Publication - Minutes

Phase 2 MPA measures and PMF review minutes: Aberdeen NECRIFG - 24 January 2020

Published: 6 Oct 2021
Date of meeting: 24 Jan 2021
Location: Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel, Aberdeen

Minutes of Marine Scotland's meeting on 24 January 2020 with Aberdeen North and East Coast Regional Inshore Fisheries Group prior to enacting Scottish Government phase 2 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) measures and Priority Marine Features (PMF) review.

Published:
6 Oct 2021
Phase 2 MPA measures and PMF review minutes: Aberdeen NECRIFG - 24 January 2020

Items and actions

To note - this is Marine Scotland's record of the meeting. It has not been ageed by meeting participants. 

General notes

Question about what classifies as set net, and whether an alteration in mesh size could be considered when establishing proposed management. Individual requested to raise the issue of mesh size with NECRIFG and in subsequent localised meetings.

Action point:

  • MS to request briefing on set nets and effect of varying mesh size from sea fisheries colleagues

General concern expressed about MPAs and management areas, and how these are gradually eroding the inshore fishing industry.

General request for MS to supply maps which overlay all proposed and existing fishery management areas inc. for oil and gas, renewables, PMFs, MPAs. MS highlight that these already exist. 

Action point:

  • MS to share maps with NECRIFG

Follow up question asking whether cumulative SEIA is undertaken to account for impact on fisheries from all combined industries. 

Action point:

  • MS to check whether cumulative socioeconomic impact of fisheries management for all marine industries and conservation has been assessed and relay outcome to NECRIFG

Request to arrange meeting in Oban. MS explained that RIFG determined sites of meetings.

Action point:

  • MS to consider holding fishery stakeholder in Oban

Recognition that RIFGs were not as mature or well utilised by industry during discussions about Phase 1 MPA management measures as they are today, and that participants should use them to relay concerns about proposed MPA/PMF management measures. 

Members encouraged by chair to meet with Marine Scotland to share concerns over local proposed management. 

Enquiry about whether the previously supplied options 2 and 3 will go to public consultation. This was raised because, although only one PMF site (Loch Eriboll) has been mentioned for discussion at this meeting, Options 2 and 3 would result in a 0.5 NM fishing limit which could have considerably greater impact on North and East coasts. MS highlighted that we will work with Ministers to decide what options will be consulted upon, and that Ministers are particularly concerned about the economic impact that measures could have on the fishing industry. 

General question about whether MS would outline process in place for refining fisheries measures from the outset (in relation to development of renewables). MS agreed that they would publish these on website. 

Action point:

  • Marine Conservation colleagues to also ensure review process is clearly outlined and available for all to view

Discussion about NE MPA management measures

Dornoch Firth and Morrich More and Moray Firth 

Concern from trawler that implementation of measures will snowball. Current measures largely affect dredgers, but worried that measures may extend to trawlers in future. MS confirm that that will be scope in future for management areas to be amended, be it to extend or reduce them. 

MS are acutely aware that there is group of small trawlers who may be affected by measures and happy to have further discussions to consider alternative measures. 

East Caithness Cliffs 

Some fishers critical of intention to implement measures for set nets when there are no existing set nets fisheries, and feel it is a waste of resources. MS highlight that implementation of measures will protect black guillemots from potential interactions in the future. 

Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary 

Static fishers from St Andrews Bay supportive of measures, and query why outer management boundary was moved. There is a historic fishery for fixed cod nets which is not presently used due to interactions with seals, but there is interest in reopening this fishery in future depending on outcomes of research by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) on acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs). 

Isle of May SAC

Question about extent of management boundary from Isle of May.

Action point:

  • MS to collect contact details from questioner and send further details

Discussion about NE PMF management measures

Loch Eriboll

Concern from local fishers that proposed management area could have large impact on local small fleet. Fishers encouraged by MS and Chair to arrange a follow up meeting with MS to discuss concerns. 

Additional action points:

  • MS to ask sea fisheries colleagues to supply further information on inshore fisheries pilot project proposed for Arbroath/Montrose. 

Action point summary

  • MS to request briefing on set nets and effect of varying mesh size from sea fisheries colleagues
  • MS to share maps with NECRIFG
  • MS to check whether cumulative socioeconomic impact of fisheries management for all marine industries and conservation has been assessed and relay outcome to NECRIFG
  • MS to consider holding fishery stakeholder in Oban
  • Marine Conservation colleagues to also ensure review process is clearly outlined and available for all to view
  • MS to collect contact details from questioner and send further details
  • MS to ask sea fisheries colleagues to supply further information on inshore fisheries pilot project proposed for Arbroath/Montrose