Publication - Minutes

Phase 2 MPA measures and PMF review minutes: Orkney - meeting three - 11 March 2020

Published: 6 Oct 2021
Date of meeting: 11 Mar 2020
Location: Skype meeting

Minutes of Marine Scotland's third meeting in Orkney on 11 March 2020 prior to enacting 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: Orkney - meeting three - 11 March 2020

Attendees and apologies

Attendees:

  • Orkney Fisheries Association (OFA)
  • Marine Scotland (MS)
  • Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)
  • local fishers
     

Items and actions

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

General points

To note - attending fishers use both dredge and creel fishing methods.

Fishers highlighted that they do not fish in areas where maerl is found because they do not feel it is very productive for scallops.

Fishers offered to tell MS/SNH where they know maerl and mussel beds to exist to help direct future survey effort. 

Fishers content for details to be added to PMF contact list. 

Detail of maps was not particularly clear on Skype and so fishers agreed to send annotated maps along with supporting plotter data to MS to show current fishing areas and demonstrated proposed modified boundaries. 

Action:

  • fishers to send annotated maps and plotter data to MS to clarify areas they fish, and where they propose modified boundaries should lie

Discussion about Orkney PMF management measures

Papa Westray

This site is fished using creels and not dredged. Fishers suggested amending proposed management boundary to come from Point of Vest Ness to blue depth contour at Head of Mocklett, along 21m contour, and back into shore. 

Fishers stated that they never come west of hydro cable, and are unaware of any trawling activity near the cables. Fishers stated that they normally enter the box at the east of Head of Mocklett and suggested it is reduced to retain fishing ground.

Orkney Sounds and Firths (South)

Attending fishers highlighted that they fished from south of the Foot to down past Rerwick Head in an area where there were no PMF records. Annotated maps offered to clarify fishing grounds. 

Copinsay

Fishers highlighted that they normally tow along the north east and south west side of the horse mussel bed records. They travel east of the horse mussel beds situated on the east side of Copinsay.

Hoy Sound to South Walls (West)

Fishers highlighted that they would prefer for a channel to be left open for fishing between centre of two parallel strips of horse mussel beds. They also suggest using bathymetric contours rather than depth-specific buffers to retain the tow up the channel. MS highlighted that the absence of records in the centre of the channel currently only reflects previous survey distribution and that this does not indicate not null records.

Action:

  • MS to speak to Compliance colleagues to explore how small/narrow an area can be regulated

Copinsay

Attending fishers were content with an option including a possible reduction in the site area to cover the horse mussel beads to the east. 

Widewall Bay

Attending fishers proposed an option to reduce in the size of the management area to permit overnight sheltering from poor weather.

Orkney Sounds and Firths (South)

Attending fishers highlighted preference to open up some additional ground on south end of proposed management area.

Discussion about relevant MPA management measures

Papa Westray MPA

Attending fishers content that measures won’t affect them, as they only affect set nets. 

Action point summary

  • fishers to send annotated maps and plotter data to MS to clarify areas they fish, and where they propose modified boundaries should lie
  • MS to speak to Compliance colleagues to explore how small/narrow an area can be regulated