Publication - Consultation paper

National Marine Plan: Sustainability Appraisal Report

Published: 24 Jul 2013
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781782567677

This report summarises the findings from a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of the draft National Marine Plan (NMP). SA of the draft plan is required by the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The SA has considered the potential social, economic and enviro

172 page PDF

2.9 MB

172 page PDF

2.9 MB

Contents
National Marine Plan: Sustainability Appraisal Report
Appendix 3. Assessment Matrices

172 page PDF

2.9 MB

Appendix 3. Assessment Matrices

6a Sea Fisheries Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1 Ensure Fish stocks are harvested sustainably leading to exploitation of Scotland's commercial fish stocks at maximum sustainable yield and with increased long term stability.

Economy: The objective is positive in the long term for the economy as it supports the sustainability of the fishing industry and future fisheries jobs. There may be short-term issues if moving towards maximum sustainable yield requires reduced fishing effort over and above the reduction in the fleet that has already occurred. (This assessment assumes that management measures will be successful in re-establishing depleted stocks.)

Communities, population and human health: The objective would have a positive effect in the long term, as it supports the future fishing industry and therefore the communities which rely on it. However, there may be short-term issues (as noted above).

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The objective is positive, as many commercial fish species are considered to be key species in biodiversity terms, e.g. Priority Marine Features, UK BAP species, etc. Sustainable harvesting of fish stocks would also support maintenance of existing marine ecosystems, on the basis that the volume of fish taken can be tolerated.

Water, Air, Climatic factors, cultural heritage, landscape/seascape; marine sediments: No impact identified.

2 Support the sea fisheries industry to:

  • Maximise annual quota opportunities across Scotland's stocks;
  • Maximise the sustainable harvesting of wild fish
  • Maximise the value of its product, both on first landing and through the supply chain

As for Objective 1

3 Manage removals, not landings, where necessary, through fully documented fisheries.

As for Objective 1

4 Tackle discarding through the elimination of unwanted catches.

Economy: The objective is positive as it increases the sustainability of fisheries and safeguards associated jobs.

Communities, population and human health: The objective would have a positive effect in the long term; its support of fish stocks would support the future fishing industry and therefore the communities which rely on it.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The objective is positive as it improves the management of marine ecosystems.

Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; marine sediments: No impact identified.

5 Management of fisheries on a regional sea-basin basis with the whole sector empowered in the decision-making process.

Economy: Involving people in the decision making process should improve management (and therefore sustainability) of the sector.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

6 Help sustain vibrant coastal communities where fishing is a viable career option and value is added throughout the supply chain maximising the contribution fisheries makes to Scotland.

Economy: The objective contributes positively to the sustainability of the fishing industry as a whole.

Communities, population and human health: the objective supports viable coastal and remote communities.

No impact identified for the other topic areas.

7 Take an evidence-based approach to fisheries management which is underpinned by sound science and is supported by the whole sector.

Economy: The objective contributes positively to the sustainable management of fisheries by using and evidence based approach.

Communities, population and human health: The objective has a positive long-term benefit in terms of future employment.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: continuing use of sound science has potential benefits for sustainable management of fish stocks.

No impact identified for the other topic areas.

8 Have a fishing fleet which is a leader in global fishing practices and is able to secure a long term and income from the available sustainable fishing opportunities across all sectors.

Economy: This objective contributes positively towards a sustainable economy.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

9 Manage fisheries in line with international and national environmental priorities.

Economy: The objective supports the sustainable management of fisheries which is positive, but could potentially entail additional requirements for the industry.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; marine sediments (in terms of seabed character and integrity): The objective is positive in supporting habitats and species and protected areas.

Water: The objective is positive in supporting the quality of the water environment.

Air: The objective is potentially positive in supporting air quality.

Climatic factors: The objective is positive in supporting a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change adaptation.

Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; marine sediments (in terms of coastal erosion/coastal processes): No impact identified.

6a Sea fisheries Policies

Assessment of Policies

FISHERIES 1 : Manage fishing to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks.

Economy: The policy is positive overall as it supports sustainable fisheries, and safeguards existing and future fisheries jobs. By promoting sustainable fishing practices now, it may assist in preventing future barriers to fishing such as new closures etc.

Communities, population and human health: The policy supports coastal communities through supporting future economic resilience.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive as sustainable management of fish stocks supports marine ecosystems as a whole, including targeted stocks.

Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

FISHERIES 2 : Take account of fishing in consideration of any development in the marine environment. Local fishing interests should be consulted where appropriate.

Economy: The policy seeks to ensure that marine development considers potential effects on fishing interests. This is likely to involve trade-offs between the fishing sector and other sectors, for example in terms of project location, project timing/design, etc. Assuming that trade-offs are appropriately assessed and decisions made accordingly, the policy will have a net positive effect as it ensures that marine resources are put to their best use. Giving due consideration to fishing activity in decision-making processes will safeguard fishing jobs and incomes, but it is not possible to say in advance whether it will result in net job creation.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive overall as it supports the sustainable and effective use of marine resources and therefore the communities which rely on it.

No impact identified on the other topic areas.

FISHERIES 3 : Within the CFP's parameters effective marine planning should help to ensure:

  • protection for vulnerable stocks (in particular of juvenile and spawning stocks through continuation of sea area closures where appropriate);
  • improved protection of the seabed through effective identification of high-risk areas and management measures to mitigate the impacts of fishing where appropriate;
  • that other sectors take into account the need to protect fish stocks and sustain healthy fisheries for both economic and conservation reasons;
  • delivery of Scotland's international commitments in fisheries;
  • effective mechanisms for managing potential conflicts between fishermen and/or between the fishing sector and other users of the marine environment.

Economy: The policy is likely to involve trade-offs between the fishing sector and other sectors e.g. changes to project design/location to protect spawning/nursery grounds. These trade-offs may benefit the fishing industry at the expense of other sectors but effective planning processes should ensure that the net effects are positive. In addition, this policy provides clear, up-front information to other marine sectors which should help to reduce uncertainty.

It may also have short-term adverse effects on the fishing sector, for example if fishing activity is constrained or excluded by protection measures.

Assuming that trade-offs are appropriately assessed and decisions made accordingly, the policy will have a positive effect as in the long-term it will support the continued viability of the fishing sector alongside a diversified marine economy, with concomitant safeguarding and/or creation of jobs, and management of conflict.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive as it supports fishing activity and therefore the communities which rely on it.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: Protection of fish stocks and the seabed ensures protection of fish, as part of the marine ecosystem, and of the wider ecosystem and is therefore positive.

Marine sediments: Protection of the seabed also has positive implications for marine sediments.

No impact identified on the other topic areas.

FISHERIES 4 : The following key factors should be taken into account when deciding on uses of the marine environment and the potential impact on fishing:

  • the economic importance of fishing, in particular to vulnerable coastal communities;
  • the potential impact (positive and negative) of marine developments on the sustainability of fish and shellfish stocks and resultant opportunities for exploitation of new fishing opportunities in any given area;
  • the environmental impact on fishing grounds (such as nursery, spawning areas [96] ), commercially fished species, habitats and species more generally;
  • the potential effect of displacement activity on fish stocks; the wider environment; use of fuel; socio-economic costs to fishers and their communities; and other marine users.

Economy: The policy is positive overall as it ensures sustainability in decision making and supports the protection of fishing-related jobs. The policy sets out the parameters for balancing fishing with other sectors and avoiding the creation of barriers to fishing, but there are likely to be trade-offs with other sectors. Assuming that trade-offs are appropriately assessed and decisions made accordingly, the policy will have a positive effect.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive as it ensures consideration of fishing where it is important to coastal and island communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive as it includes the consideration of environmental impacts of other marine uses on habitats and species.

Water: The policy is positive as it refers to consideration of environmental impacts on fishing grounds, which includes effects on water quality will therefore be a factor in decision-making.

Air and climatic factors: The policy is positive as it refers to the use of fuel which also impacts on air quality and emission of greenhouse gases.

Marine sediments: Any protection of the seabed also has positive implications for marine sediments.

Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

FISHERIES 5 : Where an impact on existing fishing activity may occur, a fisheries management plan should be prepared by the developer, involving full engagement with local fishing interests. All efforts should be made to agree the plan with those interests and it should include:

  • an assessment of the potential impact of the development or use on the affected fishery or fisheries, both in socio-economic terms and in terms of sustainability;
  • a recognition that fishermen should be able to catch their fish quota
  • reasonable measures to mitigate any constraints which the proposed development or use may place on existing or planned fishing activity;

Economy: The policy is likely to involve trade-offs between the fishing sector and other sectors e.g. changes to project design/location to protect spawning/nursery grounds. These trade offs may benefit the fishing industry at the expense of other sectors but effective planning processes should ensure that the net effects are positive. In addition this policy provides clear, up-front information to other marine sectors. Assuming that trade-offs are appropriately assessed and decisions made accordingly , the policy is positive as it ensures sustainability of fishing activity and supports fishing jobs alongside development by other marine sectors. As well as ensuring balance between sectors, it assists in reducing uncertainty for other sectors and therefore reduces barriers.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive as it ensures consideration of fishing and this will be important in supporting coastal and island communities.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

FISHERIES 6 : Ports should seek to engage with fishing stakeholders at an early stage to discuss any changes in infrastructure that may affect them. Any port developments should take account of the needs of the dependent fishing fleets with a view to avoiding commercial harm where possible. Where a port has reached a minimum level of infrastructure required to support a viable fishing fleet there should be a presumption in favour of maintaining this infrastructure, provided there is an ongoing requirement for it to remain in place and that it continues to be fit for purpose.

