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
Annex A - New PMF data and possible management zone additions

Annex A - New PMF data and possible management zone additions

SNH and Marine Scotland identified a number of possible PMF management zone additions to supplement those published as part of the 2018 consultation to illustrate the traditional management approach. The zones have been developed in response to new PMF data which has been mobilised since the launch of the 2018 consultation and now available in GEMS (GEodatabase of Marine features in Scotland). The following data sources have been mobilised:

  • 2015 - 2017 Seasearch Scotland surveys (at least 15 additional surveys)
  • 2016 SNH / SEPA South Skye sea lochs survey
  • 2015 SWT Wester Ross DDV survey
  • 2015 Wyre Sound and Tingwall maerl bed diver core survey
  • 2008 - 2009 SNH survey of Limaria hians in Loch Alsh and Loch Carron
  • 2004 SNH survey of subtidal seagrass beds in North-West Scotland (Handa maerl bed record)

Further PMF records from the following five sources will progress into future GEMS updates following formal review:

  • 2018 EMFF surveys - Inner Sound, Small Isles and Clyde Sea - 27 applicable PMF records
  • 2018 Melvaig herring ground survey - nine maerl bed records (see SNH report no. 1085)
  • SeagrassSpotter [https://seagrassspotter.org/] - 17 confirmed 'new' subtidal Zostera marina seagrass beds
  • Scallop diver observations - three records of flame shell beds and a seagrass bed
  • 2009 Highland Council seagrass bed records - two records in Inverie Bay, Loch Nevis.

The possible PMF management zone additions are listed in Table 2 with details of the feature(s) present, along with a note clarifying whether the zone is wholly new or an amendment to an existing delineated zone and a guide on the age of the records present. As part of developing these proposals a small number of inconsistencies in the PMFs listed against the illustrative management zones published in support of the 2018 consultation were identified. Amendments that could be made to relevant existing metadata are presented in Table 3.Table 2: Additions and amendments to illustrative management zones

Name PMF(s) Justification Change
Merkland, Arran Maerl beds New data - additional 2018 EMFF records Extension
SW Bute Maerl beds New data - additional 2018 EMFF record. Other record 1996 New area
Ardlamont Point Maerl beds New data - additional 2018 EMFF records Extension
Loch Scavaig Maerl beds, Maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers, Northern sea fan and sponge communities New data - additional 2016 SNH/SEPA and Seasearch records New area
Pabay, Inner Sound Flame shell beds New data - record from scallop diver (validated by SNH divers in February 2019) New area
Longay, Inner Sound Flame shell beds New data - records from scallop diver (unconfirmed.) New area
Scalpay, Inner Sound Maerl beds New data - additional 2018 EMFF records New area
Melvaig Maerl beds, Seagrass beds New data - 2018 Melvaig herring survey Extension
Scapa Flow Horse mussel beds New data - Seasearch 2017 records. Previous records - SNH ROV survey 1995 Extension
Sound of Iona Seagrass beds New data - Seagrass Spotter 2016 record New area
Ardchiavaig, Mull Seagrass beds New data - Seagrass Spotter 2017 record New area
Red Point Maerl beds, Seagrass beds New data - multiple Seagrass Spotter 2014. Maerl bed record - SNH ROV survey 2004 New area
Loch Hourn Maerl beds New data - Seasearch 2016 records New area
N Crowlin Islands, Inner Sound Maerl beds New data - additional 2018 EMFF records New area
N Inner Sound Maerl beds New data - additional 2018 EMFF records New area
Inverie, Loch Nevis Seagrass beds New data - records in both 2006 and 2009 from Highland Council consultant surveys New area
Loch Long (Upper) Horse mussel beds, Maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers New data - Seasearch 2017 records. Other records 2015, 2010 and 1989. New area
Handa Maerl beds, Northern sea fan and sponge communities New data - SNH 2004 maerl bed not previously mobilised from Marine Recorder New area
Gourock Horse mussel beds New data - Seasearch 2017 records New area
West Loch Tarbert Maerl beds, Native oysters, Seagrass beds New data - Seasearch 2017 records of native oysters. Other records 2006 and 1989 New area
Loch Ailort Serpulid aggregations Eleven records - SNH and Seasearch (2017 and 2014) New area
NE Gigha Horse mussel beds Recent 2017 record (related to aquaculture development proposal) New area
N Papa, Shetland Maerl beds Ten maerl records from 2011 (related to aqua. development proposal) New area
Loch Craignish Horse mussel beds, Northern sea fan and sponge communities, Seagrass beds Multiple records of three PMFs but mainly >20 years (plus one 2016 Seasearch record of northern sea fan communities) New area
Poll Athach, N Mull Maerl beds, Native oysters Multiple maerl records (1989); single native oyster record (2014) New area
Rubha Chuaig, Inner Sound Maerl beds Two records - SNH 2003 and Seasearch 2000/01 New area

Table 3: Refinements to existing illustrative management zones in approach published in 2018 consultation.

Illustrative management zone name Proposed refinement(s)
Loch a' Chnuic and Ardilistry, Islay PMF should be Seagrass beds
Loch Indaal, Islay Add Horse mussel beds
Loch nam, Uamh, Arisaig Add Northern sea fan and sponge communities and Seagrass beds
Raasay to Scalpay, Skye Add Horse mussel beds and Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Sound of Raasay, Skye PMFs should be Fan mussels and Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Ascrib Islands, Skye Add Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Duirinish, Skye Add Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Loch Bracadale, Skye Add Maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers
Lochs Eishort and Slapin, Skye Add Maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers; Seagrass beds; and, Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Eddrachillis Bay Add Horse mussel beds and Seagrass beds
Hoy Sound to South Walls, Orkney The two discrete polygons were renamed to "Hoy Sound to South Walls, Orkney (East)" and "Hoy Sound to South Walls, Orkney (West)" to differentiate
Loch Eriboll Add Horse mussel beds and Seagrass beds
Hoy Sound to South Walls, Orkney Add Fan mussels and Seagrass beds
Copinsay, Orkney PMF should be Horse mussel beds
Loch Seaforth, Lewis Add Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Sound of Harris, Lewis [FID41] PMF should be Maerl beds
Lochs Tamnabhaigh, Tealasbaigh, Reasort, and Crabhadail, Harris Add Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Loch Aineort to Loch Baghasdail, South Uist Add Seagrass beds and Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Orkney Sounds and Firths Add Horse mussel beds
Bo Fascadale PMF should be Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Eigg Add Maerl beds
Ulva and Loch na Keal Add Seagrass beds and Northern sea fan and sponge communities
Orkney Sounds and Firths [FID62] Add Horse mussel beds

Contact

Email: marine_conservation@gov.scot