Publication - Research and analysis

Planning Scotland's Seas: 2013 - Possible Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas Consultation Overview Sustainability Appraisal

Published: 19 Aug 2013
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781782568087

This report documents the findings of a Sustainablity Appraisal to accompany the 2013 public consultation on possible nature conservation marine protected areas (pMPAs).

89 page PDF

1.8 MB

89 page PDF

1.8 MB

Contents
Planning Scotland's Seas: 2013 - Possible Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas Consultation Overview Sustainability Appraisal
4.0 Results of the Sustainability Appraisal

89 page PDF

1.8 MB

4.0 Results of the Sustainability Appraisal

4.1 Environment

Biodiversity, Flora and Fauna

4.1.1 The pMPAs will have benefits for biodiversity, flora and fauna. This is their key purpose, with a focus on specific features (identified in Table 2), and the benefit of designation will primarily accrue to these features.

4.1.2 However, many of the existing pressures on marine biodiversity currently result from activities that have the potential to result in abrasion of and/or damage to the seabed. Examples include the effects of anchoring, bottom-contact mobile gear, or infrastructure which has a large seabed footprint. Reduction and/or removal of these pressures is likely to have benefits for other species which depend on this habitat.

4.1.3 For example, some species use benthic habitat for spawning (Ellis et al, 2012). Herring spawn on gravel and similar habitats ( e.g. coarse sand, maerl, shell) with a low proportion of fine sediment and where there is well-oxygenated water. It is likely that the benefits to the pMPA features will also result in benefits for species (such as herring) that use benthic habitat for spawning. As well as South Arran pMPA, such benefits may accrue around Orkney and off the east coast of Scotland.

4.1.4 In general, species that use benthic habitat for growth and/or refuge will also benefit from the reduction and/or removal of these pressures. There are also likely to be benefits to biodiversity through increased nutrient cycling.

Displacement

4.1.5 The following marine activities have been reviewed for the SEA, in terms of the sensitivities of MPA features to these activities and the potential for management measures:

  • marine disposal
  • commercial fishing (mobile gear; static gear; diver-operated gear)
  • infrastructure (renewables; oil and gas; cables)
  • aquaculture (finfish; shellfish)
  • moorings/ anchorages

4.1.6 A review of the sensitivity of biodiversity features to the marine activities identified in paragraph 4.1.5 and the potential to result in displacement has been undertaken. (Few, if any, measures have been recommended for the management of geodiversity features.) Figure 5 shows the results. Features which are highly sensitive to marine activities are shown as primarily blue, e.g. serpulid aggregations, seamount communities. Those with low sensitivity are shown as primarily green, e.g. white cluster anemones. Most features, however, are more sensitive to certain activities than others. Black guillemot, for example, are highly sensitive to a limited number of activities (in this case, the risk of entanglement in static fishing nets). Flame shell beds, maerl beds, native oysters have a high sensitivity to some activities, medium sensitivity to others, and low sensitivity to the remainder.

4.1.7 Those features which are shown as highly sensitive have the greatest potential to result in displacement.

4.1.8 The key pressures associated with marine activities include:

  • surface abrasion and damage. For example, in demersal fishing, mobile/active gear (trawls, dredges, etc) makes contact with and moves along the surface of the seabed and can result in surface abrasion and/or damage. Surface abrasion can also be caused by anchorages/moorings (recreational and commercial), although the effects tend to be more localised.
  • siltation rate changes, e.g. associated with marine disposal of dredged material and with aquaculture
  • contact with the seabed, e.g. fishing using static gear. Often the issue here is the intensity of the activity. The use of static gear at moderate intensity is not an issue for most features. The issue comes with high intensity and concentration of static gear, e.g. creels/pots.
  • risk of injury and/or death to mobile species. For example, the use of set nets ( e.g. fyke, gill, trammel or tangle) may entangle black guillemot. Of highest risk to black guillemot would be set nets around kelp forests which are widely used for feeding. Offshore renewable energy devices also pose a risk of collision to mobile species.
  • organic enrichment, e.g. pressures associated with aquaculture

4.1.9 Review of the potential for displacement has demonstrated the following:

  • Designation of some pMPA features does not appear to require management measures, and these would therefore not result in displacement.
  • Many of the management measures can be zoned, so displacement is unlikely to occur in pMPAs where this can be progressed.
  • For infrastructure (renewables, oil and gas, cables), MPA features will need to be considered in the course of project siting and design. For the purposes of this SEA, it has been assumed that such measures will be able to successfully mitigate adverse effects on these features, and that displacement will not occur.

The results of the review are summarised in Table 6, taking these factors into account.

4.1.10 The activities which appear to have the greatest potential to result in displacement comprise:

  • commercial fishing using bottom-contact mobile gear, particularly hydraulic gear;
  • commercial fishing using diver-operated hydraulic gear; and
  • some use of static gear.