Economy: The policy is likely to involve trade-offs between the ports and fishing sectors. Assuming that trade-offs are appropriately assessed and decisions made accordingly, the policy is positive overall as it supports the retention and maintenance of facilities to support fishing, and the jobs reliant on it, balancing this with the interests of the port. It seeks to reduce uncertainty and therefore reduces barriers to development as well as to fishing.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive as it ensures consideration of fishing

and this will be important in supporting coastal and island communities.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

FISHERIES 7 : Inshore Fisheries Groups ( IFGs) should work with recreational sea angling and other stakeholders who use the marine environment to agree joint management measures to help all those involved to realise the benefits our seas can provide.

Economy: The policy is positive overall as it supports sustainable management of fish stocks and supports balancing the interests of fisheries with those of other sectors. Trade-offs may be required from IFGs and recreational sea anglers, and it has been assumed that these can be appropriately assessed and decisions made accordingly.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive as it supports access for recreational activities alongside fishing and other marine sectors.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

FISHERIES 8 : Government will continue to work with stakeholders within the Clyde, stakeholders to take appropriate practical measures which contribute towards the restoration of the ecosystem through the Clyde 2020 project .

Economy: The policy is positive overall as it supports sustainable fisheries management in the Clyde and safeguards jobs for the future through improving the quality of the ecosystem. It also removes future barriers to fishing through restoration work now.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: This policy supports restoration of the Clyde ecosystem, and is therefore positive for biodiversity, flora and fauna.

Marine sediments: Restoration of the Clyde ecosystem may provide protection of the seabed, which would have positive implications for marine sediments.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

6b Aquaculture Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1 Ensure an appropriate and proportionate regulatory framework within which the industry can achieve sustainable growth targets.

Economy: The objective is positive overall as it supports a proportionate regulatory framework, which would reduce costs to industry. Establishing this framework is likely to require some trade-offs between the aquaculture and wild fish sectors, and regulation may introduce barriers to other activities.

No impact identified on other sectors.

2 Support the industry and other stakeholders to increase sustainable production by 2020 (from a 2011 baseline) of:

  • marine finfish to 210,000 tonnes (requires a 32% increase);
  • domestic juvenile salmon production to satisfy the salmon sector growth aspirations;
  • shellfish, especially mussels, to 13,000 tonnes (requires an increase of at least 80%)

Economy: The objective is positive overall as it supports growth of the sector and protects and creates jobs.

Communities, population and human health: The growth of the industry may have some positive benefits for employment in coastal and island communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: Significant growth in aquaculture has the potential to have negative impacts on ecosystems, habitats and species. Regional marine plans and project decision-making will need to take Policies GEN11 ( water quality) and GEN12 (protected areas and species) into account. These considerations, alongside future spatial aquaculture plans, should ensure that the expansion of the aquaculture industry is undertaken sustainably.

Water: Significant growth in aquaculture has the potential to result in negative impacts on water quality. Policies GEN11 and GEN 18 protect the ecosystem and water quality (see assessment for biodiversity, above).

Marine sediments: As with biodiversity, significant growth in aquaculture has the potential to have negative effects on coastal and marine sediments, e.g. through anchoring. Policy GEN12 should assist in balancing significant adverse effects, ensuring that these issues are taken into account in regional planning and project decision-making.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage: No impact identified.

Landscape/Seascape: Significant growth in aquaculture has the potential for negative impacts on landscape. Policy GEN14 protects seascape and landscape to mitigate these negative effects, and will need to be considered by planning and decision-making authorities.

3 Secure quality employment and sustainable economic activity in remote and rural communities.

Economy: The objective is positive as it supports economic growth and employment., However growth in aquaculture could require trade-offs with other sectors. Assuming that these trade-offs are appropriately assessed and decisions made accordingly, the objective will be positive overall.

Communities, population and human health: The objective has some positive impact as it supports employment which has positive benefits for communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

4 Improve business confidence and industry investment by identifying areas where sustainable aquaculture growth is optimal.

Economy: The objective is positive overall as it supports the economy and employment, and identifying areas reduces barriers for the industry by increasing certainty. However, identifying areas for aquaculture may have negative effects on other sectors by constraining their operation within these areas: there are likely to be trade-offs.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The objective is positive for biodiversity, assuming that spatial planning takes biodiversity constraints into account.

Water: This objective is positive for water, assuming that spatial planning takes water quality considerations into account.

Marine sediments: The objective is positive for marine sediments, assuming that spatial planning takes any constraints into account.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage: No impact identified.

Landscape/Seascape: This objective is positive for landscape, assuming that spatial planning takes landscape considerations into account.

5 Maximise benefits to Scotland from the Scottish aquaculture value chain

Economy: The objective is positive as it supports a sustainable Scottish economy and employment within Scotland.

Communities, population and human health: this objective will potentially provide some benefit to communities where the Scottish aquaculture chain is located in coastal and island communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

6b Aquaculture Policies

Assessment of Policies

AQUACULTURE 1 : Marine planning and decision making authorities will seek to encourage sustainable aquaculture growth in appropriate locations.

Economy: The policy supports the sustainable growth of the aquaculture industry, and therefore is positive in terms of contributing to a sustainable economy and supporting existing and future employment (this conclusion assumes that additional growth in this sector can be accommodated without detriment to existing aquaculture facilities or other economic activities). Promoting aquaculture growth could have detrimental effects on other sectors in some areas, if there is competition for space. Trade-offs will be required.

Communities, population and human health: The policy has some positive effect as it supports existing and future employment in a sector which is important to remote coastal and island communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; water; cultural heritage; landscape; and marine sediments: The policy is positive for these factors, assuming that spatial planning will take relevant constraints into account. (The policies in Chapter 4 will also apply.)

Air; Climatic factors: No impact identified.

AQUACULTURE 2 : Terrestrial development plans and regional marine plans should identify areas which are potentially suitable for new fish farm development and sensitive areas which are unlikely to be appropriate for such development, reflecting Scottish Planning Policy and any other Scottish Government guidance on the issue (including further Marine Scotland spatial planning guidance). <applies to inshore waters>

Economy: As with Policy 1, the effects of this policy are mixed: this policy is positive as it increases clarity on suitable locations and therefore reduces uncertainty, but also provides clarify on areas less suitable for development, with consequent trade-offs.

Communities, population and human health: The policy makes future opportunity for aquaculture transparent, and therefore the associated jobs which can be supported.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; water; cultural heritage; landscape; and marine sediments: It has been assumed that the identification of sensitive areas unlikely to be appropriate for development will be undertaken in accordance with the policies set out in Chapter 4, and that these areas will therefore include sensitive habitats and species, water quality, cultural heritage resources, landscapes and seascapes, and marine sediments. This is positive as it will protect them from the adverse effects of aquaculture development. (Relevant cross-cutting policies include GEN12, GEN11, GEN18, GEN13, GEN14 and GEN17.)

Air, Climatic factors: No impact identified.

AQUACULTURE 3 : Further marine finfish farm development is expected on the West Coast and islands of Scotland. There is a continuing presumption against further marine finfish farm developments on the north and east coasts to safeguard migratory fish species (over 80% of wild salmon are located on the east and north coasts of Scotland). (Map 10 refers.)

Economy: The overall economic impacts of this policy are unclear. Jobs and activity in wild salmon fisheries will be secured at the possible expense of growth in the farmed fish sector. It makes it clear where aquaculture will be supported, and therefore reduces uncertainty, but is a constraint to aquaculture development in these areas.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive as it works to safeguard migratory fish species, including wild salmon.

Water: The policy is positive as it directly protects the water quality and ecological status of the east coast from the adverse effects of finfish aquaculture ( e.g. eutrophication, effects on benthic habitats and species).

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine Sediments: No impact identified.

AQUACULTURE 4 : Subject to licensing, in relation to nutrient enhancement and benthic impacts as set out under Locational Guidelines for the Authorisation of Marine Fish Farms in Scottish Waters [97] , fish farm development is likely to be acceptable in Category 3 areas, subject to licensing and other criteria being satisfied. A degree of precaution should be applied to consideration of further fish farming development in Category 2 areas and there will be a presumption against further fish farm development in Category 1 areas. (Map 10 refers)

Economy: The policy is expected to deliver long-term benefits through the creation of a sustainable aquaculture sector but may have short-term negative consequences where it constrains or increases the costs of aquaculture developments. It also improves the transparency of the locations where fish farming is more likely to be sustainable.

