Management Of The Scottish Inshore Fisheries; Assessing The Options For Change

An analysis of the impacts from different options for the management of the Scottish Inshore fisheries. In particular, the report provides an appraisal of scenarios related to restrictions on the use of mobile fishing gears within one and three nautical m


Historically, the benefits to society from exploitation of its stocks of sea fish were believed to comprise food for the table plus the income and employment generated for those associated with commercially catching and processing fish. It is now widely recognised that sea fish are a significant recreational resource. As stated previously, among marine recreational activity, there is a spectrum of sensitivity to changes in fish stocks.

17.1 Sensitivity of Marine Recreation to Changes in Fish Stocks

At one end, there are sea anglers and, to a lesser extent, marine divers whose recreational experience involves direct interaction with fish stocks. Their enjoyment and participation levels would be most sensitive to changes in the near shore availability of fish populations. Further along the spectrum there is bird watching and marine/coastal wildlife tours and charters. Their enjoyment and participation is sensitive largely to changes in populations who predate on inshore fish stocks. These predators would include sea birds such as puffins and sea eagles and sea mammals such as porpoise, dolphins, seals and mike whales. At the other end of the spectrum might be sea kayakers, sailors and informal visitors to coastal areas. For these activities, the prospect of interaction with predator populations is not even a necessary ingredient of their recreational experience. Nonetheless, a decreased probability of sightings of dolphins, porpoise, minke whales, seals, sea eagles, puffins etc would detract from their experience and possibly affect their activity levels.

An important issue is whether the analysis should seek to embrace every conceivable form of marine recreation which might be impacted by near shore mobile gear restrictions. The decision on which activities to include is a balance of their sensitivity to changes in fish stocks, the numbers participating and the availability of information on which to base an economic evaluation.

Recreational sea angling ( RSA) is included because there is obvious sensitivity to changes in fish stocks, large numbers of participants and quite recent and reasonably robust sources of economic data. Compared with RSA, recreational diving ( RD) is less sensitive, has fewer participants and less reliable data sources. Despite this, RD was also included. The following two chapters are dedicated to providing benchmark estimates for these activities and an assessment of the potential consequences of mobile gear restrictions.

The section below considers those groups whose sensitivity to changes in fish populations is dependent on there being a change in predator populations.

17.2 Marine Recreational Based on Predator Populations

The value of these activities to the Scottish Economy is possibly quite substantial, though the evidence is patchy.

Bryden et al (2010) put the value of offshore sailing at £61.4m (£27m non-Scottish) with £10m being the estimated expenditure on other water sports.

Blake et al (2010) examine wildlife tourism in Scotland and found that visitors who are primarily motivated by marine wildlife spend a total of £63 million per year (23% of all wildlife tourism spending), and generate net economic impacts of £15 million of income and 633 FTE jobs. Almost half (46%) of marine wildlife tourist trips are between May and June.

Marine wildlife domestic tourists make a shorter trip than the average wildlife tourist (3.6 nights per trip compared to the average of 4.4) but spend more in Scotland per trip and per night than is average for domestic wildlife tourists (£353 per trip, £88 per night compared to averages of £330 and £74). They spend an average of £23 at wildlife attractions per trip, or £6 per night, which is the lowest spending at wildlife attractions of all visitors, possibly because they are attracted by one particular species and undertake fewer other wildlife activities while on their trip.

According to Blake et al (2010), marine wildlife tourists are much less likely to come from within Scotland than other wildlife tourists. Only 11% of marine wildlife tourists are resident in Scotland compared to 55% for all wildlife tourists. They are also more likely to be over 55 years of age (40% of them are) than all wildlife tourists (28% of all wildlife tourists are over 55).

Dickie, Hughes and Esteban (2006) suggest that the Sea Eagles on Mull were responsible for £1.4 to 1.6m in visitor spending per year, and 36-42 FTE's supported. The RSPB (2010) also examined the local economic impact of the seabird reserve at the Rhinns of Galloway and found that in 2008, an income into the local area of over £126,000 was attributable directly to seabirds. This equates to nearly 4 (i.e. 3.62) full time jobs being supported in the region. It was a very similar picture in 2009, when nearly £115,000 of income into the local area was attributable to seabirds, or over 3 full time jobs in addition to the staff employed at the Reserve. Other popular ornithological trips include visits to the puffin colony on the Treshnish Island, the Gannetry on Bass rock and the sea bird colonies of St Kilda and Fair Isle. In total these almost certainly would more than treble the impact of the Sea Eagles alone.

