Publication - Research publication

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

Published: 7 Jan 2015
Part of:
Marine and fisheries

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

375 page PDF

8.9 MB

375 page PDF

8.9 MB

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

375 page PDF

8.9 MB


1 For example, Scottish Government 2014 Consultation on the Allocation of Fish Quota

2 This Executive Summary does not summarise the work on these objectives and readers should refer to the main body of the report.

3 It is possible that fish stocks may recover sufficiently to support a commercial line fishery.

4 IFG population estimates are presented in Table 20.3 in the main report.


6 Technically, different arrangements might exist for Orkney, but for the analytical purposes of this report the Orkney area is regarded as an IFG.


8 This section relies heavily on MS online material and in particular Barreto and Bailey (2013)

9 A Scottish Licensing Review Working Group is currently undertaking a review of the entire fishing vessel licensing scheme in Scotland.

10 The Scottish Licensing Review Working Group is SLRWG is considering extending this to 10 years.


12 Two of the studies cited in this section (Ryan and Bailey 2012 and Howarth & Stewart 2014) were commissioned by the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust ( SIFT) which believes that the use of mobile demersal gear in near shore areas should be curtailed. Whilst SIFT is not disinterested in the conclusions of these studies, the authors are acknowledged academic experts with their professional reputations dependent on their capacity for objective scientific enquiry.

13 Nephrops demersal trawls: demersal trawls, seines or similar towed gears, except beam trawls, of mesh size between 70 and 99mm.

14 In reality the relationship between catches and discards will vary from location to location with differences in variables such as gear used, speed of towing, sea bed topography, vessel size and the stock abundance of nephrops and discarded species

15 The impact is highly variable. Nephrop trawls towed over mud, or dredges used in high energy locations subject to high levels of natural disturbace, would be less damaging than dragging scallop dredges over maerl beds supporting diverse epifauna.

16 This now defunct competition regularly attracted around 1,000 anglers fishing the shore from Saltcoats to Greenock.

17 More recently, the recent review of the Scottish scallop fishery concluded that the near unanimous view of stakeholders was that effort in the fishery had expanded to unsustainable levels (Cappell et al. 2013). The Scottish government has recently suggested removing scallop fishing entitlements from boats which have not used them in the past 7 years to prevent the re-entry of latent scallop effort.

18 Many alternative explanations can be advanced with varying degrees of plausibility. Occam's razor might be relevant in ranking alternatives.

19 In the process the Swedish west coast creel fishery caught 20% of the west coast catch.

20 Personal communication with buyers. In addition, Marine Scotland have informed us that logbook data shows average 2010-2013 of 273% (£8,139 vs £2,985)

21 The potential elimination of the differential should not be a reason for postponing the rebalancing of fishing effort. This is because, the elimination of the differential would be the consequence of producing more of the higher valued product and less of the lower valued. The elimination of the differential, were it to happen, would indicate that, other things being equal, the process had gone far enough.

22 This discussion focuses on the NEV/ CBA type evaluation. There are additional considerations when discussing impacts on income and employment. Whilst the static sector is more labour intensive per kilo of landings, the mobile sector's landings are subject to a higher degree of on-shore processing. Therefore rebalancing may not necessarily create more employment within the fishing sector, though there would be additional employment and income associated with sea angling and diving. These issues are discussed throught this report.

23 Marine Scotlnad estimate that the Scotland equivalent (2010-2013) is 92% of landings weight generates 82% of value.

24 Heymans, S., Mackinson, S., Little, A., Sumaila, R. and Dyck, A. "The impact of subsidies on ecological sustainability and future profits from the North Sea fisheries" Scottish Association for Marine Science Report no 266.

25 The East Coast and Shetland are not included. Their incluosn would reduce the percentage considerably

26 The relative size of these areas may influence displacement effects. The migration of vessels will result in a reduction in environmental damage inside 3 NM, but there may be a broadly equivalent increase in environmental damage outside 3 NM. There are many factors which will have a bearing on both the extent of the reduction inside and the increase outside 3 NM. Not least is the spatial distribution of targeted shelfish, because this largely drives the location of mobile fishing effort. The relative size could matter, however. If some mobile gear is diverted outside 3 NM and fishes in the remainder of the IFG area (3-6 NM zone), the diverted effort could potentially be spread over a much larger sea bed area. The reduction in the density of fishing effort means that, for a given area of sea bed outside 3 NM, the benthic habitat can better cope with mobile effort because of the longer average recovery interval between tows. Thus, other things being equal, the increase in habitat damage outside 3 NM could be less than the decrease inside 3 NM.