Communities, population and human health: sustainable economic activity supports dependent communities

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: The policy is positive overall as it protects the quality of the water environment (including ecological status) and benthic habitats.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine Sediments: No impact identified.

AQUACULTURE 5 : Shellfish waters will be protected in a proportionate manner by designation. Once shellfish waters are designated [98] there will be a presumption that future expansion of the sector should be located in designated areas.

Economy: This policy supports shellfish production and employment. There may be some trade-offs resulting in costs or constraints for other sectors as shellfish waters may limit other activities within the same area, but designation of shellfish growing waters increases transparency for other industries.

Communities, population and human health: Jobs in shellfish sector protected, possibly at the expense of developments in other sectors.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: No impact identified.

Water: This policy is positive as designation of shellfish growing waters maintains high water quality.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

AQUACULTURE 6 : SNH guidance [99] on the siting and design of aquaculture in the landscape should be taken into account.

Economy: The effects of this policy are mixed: the policy avoids detrimental impacts on other sectors reliant on landscape quality (a benefit), but could constrain locations for the aquaculture industry ( negative).

Communities, population and human health; Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

Cultural heritage: The policy is indirectly positive for cultural heritage as the historic environment contributes to landscape character.

Landscape/Seascape: The policy is strongly positive as it supports the protection of landscape/seascape features through appropriate siting and design.

AQUACULTURE 7 : New aquaculture sites should not bridge Disease Management Areas [100] .

Economy: The policy is expected to deliver long-term benefits through the creation of a sustainable aquaculture and wild fishery sectors but may have short run negative consequences where it constrains or increases the costs of aquaculture developments. (Managing disease supports the sustainability of the aquaculture and wild salmon sectors.)

No impact identified for other topic areas.

AQUACULTURE 8 : Operators and regulators should continue to utilise a risk based approach to the location of fish farms and potential impacts on wild fish and the wider environment. Guidance on harassment at designated [101] seal haul out sites should be taken into account once developed and seal conservation areas should also be taken into account.

Economy: The policy may involve short run constraints or additional costs for the aquaculture sector but will deliver long run benefits as it enables and supports the overall sustainability of the aquaculture industry and limits any negative impacts on the wild fish sector.

Communities, population and human health: sustainable economic activity supports dependent communities

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive because it ensures consideration of wild fish and seals, as individual species and as part of the wider marine ecosystem.

Water: The policy refers to impacts on the wider environment which is assumed to include water quality, and therefore is positive in avoiding pollution and improving the ecological status of Scottish waters.

Marine sediments: The policy is positive because it ensures consideration of the wider marine ecosystem, which will include the seabed. The large structures used in aquaculture can result in obstructions in the water column that can alter currents and water flow, thereby affecting the way that sediments deposit and accumulate.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

AQUACULTURE 9 : Consenting and licensing authorities should be satisfied that emergency response plans are in place should a harmful plankton or algal bloom occur.

Economy: the policy has some positive benefit to the economy as it reduces potential losses in the event of a plankton or algal bloom.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive overall as it protects both the industry and the communities reliant on it, and human health.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive because it protects water quality on which species depend, and therefore the ecosystem as a whole.

Water: The policy is positive because it protects water quality.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

AQUACULTURE 10 : Fish farm operators should carry out pre-application discussion and consultation and engage with local communities to seek their support in advance of submitting an application.

Communities, population and human health: Some positive benefit in terms of local governance.

No impact identified for any other topic areas.

AQUACULTURE 11 : Aquaculture equipment, including but not limited to installations, facilities, moorings, pens and nets must be fit for purpose for the site conditions, subject to future climate change. Where a statutory technical standard is introduced, this must be adhered to.

Economy: This policy is positive because it protects against extreme weather, and therefore the industry and related jobs. It will incur costs to the industry, but these will bring benefit in the long run ( e.g. avoiding costs of equipment and stock replacement).

Communities, population and human health: sustainable economic activity supports dependent communities

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

Climatic factors: The policy is positive as it is a policy driver for adaptation to climate change.

AQUACULTURE 12 : Applications which promote the use of biological controls for sea lice (such as farmed wrasse) will be encouraged

Economy: No impact identified. This may have benefits in the long-term, by replacing the application of expensive therapeutants, but at this early stage the relative costs are unclear.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: This policy is positive as the use of biological controls will avoid potential adverse impacts on biodiversity that may result from excess therapeutant. (This assumes that the farming of wrasse will be undertaken sustainably, taking account of issues around genetic integrity.)

Water: This policy is positive as the use of biological controls will avoids adverse impacts on water quality and ecological status that may result from excess therapeutant.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

AQUACULTURE 13 : Proposals that contribute to the diversification of farmed species will be supported, subject to other criteria being satisfied.

Economy: The policy is positive as it supports a diverse species base, thereby increasing the robustness of the sector, supporting jobs and reducing barriers to diversification.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive as diversification may support employment in coastal and island communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: No impact identified. These proposals must be undertaken in light of the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4, such as GEN11, which would reduce the possibility of new non-native species being introduced to Scottish waters.

6c Wild Salmon and other migratory fish Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1 Ensure an appropriate management and regulatory framework is in place to sustainably manage salmon and migratory fish and fisheries resources to provide significant economic and social benefits for the people of Scotland.

Economy: The objective supports the sustainable management of the resource contributing to a sustainable economy, and potentially safeguarding jobs within the sector. The regulatory framework protects salmon and migratory fish and improves transparency in the process, but imposes regulatory requirements on other sectors.

Communities, population and human health: The objective's (indirect) support for a sustainable sector is likely to be of benefit to the communities for which migratory fish are of economic importance.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

2 Maintain and where possible improve healthy salmon and migratory fish stocks in support of sustainable fisheries through sound science-based management.

Economy: The objective is positive overall as it supports sustainable fish stocks which in turn support the economy; it also supports jobs reliant on salmon and migratory fish.

Communities, population and human health: The objective supports fish stocks and is positive for communities which rely on migratory fish.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The objective's support for healthy stocks would be of benefit to wild salmon and migratory fish, which are identified as Priority Marine Features (Special Areas of Conservation have also been designated in Scotland to protect Atlantic salmon). The support of sustainable fisheries through stock sourced from hatcheries will be progressed in light of the requirements of GEN12 such that genetic integrity will be a consideration in decision-making.

Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

3 Better understand interactions with other activities in marine and coastal areas and resolve key issues.

Economy: The objective is positive as it improves sustainability through understanding interactions with other sectors and activities.

No impact identified for other topic areas.

6c Wild Salmon and other migratory fish Policies

Assessment of Policies

1 The impact of development and use of the marine environment on migratory fish species should be considered in marine planning and decision making processes. Where evidence of impacts on salmon and other migratory species is inconclusive, mitigation should be adopted where possible and information on impacts on migratory species from monitoring of developments should be used to inform subsequent marine decision making

Economy: The policy prevents detriment to wild salmon from other marine sectors, and safeguards the jobs associated with wild salmon fishing. The policy will involve trade-offs between the wild salmon/migratory fisheries sector and other marine sectors, but it is assumed that these trade-offs can be identified and incorporated into planning decisions. The policy is transparent and therefore reduces uncertainty. Overall its effects are considered to be positive.

Communities, population and human health: The policy has some positive effect by protecting wild salmon from the impacts of other developments, and this supports communities for which wild salmon is important.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive overall as it avoids disturbance of wild salmon and other migratory fish.

Water: The policy is positive overall as, indirectly, it avoids pollution.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

7a Oil and gas Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1 To maximise the recovery of oil and gas reserves in the North Sea basin and West of Scotland at minimum environmental cost; supporting jobs, activity (offshore and onshore support activities), energy security, balance of payments and taxation as well as driving economic activity and growth for Scotland.

Economy: The objective is positive as it supports the continuing role of oil and gas in Scotland's marine economy and safeguards oil and gas related employment.

Communities, population and human health: The objective will have some positive effect for coastal and island communities that are reliant on the oil and gas sector for employment.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Marine sediments: The extraction of oil and gas, particularly in deep offshore waters, has potential for negative effects (especially in the event of accidents/incidents) on habitats and species. The objective identifies that such exploitation should be at "minimum environmental cost" so this and the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4 should act to avoid and/or reduce negative effects, e.g. policy GEN11, GEN12, GEN 18.

Air: No significant impact identified from oil and gas extraction activities.

Climatic factors: No significant impact identified from oil and gas extraction activities.

Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

2 As the resource declines, where practicable and where international agreements allow, seek to reuse or remove infrastructure from the sea bed and water column as is necessary. Ensure decommissioning is an agreed process involving all relevant stakeholders.

Economy: The objective is positive overall as reuse of infrastructure is sustainable for the economy (for example, carbon capture and storage). The removal of disused infrastructure may also reduce obstruction/collision hazards to new marine enterprise, while the objective also encourages consideration of impacts on other activities in decision-making.