On balance, there is insufficient information on any one of these activity to enable formal inclusion in the economic evaluation. This is unfortunate because the policy benefits will be under estimated by excluding bird watching and wildlife tourism which possibly have large numbers of participants. On the other hand, there is an extended causal chain linking near shore (0-3 NM) restrictions on mobile gear to increases in participants well-being and activity levels. This means that what happens in near shore areas may only have a limited impact on fish predator populations. Moreover that limited impact might not sufficiently affect the quality of the recreational experience to alter the activity levels of participants.

The conclusion is that existing knowledge and available data does not presently enable the analysis of marine recreation to extend beyond those who interact directly with fish stocks (sea anglers and divers). However, as discussed in Section 20, the process of estimating general public values may inadvertently capture the user value of these other activities.

17.3 The Income and Employment Impact of RSA, RD and OMRA

RSA, RD and Other Marine Recreational Activity ( OMRA) contribute through their economic impact, as well as through the positive effects these activities can have on participants and wider society.

The contribution of RSA, RD and OMRA to well-being in Scotland comprises three elements:

The economic impact of RSA, RD and OMRA through increased local income and employment . Benefits to participants (user values) Benefits to wider society (externalities)

As explained previously, the first element is assessed though the Economic Impact Assessment. The Net Economic Value / Cost Benefit Analysis ( NEV/ CBA) framework is conceptually relevant for both (ii) and (iii), though in terms of estimating the monetary value only elements of (ii) and (iii) can be estimated. This is explained below.

The expenditure of sea anglers, divers and others can create income and employment for others. Most apparent is the income and employment of businesses directly supplying services, such as charter vessels, temporary accommodation providers, gas suppliers and tackle shops. As explained earlier this is the direct effect. Charter operator may purchase local vessel repair services, or the hotelier may purchase food locally. These purchase support the wages, profits and jobs of the local ship repairer and butcher. As explained earlier, this is the indirect effect . The repair or butcher company itself may purchase materials from local suppliers thereby generating a further round of indirect effects. Induced effects can arise from the direct and indirect effects as increased household incomes are spent locally thereby supporting, shops and pubs. Thus, in some regions, as well as Scotland as a whole, the income and employment of quite a diverse range of local businesses and households (charter crew, hoteliers, ship repair staff, butchers, bar staff) are dependent on RSA, RD and OMRA.

In order to estimate the income and employment effects it is necessary to:

Define a local area Estimate sea angler / diver expenditure Estimate how changes to RSA, RD or OMRA would change sea angler, diver or other participants' expenditure in the local area. Develop a local economy model which captures the inter-linkages within the local economy Use the model to analyse the impact on the local economy of the change in angler or diver expenditure.

17.4 The Positive effects of RSA, RD and OMRA on Participants

The contribution of RSA, RD or OMRA to the quality of life can operate through its positive effects on participants themselves:

The most obvious benefit to participants is their enjoyment of the recreational experience which embraces their anticipation, participation and eventual reflection. Like many outdoor recreational activities, RSA, RD and OMRA are believed to reduce stress and improve anglers' mental and physical health. For RSA there are low start-up costs. This and the absence of access charges, enable youngsters and individuals on low incomes to start and regularly participate. In some communities, participation in RSA could broaden otherwise narrow horizons and have positive effects on some youngsters life choices.

17.5 The Positive Effects of RSA, RD and OMRA on Wider Society

In addition to participants' benefits, wider society could benefit:

Society may benefit if participants in marine recreation are mentally and physically healthier and this translates into better family and personal relationships, improved productivity and reduced demands on health care budgets. If participation does broaden otherwise narrow horizons RSA, RD and OMRA could contribute to reductions in anti-social behaviour. Increasingly, marine scientists are using informal data sources. For example, established survey methods are not suited to many inshore areas, owing to shallow depths, obstructions, or vulnerable habitats. Systematic rod and line surveys can provide much needed information on inshore fish stock abundance. Similarly scuba divers help to monitor the spread of invasive species and report on our marine heritage and artefacts.