27 Scotland For Sea Angling, 1973. Published by Scottish Tourist Board.

28 For example a 1987 guide to angling in Scotland stated "the coastline from Largs to Greenock is probably the most popular area in Scotland for shore angling, with many anglers from the Midlands and beyond making regular trips north."

29 Radford and Riddington (2009)

30 Not all of these were full-time charter vessels, and some only operated during peak periods.

31 There are some resources which otherwise might not be used to produce something else. Labour is a case in point. If workers would otherwise be permanently unemployed then opportunity cost could simply be foregone leisure.

32 To simplify the discussion of displacement this section refers only to 0-3 NM restriction and Nephrops, but the general argument in this section applies to Scallops and 0-1 NM restriction.

33 Total landings from the 0-3 NM zone could be less.

34 Source:

35 An important step is to add the geographic co-ordinate information to be used; in this case the Mercator projection as defined by OS- GB 1990.

36 All data in this Section is sourced from Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2012, Published by the Scottish Government, September 2013

37 Derived from Table 1.2 " Number of voyages and the quantity and value of landings by Scottish vessels by landing district: 2008 to 2012" Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2012, published September 2013

38 Derived from Table 1.7 Quantity and value of all landings into Scotland by district and main species: 2008 to 2012, Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2012, published September 2013.

39 See Table 8.4.1.

40 There is a significant wild salmon and sea trout fishery at Usan

41 Since this study attempts to estimates monetary values for RSA and RD, this section does not embrace other recreational activity such as marine ornithology but the analytical framework articulated here would be relevant for these activities. For the remainder of this report, RSA and RD should be considered as a proxy for all marine recreation interests

42 Risk-averse individuals would, for example, prefer a certain outcome of £100 to a gamble having the same aggregate outcome (e.g. a 50% chance of £50 and a 50% chance of £150).

43 Scotland For Sea Angling, 1973. Published by Scottish Tourist Board.

44 For example a 1987 guide to angling in Scotland stated "the coastline from Largs to Greenock is probably the most popular area in Scotland for shore angling, with many anglers from the Midlands and beyond making regular trips north."

45 A single FTE could be one full-time all year post, or two part-time jobs, or two seasonal jobs, or four part-time seasonal jobs.

46 Sea anglers will travel to Scrabster to fish for porbeagle, or to the Mull of Galloway to fish for tope, or Mull for rays. Similalry, in coastal communities, anglers crowd piers and other promintaries when mackerel shoals come closer inshore during the summer months.

47 As explained in Section 21, the impact of the 0-1 NM restriction is assumed to be 50% of the 0-3 NM restriction. This proportion better reflects the relative importance of the 0-1 NM to RSA than, say, a 30% reduction. For clarity and brevity the 0-1 NM are not presented here but are easily calculated.

48 This is the jobs and income "currently supported" and the "net loss" in jobs and income if RSA was to decline to zero. This is equivalent to the "decline to zero" status quo scenario

49 Under heading "currently supported", this is the total additional jobs and income that would be supported by RSA with a major transformative environmental effect which delivered a significantly enhanced flow of benefits from RSA. Under heading the "net impact" this is the jobs and income that a major environmental effect would deliver once we had allowed for the decrease in jobs and income that would arsise elsewhere as anglers switched expenditure to RSA.

50 The Scottish total for jobs and income supported was estimated by running a model of the Scottish economy and not by summing the totals for each region. Because of these procedural differences, there will be slight differences between the Scottish total and the regional sum, though conceptually they should be identical.

51 Using the GDP Deflator series

52 This assumes that all relationships are linear. In reality very few economic relationships have this property, especially those which arise from human behaviour. More commonly we would expect consumer surplus, spending and employment to increase at a decreasing rate. Consequently, the equivalence between EIA and NEV is a simplifying assumption which is necessary in the absence of other evidence.