Communities, population and human health: no impacts identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: Decommissioning has potential negative effects on biodiversity through possible pollution of the water environment. However, decommissioning would be progressed in accordance with the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4 ( e.g. GEN 11, 12 and 18), and the effects are therefore considered to be neutral. Leaving redundant infrastructure in situ may have positive effects in terms of habitat creation.

Marine sediments: effects on marine sediments are uncertain. However, decommissioning would be progressed in accordance with the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4 ( e.g. GEN 11 and 12), and the effects are therefore considered to be neutral.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

3 To ensure the industry delivers high level risk management across all its operations and that it is especially vigilant in more testing environments. Continued technical development of enhanced oil recovery and exploration and the associated seismic activity carried out according to the principles of the Best Available Technology Not Exceeding Excessive Cost ( BATNEEC) and Best Environmental Practice ( BAP) approach.

Economy: The objective will have cost implications for the oil and gas industry in the short term. However, in the long-term it is positive overall as high level risk management helps avoid adverse environmental effects on other sectors.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: The objective is positive overall as it helps to reduce the risk of potential negative effects on biodiversity and water quality (including good ecological status). It may also be of benefit to cetacean populations if seismic activity is carried out according to the BATNEEC and BAP principles, as this would require that cetacean interests are considered proactively in the planning of such activity.

Air, Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

4 Where possible, to work with emerging sectors so transferring the experience, skills and knowledge built up in the oil and gas industry allowing other sectors to benefit and reduce their environmental impact

Economy: The objective is positive overall as skills and knowledge transfer helps to support jobs in related marine industries, and can reduce barriers to development of new marine enterprise opportunities.

Communities, population and human health: no impacts identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: The objective indirectly avoids environmental impacts through the transfer of environmental skills and knowledge.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

7a Oil and gas Policies

Assessment of Policies

OIL & GAS 1 : The Scottish Government will work with DECC and the industry to maximise and prolong oil and gas exploration and production whilst ensuring that the level of environmental risks associated with these activities are regulated. Activity should be carried out using the principles of BATNEEC (Best Available Technology Not Exceeding Excessive Cost and Best Environmental Practice ( BAP). Consideration will be given to key environmental risks including impacts of noise and chemical pollution.

Economy: The policy is expected to have a positive effect on supporting the development of the marine economy, doing so without being to the detriment of other industries, and sustaining oil and gas related jobs in existing communities.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is expected to have a positive effect on the resilience and cohesion of coastal and island communities, as it is likely to support employment in oil and gas in communities where they are reliant on this industry.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: Positive effect as the policy seeks to reduce the risk of accidents. In the event of an incident occurring, Policy 6 would come into play.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

OIL & GAS 2 : Where re-use of oil and gas infrastructure is not practicable, either as part of oil and gas activity or by other sectors such as carbon capture and storage, decommissioning must take place in line with standard practice, and as allowed by international obligations. Reuse or removal of decommissioned assets from the sea bed will be fully supported where practicable and adhering to relevant regulatory process.

Economy: The policy is expected to have a positive effect on supporting the development of a sustainable marine economy through supporting reuse and decommissioning of infrastructure.

Communities, population and human health: no impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: The policy has positive environmental effects, in terms of removal of decommissioned assets, as it removes any pollution risks associated with them. There may be negative effects on opportunities for enhancing fisheries habitat, which would be lost through the removal of redundant infrastructure. Reuse would have the opposite effects.

Marine sediments: removal might be beneficial; uncertain as to how much oil and gas infrastructure changes marine sediment patterns of movement.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

OIL & GAS 3 : Supporting marine infrastructure for oil and gas developments, including for storage, should utilise the minimum space needed for activity.

Economy: The additional effect this policy will have on the development of a sustainable marine economy is unclear, as it may simply reflect existing industry practice, and its impacts are likely to vary on a case by case basis. If the policy leads to additional regulation and licensing requirements, it may add to barriers to new marine enterprise opportunities.

Marine sediments: will be positive as it will reduce the amount of sea bed under development. Uncertain as to how much oil and gas infrastructure changes marine sediment patterns of movement.

For the other topic areas no impacts are identified.

OIL & GAS 4 : All oil and gas platforms will be subject to 9 nautical mile consultation zones in line with Civil Aviation Authority guidance.

Economy: no impacts are identified.

For the other topic areas no impacts are identified.

OIL & GAS 5 : Consenting and licensing authorities should have regard to the potential risks, both now and under future climates, to offshore oil and gas operations in Scottish waters, and be satisfied that installations are appropriately sited and designed to take account of current and future conditions.

Economy: The policy is expected to have a positive effect on supporting the development of a sustainable marine economy, as it encourages consideration of potential future environmental risks in consenting and licensing decisions.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Air; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

Water and Climatic factors: The policy supports adaptation of infrastructure used by the offshore oil and gas industry to changing climatic conditions, which will assist in reducing accidents/incidents in Scottish waters. This would have the benefits set out in the assessment of Oil & Gas 1.

OIL & GAS 6 : Consenting and licensing authorities should be satisfied that adequate risk reduction measures are in place, and that operators should have in place sufficient emergency response and contingency strategies that are compatible with the National Contingency Plan.

Economy: no impact identified.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: The policy is positive because risk reduction avoids adverse impacts on habitats and species and the water environment.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

7b Carbon Capture and Storage Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1 To facilitate safe, cost effective, and timely deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage ( CCS) assisting the delivery of Scotland's climate change objectives.

Economy: Positive through commitment to support development of new marine enterprise opportunity that makes use of existing marine infrastructure.

Climatic factors: positive for assisting in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from coastal-based industries, e.g. electricity generation.

All other sectors: No impact identified

2 Scotland to be at the forefront of the development and deployment of CCS technology by delivering successful demonstration projects.

Economy: Positive through commitment to support development of new marine enterprise opportunity that makes use of existing marine infrastructure

Communities, population and human health: no impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Marine sediments: No impact identified, providing the chapter 4 mitigating policies GEN11 and GEN18 within the plan protect these interests.

Climatic factors: CCS acts to capture greenhouse gases, and this would be considered positive.

Air; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

3 Make CCS available as a realistic low carbon deployment option for electricity generation in advance of 2020, and support the decarbonisation of electricity generation by 2030, without affecting the security of supply and utilising existing infrastructure where possible.

As Objective 2, apart from:

Air: No change from baseline. CCS does not deal with atmospheric emissions other than greenhouse gases.

Marine sediments: reuse of existing infrastructure will be positive as it will reduce the amount of sea bed under development. Uncertain as to how much oil and gas infrastructure changes marine sediment patterns of movement.

4 To further develop the existing oil/gas pipeline infrastructure and CO 2 storage capability, so that the North Sea can become Europe's principal hub for surplus CO 2 storage, servicing electricity generators and heavy industry from sources in the UK and throughout Europe [102] .

Economy: Positive through commitment to support development of new marine enterprise opportunity that makes use of existing marine infrastructure

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Marine sediments: potential negative effects of pipeline network development would be mitigated by the Chapter 4 policies.

Air: No change from baseline. CCS does not deal with atmospheric emissions other than greenhouse gases.

Climatic factors: CCS acts to capture greenhouse gases, and this would be considered positive

Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

5 Initiate an environmental assessment, with relevant agencies, to allow early consideration of the environmental issues with deployment of CCS.

Economy: Some positive effects through ensuring consideration of environmental issues in wider decision-making which supports sustainable economic development.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Marine sediments: No impact identified as the assessment will identify and address key issues.

Air; Climatic factors: No impact identified.

Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

7b Carbon Capture and Storage Policies

Assessment of Policies

CCS 1 : CCS demonstration projects or developments should be supported where proposals allow timely deployment of CCS to re-use suitable existing redundant oil and gas infrastructure.

Economy: The policy is expected to have a positive effect on the development of a sustainable marine economy, and to contribute to the growth of CCS without detriment to other industries, particularly oil and gas. It may also help maintain employment in new or existing communities.

Communities, population and human health: no impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: The effects of this policy are mixed. The reuse of existing infrastructure potentially means less environmental effects than the installation of new infrastructure (positive). However, the reuse of existing infrastructure may raise pollution issues (negative).

Marine sediments: reuse of existing infrastructure will be positive as it will reduce the amount of sea bed under development. Uncertain as to how much oil and gas infrastructure changes marine sediment patterns of movement.

Air; Climatic factors: No impact identified.

Cultural heritage: Reduces risk to cultural heritage by reusing existing infrastructure, and therefore positive effect.

Landscape/Seascape: Reduces the need for new infrastructure and new landscape impacts with positive effect.

CCS 2 : Consideration should be given to the development of marine utility corridors which will allow CCS to capitalise on current infrastructure in the North Sea including shared use of spatial corridors and pipelines

Economy: Marine utility corridors provide efficient use of resources which is positive for a sustainable economy, but their use could generate additional costs to some sectors and add barriers to new marine enterprise opportunities should they represent a departure from industries' existing practices.

