Assessing fisheries displacement by other licensed marine activities: good practice guidance - literature review

This project developed ‘Good Practice Guidance for Assessing Fisheries Displacement’ through a detailed literature review and consultation with the ScotMER Fish and Fisheries Receptor Group (FFSRG), commercial fisheries industry, offshore energy and regulatory sectors.

10 Conclusions & objectives for the Good Practice Guidance

This Literature Review outlines the current understanding of fisheries displacement from other licenced marine activities and the current approaches for assessing the impact of displacement on commercial fisheries receptors. It is clear that displacement impacts depend on several factors that influence the sensitivity of a commercial fisheries receptor to displacement (e.g. operational range, gear configuration, availability of alternative grounds), as well as the project design of the other licenced marine activity.

Several different approaches for assessing displacement were identified, such as predictive modelling or the use of VMS data to understand the distribution of fishing effort and availability of alternative grounds. Predictive modelling was identified as requiring too many assumptions to be a robust tool for assessing fisheries displacement for an EIA.

Within the EIA case studies, there were varying approaches taken when assessing displacement, with some EIAs considering the potential for competition, conflict or further displacement in the fishing grounds where vessels are displaced to, whereas others considered displacement to be a function of loss of grounds, with limited consideration for the potential for conflict and competition.

It is clear that a standardised approach for assessing displacement is required in order to standardise how displacement is assessed within consent applications for other licenced marine activities. Therefore, the main purpose of the Good Practice Guidance is to provide a standardised approach for assessing displacement impacts, which is applicable across various industries and not only offshore wind.

Therefore, the key objectives for the Good Practice Guidance include:

  • To provide a clear definition of commercial fisheries displacement;
  • Provide guidance and key points for consideration for developers, EIA practitioners and stakeholders, relevant to the assessment of commercial fisheries displacement. A focus will be placed on defining the sensitivity of commercial fisheries receptors to displacement and using the project parameters to understand the magnitude of effect.

In addition to the above, it is also recognised that there is currently limited guidance on the most relevant data sources to inform commercial fisheries impact assessment and how to present these data. Therefore, to supplement the Good Practice Guidance for fisheries displacement assessments, and to provide a full picture of the assessment process, an overview of recommended data sources will be provided within the Good Practice Guidance as well as suggestions on how to best use and present these data including limitations.



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