Figure 5. Sensitivity of pMPA features to marine activities (identified in paragraph 4.1.5)

Figure 5. Sensitivity of pMPA features to marine activities identified in paragraph 4.1.5

Table 6. Potential for displacement (red = uncertain; blue = more likely)

infrastructure
MPA features marine disposal mobile gear static gear diver renew- ables oil and gas cables shellfish farms finfish farms anchors mooring
continental slope
northern sea fan and sponge communities
orange roughy
seamounts
shelf banks and mounds
shelf deeps
white cluster anemones
circalittoral sand and mud communities uncertain
fronts
herring spawning grounds uncertain
circalittoral muddy sand communities
circalittoral sand and coarse sediment communities uncertain more likely
common skate uncertain
shallow tide-swept coarse sands with burrowing bivalves uncertain more likely
sublittoral mud and mixed sediment communities
ocean quahog aggregations more likely
offshore subtidal sands and gravels more likely
fan mussel aggregations uncertain
northern feather star aggregations on mixed substrata uncertain
black guillemot
deep-sea sponge aggregations more likely more likely
kelp and seaweed communities on sublittoral sediment uncertain more likely
offshore deep sea muds more likely more likely
seamount communities more likely more likely
ocean quahog (species) more likely more likely
seagrass beds more likely uncertain more likely uncertain
maerl or coarse shell gravel with burrowing sea cucumbers more likely more likely
sandeels more likely more likely
native oysters more likely uncertain more likely more likely
serpulid aggregations more likely uncertain
flame shell beds uncertain uncertain more likely uncertain
maerl beds uncertain uncertain more likely uncertain
burrowed mud uncertain more likely uncertain
horse mussel beds uncertain uncertain uncertain more likely

4.1.11 Some uncertainties remain, particularly with features where the recommendation has been to reduce and/or limit the pressure. Much of this uncertainty focuses around the type of measure to be employed, be it spatial and/or temporal restriction, or changes to gear types or target species.

4.1.12 For those activities where displacement will occur, it is not possible at this stage to identify alternative locations. This will be the subject of discussion with stakeholders in the course of the consultation. We are therefore unable to assess the potential environmental effects of new and/or intensified activity, other than to note the following:

  • moving activities to new areas that are currently unused or have low levels of use would likely result in effects on the seabed, e.g. abrasion, surface damage, etc. The significance of these effects would depend on the nature of the seabed affected and the sensitivity of the habitat.
  • moving activities to areas that are already in use may intensify existing environmental effects, including pressures on benthic habitats, pressures on fish stocks, risk of injury through collision, etc. Again, the significance of these effects would depend on the area in question, the type of activity and the current level of activity.

Marine Geodiversity

4.1.13 As with biodiversity, the pMPAs will have benefits for geodiversity features. This is their key purpose, with a focus on specific features (identified in Table 2), and the benefit of designation will primarily accrue to these features.

4.1.14 Designation and protection of these geodiversity features may result in benefits to geodiversity features in other areas of the sea, through changes to existing marine activities and/or management practices.

Climatic Factors

Increased greenhouse gas emissions

4.1.15 Displacement of commercial fishing could result in longer journeys, with increased fuel consumption and therefore increased greenhouse gas emissions. However, at this stage, it is not possible to estimate the increase in journey length. As noted in paragraph 4.1.12, we do not know where displaced mobile and/or static gear. for example, would be likely to go. In consequence, other than to say there may be an increase in fuel consumption, it is not possible to provide estimates of such increased emissions, nor to ascertain how significant this may be in the overall context of the Scottish fleet.

4.1.16 It should be noted that the seas also offer us indirect benefits, such as nutrient cycling or reducing the effects of climate change. These are benefits that we currently gain no direct economic output from, but which provide services that would be very costly to manage ourselves if they disappeared. Habitats such as kelp forests and seagrass beds are not only important habitats for juvenile fish, but are also recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme as important carbon sinks. Carbon sinks store carbon dioxide, helping to regulate climate and contribute to mitigating change, much as peat bogs do on land.

Cumulative Effects

4.1.17 The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 requires that the cumulative environmental effects of the possible MPAs are identified and evaluated. The cumulative effects of the pMPAs have been considered, in terms of:

  • their combined effects (all the pMPAs working together); and
  • in combination with other plans, programmes and/or strategies.

4.1.18 The assessment tables in Appendix 1 set out the environmental effects of each of the pMPAs. This includes the cumulative effect of having more than one feature in a pMPA.

4.1.19 Taken together, the pMPAs are likely to result in benefits to biodiversity, in terms of protection provided to the MPA features. However, there is also potential for adverse effects on biodiversity from displacement of commercial fishing activities. At this stage, for those activities where displacement is likely to occur, it is not possible to identify alternative locations. This will be the subject of discussion with stakeholders in the course of the consultation. We are therefore unable to assess the potential environmental effects of new and/or intensified activity, other than to note the following:

  • moving activities to new areas that are currently unused or have low levels of use would likely result in effects on the seabed, e.g. abrasion, surface damage, etc. The significance of these effects would depend on the nature of the seabed affected and the sensitivity of the habitat.
  • moving activities to areas that are already in use may intensify existing environmental effects, including pressures on benthic habitats, pressures on fish stocks, risk of injury through collision, etc. Again, the significance of these effects would depend on the area in question, the type of activity and the current level of activity.