Communities, population and human health: No impacts identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The reuse of existing corridors potentially means less environmental effects than a new route, which is a positive effect.

Marine sediments: reuse of existing infrastructure will be positive as it will reduce the amount of sea bed under development. Uncertain as to how much oil and gas infrastructure changes marine sediment patterns of movement.

Water; Cultural heritage: The reuse of existing corridors potentially means less environmental effects than a new route, which is a positive effect.

Air; Climatic factors; Landscape/Seascape: No impacts identified.

7c Renewable energy Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1 To promote the sustainable development of offshore wind, wave and tidal renewable energy in the most suitable locations.

Economy: The objective is positive as it supports development of new marine enterprise opportunities, and (where possible) in ways that minimise impacts on other marine economic activities and wider environmental and social impacts. The growth of renewables in the most suitable locations could however impact on other industries.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

No impact identified on other topic areas as the policy includes the wording 'sustainable development' and 'suitable locations', and the chapter 4 policies will work with these to limit environmental effects.

2 To achieve sustainable economic growth through the development of offshore renewable energy

Economy: The objective is positive as it supports development of new marine enterprise opportunities, and (where possible) in ways that minimise impacts on other marine economic activities and wider environmental and social impacts. Renewables growth could however result in detrimental impacts on other industries reliant on access or landscape quality.

No impact identified on other topic areas as the policy includes the wording 'sustainable economic growth', and the chapter 4 policies will work with this to limit environmental effects.

3 Ensure joined up marine planning and efficient licensing processes to help facilitate sustainable green energy development within Scottish waters.

Economy: The objective is positive overall as it supports reductions of barriers to new marine enterprises by supporting joined up marine planning and efficient licensing processes.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

4 To promote the development of an integrated terrestrial and marine electricity transmission grid in Scottish Waters

Economy: The objective is positive as it supports the development of new marine enterprise opportunities by promoting the development of required supporting infrastructure.

Although grid development has potential for negative environmental effects, the chapter 4 cross-cutting policies will limit these.

5 To contribute to achieving the renewables target to generate electricity equivalent to 50% of Scotland's gross annual electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2015 and 100% by 2020.

Economy: no impact identified.

Communities, population and human health: no impact identified.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

6 Facilitate the development of demonstration facilities and projects for offshore wind, wave and tidal marine energy devices.

Economy: The objective is positive as it supports development of new marine enterprise opportunities by reducing barriers to testing and development.

The potential significant impacts of demonstration facilities will be contained by application of the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4.

7c Renewable energy Policies

Assessment of Policies

RENEWABLES 1 : There is a presumption in favour of adopted Plan Options [103] identified through the Sectoral Marine Plan process (map 13 refers). The inclusion of these adopted Plan Options in the National Marine Plan does not imply that licences or consents will be granted, but preference will be given to proposals within these areas.

Note: these Sectoral Marine Plans are also subject to SA and details will be provided in the relevant reports

Economy: The policy is positive overall as it supports marine renewable energy development and supports the creation of new jobs in marine renewables. There will be trade-offs with other marine sectors, e.g. as a result of spatial exclusion, but the policy will also increase transparency over the preferred locations for marine renewables, thereby reducing uncertainty barriers to other sectors.

Communities, population and human health: The policy supports renewables jobs which will in turn support community resilience.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: The policy has the potential for negative effects as it supports new development in the marine environment which could affect these interests. However, the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4 will apply to the Sectoral Marine Plan process. The SEA of these sectoral plans will identify any adverse effects and measures for their mitigation.

Air; Climatic factors: No impact identified.

RENEWABLES 2 : Support the development of the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park [104] . The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters were identified in the Scottish Government's Strategic Environmental Assessment as areas of high energy resource for wave and tidal power. To aid potential development and to guide development opportunities, draft Regional Locational Guidance [105] and a Marine Spatial Plan Framework [106] for the region have been published.

Note: the Marine Spatial Plan Framework will be subject to SEA and details will be provided in the relevant reports

Economy: The policy is expected to have a positive effect on the development of a sustainable marine economy, and offers increased certainty as to the location of these activities. The overall impact on other marine activities and employment is unclear, as these are likely to vary on a case by case basis.

Communities, population and human health: The policy's contribution to the resilience and cohesion of coastal communities is unclear, as it is likely to depend on decisions made in the development of the park itself.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: The policy has the potential for negative effects as it supports new development in the marine environment which could affect these interests. However, the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4 will apply to the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan, and the SEA of the plan will identify any adverse effects and measures for their mitigation.

Air; Climatic factors: No impact identified.

RENEWABLES 3 : There is a presumption in favour of renewable energy developments in areas identified to support the Saltire Prize (map x refers). Regional Locational Guidance ( RLG) [107] has been produced to inform a further Scottish Leasing Round for wave and tidal energy projects to support The Saltire Prize.

As for Renewables 2.

RENEWABLES 4 : Applications for marine licenses and consents relating to offshore renewable energy projects should be made in accordance with the guidance set out in the marine licensing manual [108] and Marine Scotland's Licensing Policy Guidance ( LPG) including the Survey, Deploy and Monitor LPG [109] .

Economy: no impacts are identified against the economy objectives.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

RENEWABLES 5 Specific impacts on species and habitats should be mitigated through appropriate design, construction and operation methods. Marine planning and decision making authorities should take these into consideration in their decision processes.

Economy: The policy is expected to have a positive effect on the development of a sustainable marine economy, as it encourages developers to mitigate against potential adverse environmental impacts. However, where this departs from existing practice, it is likely to impose additional costs on developers, which may increase barriers to new marine enterprise opportunities.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive overall as it includes a requirement for mitigation of impacts on habitats and species, providing additional support for the policies in Chapter 4. This may also be positive for marine sediments.

No impact identified on other topic areas.

RENEWABLES 6 : Where new grid connections are planned, work should be undertaken with developers and Grid provider organisations within the Sectoral Marine Planning process to address environmental and socio-economic issues to help deliver reduced impacts and develop an improved regional strategy.

Economy: The policy is expected to have a positive effect on the development of a sustainable marine economy, as it encourages development that mitigates against potential adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts on others. However, where this departs from existing practice, it is likely to impose additional costs on developers, which may increase barriers to new marine enterprise opportunities.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is expected to make a positive contribution to the resilience and cohesion of coastal and island communities because it ensures that socio-economic issues are addressed when planning and constructing new grid connections.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: The policy is positive as it supports working together to address issues and to deliver reduced impacts on these environmental interests.

Air; Climatic factors: No impact identified.

RENEWABLES 7 : There is a presumption that cables will be buried or rock dumped.

Economy: The effect of this policy on the development of a sustainable marine economy, and its contribution to the growth of marine industries without detriment to others, is unclear, as impacts are likely to vary on a case by case basis. If the policy differs from current industry practice, it may increase industry construction and operating costs, which could increase barriers to new marine enterprise opportunities.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; marine sediments: The environmental impacts of cable laying methods are generally local and temporary, although they could impact adversely on habitats and species. Policy GEN12 protects protected areas, habitats and species, so will work to prevent this adverse effect.

Water; Air; Climatic factors; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

Cultural heritage: Cable burying and rock dumping may be detrimental to marine historic environment features. Policy GEN 13 protects the historic environment, so will work to prevent this adverse effect.

RENEWABLES 8 : Developers should report on the effects of offshore projects and their onshore elements within a single EIA and a single HRA document.

No impact identified for all topics.

RENEWABLES 9 : Developers bringing forward proposals for new developments must actively engage at an early stage with existing users of the area to which the proposal relates; and of adjoining areas which may be affected.

Economy: The policy is expected to make a positive contribution to developing a sustainable marine economy because engagement with other sectors supports sustainable economic growth, and also avoids detrimental impacts on other sectors. The policy may also have both positive and negative effects as active engagement with other sectors may help to remove or avoid barriers to new marine enterprise opportunities from others' opposition. However, it may also add to developers' costs if it imposes new obligations on them, which may act as a barrier.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive because active engagement with communities will ensure that their views on accessibility and connectivity are taken into account.

No impact identified for other topics.

RENEWABLES 10 : Scenario mapping should be undertaken for commercial scale development to allow local communities to fully understand the range of possible implications.

The policy is expected to make a positive contribution to developing a sustainable marine economy because engagement with other sectors supports sustainable economic growth, and also avoids detrimental impacts on other sectors. The policy may also have both positive and negative effects as active engagement with other sectors may help to remove or avoid barriers to new marine enterprise opportunities from others' opposition. However, it may also add to developers' costs if it imposes new obligations on them, which may act as a barrier.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is positive because active engagement with communities will ensure that their views on accessibility and connectivity are taken into account.

No impact identified for other topics.

RENEWABLES 11 : Government will work with developers to maximise economic benefit and reduce climate change impacts in Scotland.

Economy: The policy is expected to make a positive contribution to the sustainable development of the marine economy, as it encourages inclusion of wider environmental impacts in decision-making, and signals support for developments that generate economic benefit.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Marine sediments: potential benefits from reducing climate change; effects of adaptation measures likely to be neutral.

