Publication - Consultation analysis

Improving protection given to Priority Marine Features: responses to scoping consultation

Published: 24 Jul 2019

Summary of responses received to our consultation on the scoping of the project to improve protection of Priority Marine Features outside the Marine Protected Area network.

Improving protection given to Priority Marine Features: responses to scoping consultation
9. Are there any other reasonable alternative approaches to management that could be tested in the Sustainability Appraisal?

9. Are there any other reasonable alternative approaches to management that could be tested in the Sustainability Appraisal?

There were comments made in 45 responses.

Table 1 below lists the various approaches suggested and provides a response to each of them.

Table 1: Analysis of the alternatives suggested

Approach Description Response
0.5nm limit Prohibit use of all bottom contacting mobile gear within 0.5 nautical miles of land. This is considered a reasonable alternative because around 90% of the records of the 11 PMFs are found in this area.
0.5nm limit plus 50m depth Prohibit use of all bottom contacting mobile gear within 0.5 nautical miles of land extending to 50 metres water depth where further. This is not considered a reasonable alternative because it does not add much value to the protection of the 11 PMFs over and above the 0.5nm limit alternative.
1 mile limit Prohibit use of all bottom contacting mobile gear within 1 nautical mile of land. This is not considered a reasonable alternative because it does not add much value to the protection of the 11 PMFs over and above the 0.5nm limit alternative.
3 mile limit Prohibit use of all bottom contacting mobile gear within 3 nautical miles of land. This is not considered a reasonable alternative that is within scope of this project. What is being suggested would be a step change in fisheries management.
3 mile limit plus strict management between 3 and 6 miles Prohibit use of all bottom contacting mobile gear within 3 nautical miles of land, along with strict process of Environmental Impact Assessment between 3 and 6 nautical miles. This is not considered a reasonable alternative that is within scope of this project. What is being suggested would be a step change in fisheries management.
6 limit Prohibit use of all bottom contacting mobile gear within 6 nautical miles of land. This is not considered a reasonable alternative that is within scope of this project. What is being suggested would be a step change in fisheries management.
Full closure Prohibit use of all bottom contacting mobile gear within territorial waters. This is not considered a reasonable alternative that is within scope of this project. What is being suggested would be a step change in fisheries management.
Local management Determine measures at a more local or regional level. It is recognised that there is considerable regional variation in distribution of PMFs and fishing activity. The next consultation will seek views on where a more regional approach should be considered.
Management for all PMFs Extend consideration of this project from the 11 selected PMFs. This project will remain focused on the 11 PMFs already selected. Other PMFs may be considered at a later date if deemed necessary.
Specific zones Have specific prohibitions in place where the 11 PMFs exist. We consider this to be the same as the approach we proposed.

Reasonable alternatives selected for the Sustainability Appraisal:

1.     Prohibition of bottom contacting mobile fishing gears within specific zones around records of the 11 PMFs (This is the current preferred policy approach).

2.     Prohibition of bottom contacting mobile fishing gears within 0.5 nautical miles of land

3.     Prohibition of bottom contacting mobile fishing gears within 0.5 nautical miles of land plus any specific zones from approach 1 that are outside the limit.

Scottish Government response:

This project is not being undertaken to cause a step change in fisheries management. The future of fisheries management discussion is the correct place for consideration of significant changes to inshore fisheries management. This project is being taken forward to ensure implementation of a specific policy in the national marine plan. The Scottish Government is satisfied that the alternatives selected can achieve the desired outcome. Going beyond these within this project is considered beyond scope and therefore not reasonable in the context of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005.


Contact

Email: marine_conservation@gov.scot