1.1 Purpose of this Report
1.1.1 This Environmental Report sets out the results of the strategic environmental assessment of the proposals contained in the pilot Inshore Fisheries Group ( IFG) Management Plans.
1.2 Strategic Environmental Assessment
1.2.1 The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 ("the Act") requires that certain public plans, programmes and strategies ( PPS) be assessed for their potential effects on the environment. Strategic environmental assessment ( SEA) is the process used to fulfil this requirement, and includes consultation with the public and the Consultation Authorities 2 . The IFG management proposals fall under Section 5(4) of the Act.
1.2.2 Marine Scotland undertook screening in May 2012 and determined, as the Responsible Authority, that some proposals suggested in the IFG Management Plans had the potential to give rise to significant environmental effects, both adverse and beneficial. An environmental assessment was therefore required. A Scoping Report was prepared and issued for consultation in August 2012 to the Consultation Authorities, setting out the proposed scope of and approach to the SEA.
1.2.3 The purpose of this Environmental Report is to document the findings of the SEA. The assessment of the proposals has been undertaken by the Scottish Government's Environmental Assessment Team, on behalf of Marine Scotland, in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
1.2.4 The views of the public and the Consultation Authorities on the management proposals and this Environmental Report are now being sought.
1.3 Content of this Report
1.3.1 The remainder of this Environmental Report is structured as follows:
- Following this introductory section (Section 1), Section 2 provides information on the management proposals.
- Section 3 discusses the approach to the SEA and the methods used.
- Section 4 provides an introduction to fishing, including methods, target species, management measures and the environmental effects of fishing.
- Section 5 describes the relevant components of the marine environment.
- Section 6 sets out the results of the assessment.
- Section 7 considers the next steps.
The Non-Technical Summary precedes Section 1.
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