Air; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

Climatic factors: The policy is positive as it seeks to reduce climate change impacts in Scotland, presumably through adaptation actions.

8 Recreation and tourism Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1 Continue to develop and consolidate Scotland as a world class sustainable tourism and marine recreation destination

Economy: Positive through commitment to support development of tourism, leisure and recreation in a manner consistent with sustainable development. However, promotion of recreation and tourism may impact on other uses of the marine environment.

Communities, population and human health: Some positive effects as the objectives supports promotion of access to the coastal and marine resource for tourism and recreation.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: The objective's wording refers to sustainable tourism and recreation. The policy has mixed effects: improved management of the resource to support recreation activity (positive), but also issues around disturbance, e.g. of wildlife, aquatic environment generally, etc (negative). The chapter 4 policies GEN11, 12 and 18 will work to mitigate these negative effects.

Air: Increased tourism activity could have adverse local impacts on air quality, but these are unlikely to impact on air quality limits.

Climatic factors: Developing and consolidating Scotland as a sustainable recreation destination is unlikely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and may increase them. Policy GEN 19 may assist through encouraging developers, users and planners to consider climate change issues as part of their work.

Cultural heritage: positive effect as sustainable tourism and recreation may increase knowledge and understanding about the marine historic environment, but also potential for negative effects from recreation pressure. Chapter 4 policy GEN13 will assist in mitigation, since it seeks to protect historic environment assets.

Landscape/Seascape: There is potential for both positive and negative effects on this topic area. Sustainable tourism and marine recreation should support the quality of the landscapes on which it is reliant; however, tourism and recreation infrastructure could have negative landscape impacts. Chapter 4 policy GEN14 will assist in mitigation, since it ensures consideration of the landscape and seascape in planning for these activities.

Marine sediments: Commitment to sustainable tourism should assist in protecting seabed ( e.g. from anchoring damage).

2 Encourage the sustainable development of marine and coastal recreation activities and industries in Scotland

As Objective 1.

3 Ensure continued and improved access to marine and coastal resources for leisure activities and recreational use. Improve existing, and develop new facilities, and encourage the sharing of facilities and supporting infrastructure

As Objective 1.

4 Improve data on marine and coastal recreational activities, including key recreation resources and access points, enabling better targeted and long term planning for these activities.

Economy: greater provision of data may help to reduce informational barriers to development of new marine enterprise opportunities.

No impact identified on other topic areas; however, improving data and informing planning could have positive and negative effects on the environment through supporting increased infrastructure provision or informing where activities may be having a detrimental effect on the environment.

5 Support participation in a range of waterborne recreational activities that support participation and sport development, encourage an appreciation of the environment in which they take place, contribute to life skills and support a healthier nation

Economy: no impact identified

Communities, population and human health: positive impact on promotion of access to the coastal and marine resource for tourism and recreation.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; water; marine sediments: Increased participation could result in negative effects from disturbance to wildlife and to the seabed, water pollution etc., but the Chapter 4 policies will work to reduce these effects. No impact identified on other topic areas.

8 Recreation and tourism Policies

Assessment of Policies

REC & TOURISM 1 : Proposals for recreation and tourism activities or developments that are subject to marine licensing or other consents, including terrestrial planning, should take the following factors into account:

  • the extent to which the proposal interferes with access to the shore, the water, use of the resource for recreation or tourism purposes, existing navigational routes or navigational safety
  • the extent to which the proposal is likely to adversely affect the qualities important to recreational users
  • where significant impacts are likely, whether reasonable alternatives can be identified for the proposed activity or development
  • where there are no reasonable alternatives, whether mitigation through recognised measures can be achieved at no significant cost to the marine leisure or tourism sector interests

Proposals supporting tourism and recreation activity will be looked upon favourably within the context of the other policies of the plan.

Economy: Mixed effects: this policy ensures consideration of recreation alongside other marine activities and helps to avoid conflict with other marine users (positive), although there are likely to be costs incurred by other sectors taking recreation into account, and some trade-offs between activities may arise (negative).

Communities, population and human health: Supports balance between recreation and tourism and other marine users, which may support coastal and island communities reliant on recreation and tourism. However, there are likely to be some trade-offs between users.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: This policy has the potential for negative effects but these will be mitigated by planning and consenting decision-makers using the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4. It is therefore expected that the overall environmental effects of this policy will be neutral.

REC & TOURISM 2 : Marine planning authorities should identify areas within their region that are of recreational value and where prospects for significant development exist, including more localised and/or bespoke recreational opportunities.

Economy: The policy would benefit from the inclusion of the word 'sustainable' to ensure balance between economic, social and environmental interests.

The policy may make a positive contribution to the development of a sustainable marine economy. However, its impact may vary on a case by case basis, depending on whether it leads to restrictions or presumptions against other activities in recreation areas, or restricts development of tourism and recreation elsewhere.

Communities, population and human health: The policy provides positive support for access to the coastal and marine resource for tourism and recreation purposes

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: This policy may have mixed effects: focusing interest in a particular area will increase recreational pressure on that area but may relieve pressure on another, more sensitive area. The identification of locations for significant development will be undertaken in accordance with the cross-cutting policy framework set out in Chapter 4, and this should take environmental sensitivities into account as part of the marine planning process. (Regional Marine Plans will also be subject to SEA. As noted above, the policy would benefit from inclusion of the word 'sustainable' to ensure that environmental interests are included in the recreational planning process.

REC & TOURISM 3 : Access to the marine area and appropriate facilities to enjoy recreation and tourism are protected, provided, maintained and/or improved.

Economy: the overall effect of this policy is unclear, as its impacts on sustainable development, other activities and barriers to new marine enterprise opportunities may vary on a case by case basis.

Communities, population and human health: supports access for recreation and tourism.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: where access is "provided", there may be adverse effects depending on the nature of the work. Cross-cutting policies should mitigate this effect such that it can be avoided.

Cultural heritage: A positive effect through increased understanding and knowledge of the marine historic environment through the support of access and facilities.

REC & TOURISM 4 : Marine recreation and tourism activity should not unacceptably impact on sensitive or important habitats and species, those most vulnerable to a changing climate, or those, such as salt marsh and sea grass, which help mitigate climate change

Economy: Mixed effects: this policy may result in costs to the recreation and tourism sector (negative) but also supports long-term sustainability of the environment that supports recreation and tourism (positive).

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Marine sediments: Strongly positive as the policy supports protection of habitats and species.

Water: Habitats and species are reliant on water quality, and therefore the policy provides positive support for water quality.

Air: No impact identified.

Climatic factors: The policy protects habitats important as carbon sinks, which will assist in reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

Cultural heritage: There may be indirect benefits where cultural heritage features coincide with important habitats or species, e.g. crannogs.

Landscape/Seascape: There may be indirect benefits where important landscapes coincide with important habitats or species.

REC & TOURISM 5 : Consideration should be given to the facility requirements of marine recreation with a focus on support for participation and development in sport. Co-operation and sharing infrastructure or facilities with complementary sectors will be supported by decision makers

Economy: This policy potentially reduces barriers to shared and multi-use developments of marine infrastructure. .

Communities, population and human health: Supporting the provision of facilities will support access to the coast for recreation and potentially support provision of community facilities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: The provision of facilities has the potential for negative effects, e.g. through land take. As with Rec & Tourism 2, this policy may have mixed effects: providing facilities in a particular area will increase recreational pressure on that area but may relieve pressure on another, more sensitive area or over the wider area. The policies in Chapter 4 will assist in mitigating negative effects, e.g. policies GEN12 and GEN17 mitigate negative effects by supporting protected habitats and species and coastal processes, GEN13 seeks to protect and enhance heritage assets, and GEN14 seeks to take seascape and landscape impacts into account.

Water; Air; Climatic factors: No impact identified.

REC & TOURISM 6 : The impact of new recreation and tourism activities or development on coastal residents should be taken into account when decisions are being made.

Economy: this policy is expected to contribute positively to the sustainable development of the marine economy, as it encourages the wider impacts of recreation and tourism activities and developments to be taken into account in decision-making.

This policy is likely to contribute to the cohesion and resilience of local communities (Communities, population and human health). No other impacts are identified.

REC & TOURISM 7 : Codes of practice on invasive non-native species should be complied with.

Economy: Positive for a sustainable economy as the policy helps to avoid introduction and/or spread of invasive non-native species which, uncontrolled, could have adverse effects on other economic activities.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Marine sediments: Positive as the policy protects key species and marine and coastal ecosystems from the threat of invasive non-native species.

Water: Positive as the policy helps to avoid release of invasive non-native species, which supports ecological status of waters.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

9 Transport: Shipping, ports, harbours and ferries Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1 To protect navigational safety in relevant areas used by shipping now and in the future

Economy: Protecting navigational safety contributes to a sustainable marine economy, and allows different sectors to operate in harmony, but this may incur costs for some industries. Overall, however, it avoids the creation of physical barriers to marine enterprise opportunities.

