; and access to coastal land.
Our seas - a shared resource 2009 Sets out high level objectives for the UK marine environment. This includes achieving a sustainable marine economy, ensuring a strong, healthy and just society, living within environmental limits, promoting good governance and using sound science responsibly. Renewable energy is strongly supported by the strategy.
Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 Aims to manage activities with Scotland's marine environment in a sustainable way. Notes the importance of protecting seas whilst facilitating sustainable economic growth. Introduces a new statutory marine planning system, a simpler licensing system, improved marine nature and historic conservation with new powers to protect and manage areas of importance for marine wildlife, habitats and historic monuments; improved protection for seals and enforcement powers.
Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2007 Details amongst other things, the circumstances for an inspector carrying out inspections of fish farms and shellfish farms, the collection of samples, viewing and copying records and documents, specifically in relation to the control of sea-lice and fish escapes. Outlines the purposes for which enforcement notices can be served, specifically relating to sea-lice, fish containment, prevention of fish escapes and the recovery of escaped fish.
The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009 Governs the health of farmed animals (finfish and shellfish) through authorisation of aquaculture farms and processing facilities, ensure that non-commercial undertakings (put and take fisheries and specialist transporters) are registered, requires that disease prevention measures are during live and harvest transport, and obliges reporting in the event of the suspicion or confirmation of diseases or increased mortality in aquatic animals. Details the obligations and powers available to competent authorities and inspectors in relation to these topics.
The Fish Farming Businesses (Record Keeping) (Scotland) Order 2008 Does not set objectives as such, but details the required maintenance and retention of records on the prevention, control and reduction of parasites, disease containment, prevention and recovery of farmed fish.
The Animal By-Products (Scotland) Regulations 2003 Does not set objectives as such, but prescribes appropriate methods of disposal of "high risk material" including fish that have died but were not slaughtered for human consumption, via rendering, incineration or, in exceptional circumstances only, burial.
Non-statutory Fishery Management Plans(Voluntary charitable rivers and fisheries trusts) Developed, typically at the catchment level by the applicable voluntary Fisheries Trust, and can set out programmes and objectives for gathering data on the applicable catchment(s) and fish stocks, to improve understanding and inform management of the salmon and freshwater fish and fisheries in the plan area.


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