Phase 2 MPA measures and PMF review minutes: CIFA - 18 December 2019

Minutes of Marine Scotland's meeting on 18 December 2019 with the Coastal Inshore Fisheries Alliance (CIFA) prior to enacting phase 2 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) measures and Priority Marine Features (PMF) review.

Attendees and apologies


  • Marine Scotland (MS)
  • Communities Inshore Fisheries Alliance (CIFA)
  • West Coast Inshore Scallop Group
  • Western Isles Fisheries Association
  • Orkney Fisheries Association

Items and actions


  • introductions
  • current state of play with PMF/MPA process
  • plans for engagement with Inshore Fisheries Sector through the RIFGs
  • forward timeline for the PMF/MPA process
  • stakeholder response following workshop & discussion
  • AOB

Summary notes

CIFA highlighted their mistrust in Citizen Science data and how it is used, as they feel that it is biased towards the west coast. MS highlighted that all data used is quality assured, and that over 90% of the data comes from SG/SNH surveys.

CIFA felt that there was not enough time given by MS to review papers in advance of the workshop on 01 October, and suggested that MS intentionally gave a short timeframe to review papers and withheld the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and the Socioeconomic Impact Assessment (SEIA) to hide information. Marine Scotland highlighted that this was not the case, and acknowledged and apologised for the delay in sending papers out. 

CIFA believed there has not been enough engagement with industry, and that the workshop and proposed options came out of the blue. 

CIFA highlighted the use of citizen science again and particularly that organisations were being funded to collect PMF data. MS explained that there was funding available from SNH that they could apply for. CIFA said that it would not affect the outcome of this project and felt the onus should not be on them to apply.

MS highlighted that there will be a review process in place for whatever measures are implemented, to ensure that new evidence can be incorporated and areas amended accordingly. 

CIFA highlighted that it takes a large amount of resource for them to engage and contribute to discussions with the Scottish Government

CIFA expressed a lack confidence in the SEIA methodology. 

CIFA explained that closing areas created a safety issue for fishers, as it forces boats into accessible fishing areas that are less sheltered during periods of poor weather.

CIFA highlighted that the continued introduction of fisheries measures was impacting on the mental health of fishers due to increasing financial concerns.

CIFA felt that the current planned measures would make the inshore industry uneconomic, and re-highlighted that the continued implementation of fisheries measures is already impacting the industry.

CIFA asked that the whole process is delayed for this work until a more thorough evaluation of the effectiveness of MPAs had been undertaken. MS highlighted that a review of the socio-economic impact of existing MPA fisheries management measures will be reported early next year, and that there will is ongoing assessment of environmental impacts of MPAs.

CIFA also felt that the project should be delayed until inshore vessel tracking is in place; MS highlighted that it should be in place by the time measures are implemented.

CIFA believed that both Marine Scotland and Scottish Ministers appeared to work in silos, as they believe that Scottish Government conservation and fisheries measures are at odds with one another. MS highlighted that we are working closely with fisheries colleagues during the development of proposals.

CIFA expressed discontent with the Phase 1 MPA process, feeling let down when Ms Lochhead chose more ambitious conservation measures than expected by the industry. They are therefore less willing to engage in a similar process for Phase 2 MPAs as they felt their views and concerns hadn’t been considered.

CIFA did not believe that organising stakeholder meetings through the Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups would be successful as they felt a number of stakeholders would not be captured through this channel.

CIFA asked if the razor fish trial would be affected by the PMF work, and asked why the Appropriate Assessment for the Sound of Barra was delayed. MS officials were unable to answer these questions so agreed to investigate and respond after the meeting. 


  • MS to investigate why Appropriate Assessment for Sound of Barra was delayed
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