Communities, population and human health: The objective is positive overall through helping to maintain connectivity and accessibility of communities and potentially supporting access to the coastal and marine resource for tourism and recreation.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water: This objective is positive, as it will work to avoid accidents/incidents ( e.g. collisions), which will in turn protect biodiversity, water quality and ecological status.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

2 To maintain and grow business in Scottish Ports

Economy: The objective is positive overall by supporting business growth which also safeguards and creates jobs.

Communities, population and human health: There is a potential positive effect on coastal and island communities that are economically reliant on ports.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: There are potential negative environmental effects resulting from increased port activity including pollution and disturbance. This could include adverse effects on marine sediments if growth results in need for dredging. The policies in Chapter 4 will work to mitigate adverse effects, e.g. GEN11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 18.

Climatic factors: Increases in vessel activity are likely to result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The ports will need to consider ways in which such increases could be mitigated, e.g. cold-ironing, offsetting, etc.

3 To encourage and support development of port and harbour infrastructure

Economy: The objective is positive overall as developing infrastructure supports economic growth, but this may have negative effects on other users of ports. Overall improving infrastructure helps to safeguard jobs and ensures ports provide appropriate facilities to support new or existing enterprise.

Communities, population and human health: The objective will potentially contribute positively to improving the accessibility and connectivity of remote island communities. Infrastructure may also improve access for coastal and marine recreation and the economy of coastal and island communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: There are potential negative effects on these environmental interests from the development of port infrastructure. The policies in Chapter 4 will work to mitigate adverse effects, e.g. GEN11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 18.

Air; Climatic factors: No impact identified from infrastructure development.

4 To safeguard essential maritime transport links to island and remote mainland communities

Economy: The objective is overall positive as it protects maritime links to existing communities and the jobs within the communities. It prevents the creation of barriers to new or existing enterprise opportunities which rely on transport links to island and remote mainland communities.

Communities, population and human health: The objective is overall positive as it maintains accessibility through transport links to communities which also supports community resilience.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

5 To maximise the tourism potential of ports and harbours

Economy: The objective is positive overall as it supports sustainable economic growth, and ensures consideration of tourism alongside other sectors. It also safeguards tourism-related jobs and prevents physical barriers to new tourism enterprise Maximising tourism potential of ports and harbours could, however, limit the activities of other industries so there would be trade-offs.

Communities, population and human health: The objective is positive overall as it helps to maintain the accessibility and connectivity of island and coastal communities and increases access for tourism and recreation. This will also help support a wider economic base, supporting community resilience.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Marine sediments: Increasing tourism potential of ports could have negative effects on biodiversity through increasing levels of disturbance. This would be mitigated by Policy GEN11 and GEN12, which support protection of marine ecosystems and protected areas, habitats and species.

Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

6 To contribute to climate change mitigation and improve air quality by increasing the availability of shore based electricity when in port, supporting efficiencies in fleet management and technology advances, and ensuring port infrastructure and shipping services are able to adapt to the consequences of climate change

Economy: The objective is positive overall as it improves the sustainability of the marine economy through improving efficiencies of ships in port. There will be costs involved for the provision of additional electricity generation.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; water; cultural heritage; landscape/seascape; marine sediments: No impact identified.

Air: The objective has a positive impact on local air quality through reducing use of ship fuel when in port.

Climatic factors: The objective has a positive impact as it increases efficiency by reducing fuel use of ships when in port. It also supports climate change adaptation by ensuring port infrastructure and shipping services are able to adapt. .

9 Transport: Shipping, ports, harbours and ferries Policies

Assessment of Policies

TRANSPORT 1 : Navigational safety in relevant areas used by shipping now and in the future will be protected, respecting the rights of innocent passage and freedom of navigation contained in UNCLOS. The following factors will be taken into account when reaching decisions regarding activities and developments:

(a) the extent to which the locational decision interferes with existing or planned shipping routes, access to ports and harbours and navigational safety.

(b) where interference is likely, whether reasonable alternatives can be identified.

(c) where there are no reasonable alternatives, whether mitigation through measures adopted in accordance with the principles and procedures established by the International Maritime Organization can be achieved at no significant cost to the shipping or ports sector.

Economy: The policy has mixed effects: it protects existing and future shipping routes and supports the operation of different activities alongside each other (positive), although this may mean that the growth of activities may be to the detriment of others (negative). It may also safeguard existing jobs which rely on maintaining access and avoids the creation of physical barriers to access.

Communities, population and human health: Positive overall as the policy facilitates navigational access to island and coastal communities and protects recreational access (where these may use shipping lanes).

Water: Indirect positive effect as the risk of collisions and pollution incidents is reduced.

Climatic factors: No impact identified unless longer/shorter routes to navigate.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Air; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

Marine sediments: As this policy focuses on navigational safety, no impact identified. (Potential positive effect if this induces dredging for additional/replacement shipping lanes.)

TRANSPORT 2 : Marine development and activities should not be permitted where they will restrict access to ports and harbours which are nationally or regionally significant, or which are identified as National Developments [110] in the current National Planning Framework or as priorities in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan (map 15 refers). Regional Marine Plans should identify regionally important ports and harbours and set out criteria against which proposed activities and developments should be evaluated.

Economy: The policy has mixed effects: it protects access to nationally and regionally important ports and harbours, and requires consideration of access to ports in decision-making, which also supports sustainable economic growth (positive). However, the protection of ports in this manner may place restrictions on the development of other activities (negative).

Communities, population and human health: The objective supports economic development by ensuring access is maintained which supports community resilience.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

TRANSPORT 3 : Ferry routes and maritime transport links to island and remote mainland activities provide essential connections and should be safeguarded from inappropriate marine activities and development that would significantly interfere with their operation. Developments will not be consented where they will interfere with lifeline ferry services.

Economy: The policy is positive as it protects transport links to island and remote communities which supports economic development in these areas. However, it may restrict scope for development of other activities.

Communities, population and human health: The policy supports maintenance of accessibility and connectivity of remote island and coastal communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

TRANSPORT 4 : Maintenance, repair and development of port and harbour facilities in support of other sectors in the Plan, including renewables, fishing and marine tourism and recreational activities should be supported in marine planning and decision making.

Economy: The policy is overall positive and supports the maintenance of port facilities to support other economic activities which supports a range of marine industries.

Communities, population and human health: The policy is expected to have a positive impact on maintaining accessibility and connectivity of remote island and coastal communities, which helps contribute to their resilience.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: Any development of ports and harbour facilities would be progressed in light of the cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4, which should result in the adverse effects of such development being avoided. This will rely on environmental issues being integrated into project planning and design.

Marine sediments: The cross-cutting policies in Chapter 4 will apply to any development of port and harbour facilities, which should result in neutral effects on marine sediments

TRANSPORT 5 : Port and harbour operators should take into account future climate change and sea level projections, and where appropriate take the necessary steps to ensure their ports and harbours remain viable and resilient to a changing climate. Climate and sea level projections should also be taken into the account in the design of any new ports and harbours, or of improvements to existing facilities.

Economy: The policy has a positive effect as it encourages the incorporation of potential future climate change impacts into decision-making.

Communities, population and human health: no impacts identified.

Climatic factors: The policy is positive because it supports climate change adaptation.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

TRANSPORT 6 : Increased emissions caused by longer shipping journeys should be taken into account in considering proposals for marine activity and development that would result in increased existing shipping route length.

Economy: The policy Is expected to have a positive effect on sustainable development as it encourages the inclusion of wider environmental costs into decision-making.

Communities, population and human health: no impact identified.

Climatic factors: The policy is positive in that it works to avoid increases in greenhouse gas emissions from shipping

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

TRANSPORT 7 : Statutory notices for the merchant shipping sector on ship to ship transfers of oil as cargo must be adhered to. [111]

Economy: The policy is positive overall as it is a form of risk management which supports a sustainable economy, and also avoids adverse impacts on other industries (particularly sectors that rely on good water quality).

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive overall as it ensures environmental issues are evaluated, which should avoid risk to biodiversity.

Water: The policy is positive overall as it ensures environmental issues are evaluated, which should avoid risk to the water environment.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape; Marine sediments: No impact identified.

TRANSPORT 8 : Marine planning authorities and decision makers should ensure that decisions comply with maritime law. International Maritime Organization ( IMO) regulations for ship recycling and IMO best practice recommendations for Ballast Water Management should be adhered to.

Economy: The policy is positive overall because it improves the sustainability of ship recycling and ballast water activities, reducing the potential for negative effects on other industries.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; marine sediments: The policy is positive overall because better regulation of ship recycling and ballast water is positive for species and habitats both in Scotland and at a global level.

Water: The policy is positive overall because better regulation of ship recycling and ballast water is positive for the water environment both in Scotland and at a global level.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

10 Telecommunications cables
Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

1. To protect submarine cables whilst achieving successful seabed user co-existence.

Economy: The objective supports the economic use of the marine environment in a manner beneficial (or not detrimental) to other marine activities.