17.6 Monetising the Positive Effects on Participants [41]

Following the explanation ( GEV) of RSA or RD is the aggregate Willingness to Pay ( WTP) of sea anglers or divers. The more relevant concept of Net Economic Value ( NEV) of RSA is obtained by subtracting from GEV, th e opportunity costs of the resources used by participants. In applied economic work, it is normally assumed that the market value of resources used by participants (e.g. petrol, accommodation, bottle gas, bait, tackle) reflects society's opportunity costs. NEV of RSA or RD is found by estimating the participants willingness to pay (i.e. GEV) and then subtracting the market value of the resources they use as reflected by their actual expenditure on tackle, petrol, bait, accommodation etc. (i.e. their actual expenditure).

The discussion can also be couched in a bottom up approach by focussing on the welfare of individual participants. The benefit to a sea angler or diver from his/her current activity is the amount they are WTP for it. This maximum willingness-to-pay ( WTP) can be divided into two parts: the expenditure anglers actually incur (e.g. on travel costs, bait etc) and their Consumers' Surplus . This is a benefit an individual derives from a good over and above what s/he actually has to pay to create the angling or diving experience.

Consumers' surplus is the NEV of the activity to the participant. This is because if the activity is not available the participant forgoes the enjoyable angling or diving experience which s/he is willing to pay for, but s/he saves the money previously spent on travel, bait etc. Thus if an angler's or diver's gross WTP is £30 and s/he only has to spend £20 on creating the experience (travel, tackle, bait) etc the net worth of the experience is £10, which is his/her consumer's surplus. We therefore focus on changes in consumers' surplus (i.e. NEV) as the measure of the benefit to participants from restoration of the marine ecosystem. Thus for non-priced angling such as RSA or RD:

NEV of RSA or RD = Participants Consumers' Surplus

Consumers' surplus associated with RSA or RD might be described as a 'direct consumptive user values'. It is conceivable that there are other less obvious sources of the NEV to society from RSA. It is appropriate to articulate all these possibilities, even those which are quite tenuous.

17.6.1 GPNUV and Bequest Value ( BV) of RSA and RD .

Some individuals in society may derive a non-user value from knowing that the activity of sea angling or diving exists and is enjoyed by others. In other words, they would be willing to pay something to preserve the activity for the enjoyment of their contemporaries. In this study this is termed the General Public Non User Value ( GPNUV) of RSA or RD. Some individuals may derive some satisfaction from knowing that future generations will be able to participate in sea angling or diving and are even willing to pay something to ensure future generations' participation. This is the Bequest Value ( BV) of RSA or RD.

The common feature of BV and GPNUV is that they derive from the individual's appreciation of a use of a natural resource by others. Essentially, if they exist, they arise from the altruism of individuals. These are passive values but in the case of RSA relate to a consumptive use value.

If a sizeable proportion of the non-angling or diving public has some vicarious concern for anglers and divers, then GPNUV and BV might be significant, but this is unlikely. Indeed, in the case of RSA, the non-angling public is just as likely to view angling as an undesirable activity because of its impacts on fish welfare. In contrast, an angler or diver may have an altruistic concern for fellow anglers or divers that manifests itself in a willingness to pay so that others, now and in the future, may participate. This study takes the view that there may be GPNUV and BV associated with sea angling, but only within the angling population itself and therefore is a user value. BV may be worth of consideration because of anglers' and divers' concern for participation of their offspring and generations.

Consumers' surplus reflects circumstances where the participants are sure of their income, their preferences both now and in the future, and the availability of the natural resource when they (and others) wish to use it. If there is uncertainty, say, about the future availability of an activity and if we assume that individuals show 'risk-aversion', then there is the possibility of another category of value. [42] We presume that anglers and divers would be prepared to pay a premium to avoid risk. This gives rise to their Option Value.

In conclusion, the Total NEV of RSA or RD is as follows:

total NEV of RSA or RD

It should be noted that the 'values' discussed in this section are intrinsically additive since they are based on a common assigned value (i.e. WTP) and constituency (i.e. Scottish society as a whole). It is also possible to assess the sensitivity of NEV to changes in circumstances, such as changes in the use of a resource or changes in fish abundance.

In later sections we address the applied aspects of quantifying Total NEV of RSA and RD

17.7 Monetising the Positive Effects on Wider Society

The benefits to wider society are readily articulated but extremely difficult to estimate. The beneficial effects on third parties (such as through reduced crime, better social and work interactions with anglers) are known as Externalities in economics. These have not been estimated for any type of angling in the UK.) Other effects result in to reduced costs such as in health care and cheaper fish stock monitoring. Theoretically these are easier to estimate, but only if the relationships between RSA participation and health are known. The conclusion is that monetisation of these externalities for Scottish RSA is not feasible


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