53 The resident Scottish sea angler population was estimated from an omnibus survey of over 15,000 Scottish households.

54 In other words £70.18 receivable every year for 20 years compounded at 3.5% would realise a sum of money which discounted to the present value would be worth £1000.00. If there was no risk then we should be indifferent between £1000.00 now and £70.18 receivable every year for 20 years

55 Page 40

56 Interview with Safety and Development Officer, British Sub Aqua Club HQ, Jan 2014

57 Interview with Safety and Development Officer, British Sub Aqua Club HQ, Jan 2014.

58 2013 prices

59 Sites in Scotland are considered for MPA designation if key features are present. They include: a).Features for which Scotland is considered to be a stronghold or to be of exceptional scientific importance or to be characteristic of Scotland's marine environment b) Features considered to be under threat. This includes biodiversity features which might be under threat such as habitats and species on the OSPAR Threatened and Declining list, and geodiversity features under threat such as active marine landforms, relict geological and geomorphological features c) Ecological resources or geomorphological processes which are functional significance for the overall health and diversity of such places for feeding, breeding, resting, nurseries, juveniles and/or spawning, or sediment supply and provides. For full description see

60 The displacement issue was discussed in Sections 3 and 4.

61 This does not include the additional permutations that would be produced by changing assumptions about profit levels, wage rates etc.

62 IFG population estimates are presented in Table 20.3 in the main report.

63 There are 6 possibilities of 1 other with a ban, 15 with 2 others, 20 with 3 others, 15 with 4 others and 6 with 5 others. To this we add the effect of no others and all others giving 64 possibilities.

64 For Scotland as a whole, as estimated by McVittie and Moran (2010)

65 If the probabilities were known, we could have provided expected value estimates which weight costs and benefits according to the probability of their occurrence. However, this is obviated by the use of the model to produce a whole range of results, each based on a different set of assumptions.

66 It is possible that fish stocks may recover sufficiently to support a commercial line fishery.

67 The authors are not competent to offer comment or guidance as to whether trawlers and dredgers should be compensated.

68 This discussion relates only to scenarios where benefits exceed costs and where more jobs would be created than lost. When gains and losses are finely balanced there is less scope for a discussion that avoids interpersonal comparisons.

69 Or the interests of the static gear, hand diving, and lining segments.

70 The relevant row is the first row of the results table for each IFG area.

71 This discussion presupposes that further research is capable of delivering a conclusion that the marine ecosystem will recover. Given the complexities and uncertainties about how marine ecosystems react to stimuli, it is highly unlikely that any marine ecologist would give an unequivocal reponse. It is more likely that further research would simply reduce some of the uncertainty and highlight the need for more research.

72 Science costs could be incurred if MSS is asked to check on the progress of ecosystem transformation. On the grounds that ecosystem transformation could be regarded as a means to an end, an alternative approach would be to by-pass ecosystem monitoring and focus on the progress of economic and behavioural change among the various stakeholder groups.

73 It is worth stating that the proposal to restrict mobile gear within 1 or 3 NM of the shore in the South West and East Coast is probably consistent with the Precautionary Principle which was enshrined in principle 15 of the Rio Declaration emerging from the 1992 Rio Conference on the Environment and Development. The Rio formulation states that: "in order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capability. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation". In April 1999, the European Council adopted a resolution urging the European Commission "to be in the future even more determined to be guided by the precautionary principle in preparing proposals for legislation."


75 This would be similar to how social housing is allocated.

76 That particular combination might result in a few private individuals appropriating all future profits from creeling in the form of the capital value of their entitlement.

77 As will be discussed later a very extensive bureaucracy might be required if a highly partitioned IFG was combined with a command and control approach to managing the numbers of vessels fishing each defined territory and the allocation and re-allocation of creel entitlements.

78 The assumption in this section is that the number of creels that operators would collectively like to use in a given area exceeds the target creel effort for the area. If this condition is not satisfied there would be no requirement to have an allocation method, as all those who wanted creel entitlement could obtain it simply by requesting.

79 In the same way that social housing managers ensure that properties are not being sublet to others who do not satisfy the necessary criteria.

80 In addition to length of time on the list, some waiting lists use point scoring to determine applicant's position on the list.

81 As discussed later, there is one option which does not involve significant administration costs. This requires creel entitlement to be specified in terms of a vessel creel limit (e.g. maximum 1,200 creels per vessel in the relevant area). Unfortunately, unless vessel numbers are also controlled, then this CMR does not exert control on either total effort or its spatial distribution. As such it is therefore incapable of achieving any meaningful objective and would serve no purpose, other than window dressing. If vessels are managed and command and control is combined with partitioned IFGs the administrative burden could be substantial.