Marine sediments: No impact identified (this is about protection of submarine cables, not encouraging development of the seabed).

No impact identified for other topic areas.

2. To achieve the highest possible quality and safety standards and reduce risks to all seabed users and the marine environment.

Economy: The objective supports the development of a sustainable marine economy as it seeks to avoid physical risks to all seabed users and risks to the marine environment.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The objective potentially reduces risk to marine species and coastal ecosystems.

Water: The objective potentially reduces risk to water quality.

Marine sediments: No impact identified (this is about protection of submarine cables, not encouraging development of the seabed).

No impact identified for other topic areas.

10 Telecommunications cables Policies

Assessment of Policies

TELECOMMUNICATION CABLES 1 : Network owners and marine users should take a joined up approach to development and activity to minimise impacts on the environment

Economy: The policy has both positive and negative effects as it brings potential benefits but also costs to network owners and marine users as they adopt a joined-up approach.

Communities, population and human health: no impacts identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; marine sediments: The policy is positive as it seeks to minimise impacts on the environment, potentially through focusing activity in fewer locations to reduce disturbance.

Water:The policy is positive as it seeks to minimise impacts on the environment.

Climatic factors: There is a possible positive effect as there is potential for shared resources for maintenance.

Cultural heritage: There is a potential positive effect as a more joined up approach reduces risk to the environment and the policy seeks to minimise impacts on the environment.

Air; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

TELECOMMUNICATION CABLES 2 : Consideration should be given to creation of cable corridors to protect cables from damage by other marine users and where possible routed around obstacles to avoid displacement or disturbance. Proposals for co-location with other sectors such as shared use of spatial corridors and pipelines should be supported.

Economy: The policy has a potential positive effect through avoiding conflict between marine users through the creation of cable corridors and avoiding barriers, however this may also incur costs to developers laying cables as they have to take longer routes to fit with corridors.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; marine sediments: The policy is positive as it seeks to minimise impacts on the environment, potentially through focusing activity in fewer locations to reduce disturbance.

Water: The policy is positive as it seeks to minimise impacts on the environment.

Climatic factors: There is a possible positive effect as there is potential for shared resources for maintenance.

Cultural heritage: There is a potential positive effect as using cable corridors reduces risk to the environment.

Air; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

TELECOMMUNICATION CABLES 3 : A risk based approach should be applied to the removal of redundant submarine cables with consideration given to cables being left in situ minimising environmental impact.

Economy: The policy is positive overall as it avoids unnecessary cable removal, supports cable removal where it poses a risk to other marine users.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy is positive because it seeks to avoid unnecessary cable removal where this would create risks to the environment.

Water: The policy is positive because it seeks to avoid unnecessary cable removal where this would create risks to the environment.

Cultural heritage: The policy is potentially positive as it may lead to cables being left in situ where their removal would negatively impact on cultural heritage resources.

Marine sediments: No impact identified (assumes cables are buried and that there is no influence on patterns of sediment movement).

Air; Climatic factors; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

TELECOMMUNICATION CABLES 4 : When seeking locations for land-fall of telecommunications equipment and cabling, marine developers and decision makers should consider the policies pertaining to flooding and coastal protection in Chapter 4 of the NMP, as well as those outlined in SPP.

Economy: The policy is positive because it supports the sustainable location of equipment and protects future interests from flooding impacts.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna: The policy invokes the use of the Chapter 4 policies in relation to flooding and coastal protection which protects coastal ecosystems.

Marine sediments: The policy invokes the use of the Chapter 4 policies and this also applies to marine sediments, in terms of prevention of coastal erosion and/or its exacerbation.

No impact identified on other topics.

11 Defence Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

In order for the Royal Navy Army and Royal Air Force to use Scotland's seas for defence purposes they require:

  • The ability to deploy and develop a flexible and broad range of capabilities.
  • The exclusive use of certain areas during particular times of the year.
  • To use exemptions in planning law for the purposes of national security.
  • To retain the statutory right to close areas in internal waters and create by laws for complete closures and exclusions.

Economy: overall impacts unclear, although there is the potential for some negative impacts through the potential exclusion and restriction of other marine activities in affected areas. As such, defence activities may impose barriers to new marine enterprise activities. However, other activities have coexisted alongside defence activities for a long time (as evidenced by agreements between MoD and some marine sectors, e.g. fishing).

Communities, population and human health: Defence activities do not change existing access to remote and island communities, and they maintain defence jobs which support some coastal communities.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Air; Climatic factors; Marine sediments: The objectives are procedural and therefore do not directly impact on these topic areas (although operational activities may have some adverse effects, these are outwith the scope of this SA).

Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

11 Defence Policies

Assessment of Policies

MOD 1 : To allow the MOD to maintain operational effectiveness in Scottish waters used by the armed services by managing activity and development in these areas:

(i) Naval areas including bases and ports (Map 16): Safety of navigation and access to naval bases and ports will be maintained. The extent to which a development or use interferes with access or safety of navigation, and whether reasonable alternatives can be identified will be taken into account by consenting bodies. Development proposals should be discussed with the MOD at an early stage in the process.

(ii) Firing Danger Areas (Map 16): Permanent infrastructure is unlikely to be compatible with the use of Firing Danger Areas by the MOD. Permitted activities may have temporal restrictions imposed. Proposals for development and use should be discussed with the MOD at an early stage in the process.

(iii) Exercise Areas (Map 16): Within Exercise Areas, activities may be subject to temporal restrictions. Development that either individually or cumulatively obstructs or otherwise prevents the defence activities supported by an exercise area may not be permitted. Development proposals should be discussed with the MOD at an early stage in the process.

(iv) Communications: Navigations and surveillance including RADAR: Development which causes unacceptable interference with RADAR and other systems necessary for national defence may be prohibited if mitigation cannot be determined. Proposals should be discussed with the MOD at an early stage in the process

Economy: The policy does not incur change from the baseline and facilitates continued defence use.

Communities, population and human health: The policy does not incur change from the baseline.

No impact identified for other topic areas.

MOD 2 : Where required for the purposes of national defence, the MOD may establish bye-laws for exclusions and closures of sea areas. In most areas this will mean temporary exclusive use of areas by the MOD. Where potential for conflict is identified, appropriate mitigation will be identified and agreed with the MOD, prior to planning permission , a marine licence, or other consent being granted.

Economy: The policy facilitates defence activities, and supports mitigation of potential conflicts between exclusion areas and closures.

Communities, population and human health: The policy provides mitigation for potential conflicts and therefore has a neutral impact on this topic area.

No impact identified for other topic areas.

MOD 3 : The established code of conduct for managing fishing and military activity detailed in the documents 'Fishing Vessels operating in Submarine Exercise Areas' [112] and 'Fishing vessel avoidance: The UK Code of Practice Fishing Vessel Avoidance' [113] will be adhered to.

Economy: The policy supports the management of conflict between fishing and military activity which is positive for the support of a sustainable marine economy.

No impact identified for other topic areas.

12 Aggregates Objectives

Assessment of Objectives

Ensure that existing licensed marine aggregate sites are protected from development that would compromise future extraction potential. As other strategic sites are identified, they should be afforded the same level of protection.

Economy: The objective is positive overall as it ensures that the resource is available for future use and prevents sterilisation of a very location specific resource. The objective avoids barriers to future extraction, but there is potential for some constraint on other industries, however this is unlikely to be significant.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; marine sediments: Safeguarding the area does not impact on the environment, although extraction activities may, and chapter 4 policies will work to mitigate environmental effects.

Water: Safeguarding the area does not impact on the environment, although extraction activities may, and chapter 4 policies will work to mitigate environmental effects.

Air; Climatic factors; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: No impact identified.

Aggregates Policies

Assessment of Policies

AGGREGATES 1 : Impacts of development or activity on identified marine aggregate sites should be considered, including whether the development / activity would inhibit future aggregate or mineral exploitation.

Economy: The policy is positive overall as it ensures consideration of the future interests of marine aggregate extraction, which is location specific. Consideration of other sectors may however impose some limitations on the operation of these sectors in order to protect the marine aggregate resource which is very location specific.

No impacts identified on the other topic areas.

AGGREGATES 2 : Consenting and licensing authorities should ensure all the necessary environmental issues are considered and safeguards are in place, including that sediment removal will not significantly adversely interfere with coastal processes and thus alter local rates of coastal erosion which could exacerbate the predicted effects of a changing climate.

Economy: This policy is expected to have a positive impact on the sustainable development of the marine economy, as it encourages wider environmental impacts to be considered in decision-making.

Communities, population and human health: No impact identified.

Biodiversity, flora and fauna; Water; Cultural heritage; Landscape/Seascape: The policy encompasses consideration of environmental issues and therefore is positive in its protection of key species and coastal ecosystems, the water environment, cultural heritage and landscape/seascape.

Marine sediments: The policy is positive as it encompasses consideration of impacts of extraction on coastal processes and sediment transport. This may also be positive for climatic factors, as it avoid exacerbating the effects of climate change, e.g. increased erosion.

Air: No impact identified.


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