4.1.20 In consequence, it is not possible at this stage to ascertain whether there may be cumulative effects, resulting from the effects of displacement of commercial fishing activities and the effects of other proposals for activity in the marine environment, including the Draft Sectoral Marine Plans for Offshore Renewable Energy in Scottish Waters (part of the Planning Scotland's Seas consultation).

4.1.21 The policy context within which the possible MPAs are being progressed includes the Marine Policy Statement and the (currently draft) National Marine Plan:

  • The Marine Policy Statement sets out UK-level marine policy, and the policy framework in the draft National Marine Plan delivers these policies within the Scottish context.
  • The National Marine Plan provides the overarching marine planning policy framework. This includes policy relating to activities where the marine planning and terrestrial systems overlap, for example those which occur on and around the coast or in coastal waters, such as aquaculture.

4.1.22 The focus of the possible MPAs, which is reflected in the conservation objectives, is to either:

  • protect a range of biodiversity or geodiversity features in their current state for the future, or
  • to allow them to recover to the state they should be to remain healthy and productive.

4.1.23 The possible MPAs will work together with the existing protection measures to provide protection to the biodiversity and geodiversity features in Scottish territorial and offshore waters. Taken together, this will be of benefit to those features.

4.1.24 In addition, the possible MPAs will contribute to meeting the objectives of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, in terms of the achievement of good environmental status and in contributing to the objectives of good environmental status, such as the protection of seafloor systems (Qualitative Descriptor 6 of Annex I of the directive).

4.2 Economy and Other Marine Users

4.2.1 This section summarises the economic impacts on other and marine users as a result of designation of the possible MPAs. In particular, it looks at the aggregate and combined impacts on marine activities affected by MPA designations. Further detail is provided in sections 7.1 and 7.2 of the socio-economic assessment report.

National Impacts on Marine Activities

4.2.2 Potential quantified and non-quantified costs have been identified for nine activities/sectors.

4.2.3 For commercial fisheries, significant cost impacts are identified for most of the offshore sites and some inshore sites under the intermediate and upper scenarios, reflecting the impact of the management measures applied. Impacts are expected to be greatest in the North-east region (predominantly on over-15m nephrops and whitefish trawls) and West and North-west inshore regions (predominantly on over-15m and under-15m nephrops trawls, and over-15m dredges and whitefish trawls).

4.2.4 For the energy generation sector, the majority of cost impact under the upper scenario relates to proposed development within the Firth of Forth Round 3 Offshore Wind Zone which overlaps with the Firth of Forth Banks Complex possible MPA. On this basis the combined impact is unlikely to be any greater than the sum of the impacts on individual developments. However, should the additional costs deter some of the investment in the Firth of Forth Round 3 Offshore Wind Zone, it is possible that this could affect investment decisions in the wider offshore wind supply chain. However, such impacts are unlikely because JNCC's current advice is that the intermediate scenario represents their best view on potential management requirements.

4.2.5 For oil and gas, significant cost impacts are identified under the intermediate and upper scenarios, based on the draft management measures proposed by JNCC. In the intermediate scenario, significant costs could be associated with required management measures to microsite infrastructure to avoid sensitive features for The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount and Western Fladen possible MPAs. Under the upper scenario, a number of further proposed MPAs could also experience cost impacts, particularly associated with the requirement to microsite new infrastructure and to skip and ship drill cuttings. While the scale of the potential impacts is large, the overall scale of investment in oil and gas projects is also large. The extent to which such additional costs might compromise individual investments under the upper scenario is currently unclear. This is likely to vary on a site by site basis depending on the scale of the potential oil and gas resource and the overall costs of its exploitation. Should a number of potential developments be deferred or cancelled, this could have the potential to give rise to more significant combined impact on the oil and gas sector as a whole. However, such impacts are unlikely because JNCC's current advice is that the intermediate scenario represents their best view on potential management requirements.

4.2.6 Each of the sectors for which quantified impacts have been identified above are looked at in more detail in the following sections.

Aquaculture - Finfish

4.2.7 There are nine inshore possible MPAs that have existing finfish farm sites within the proposed site boundary or within 1km of the site boundary.

4.2.8 Cost impacts to the finfish aquaculture sector may arise due to:

  • Additional assessment and survey costs associated with planning applications or CAR licence applications;
  • Additional mitigation measures for new developments to support achievement of site conservation objectives;
  • Costs associated with delays during the consenting process; and
  • Loss of investor confidence (developments do not proceed).

4.2.9 Table 7 presents an estimate of the quantified costs impacts to the finfish aquaculture sector which takes account of potential additional assessment and survey costs associated with future CAR licence applications for possible MPAs, together with a national assessment of the potential additional assessment and survey costs associated with future planning applications for new or extended finfish aquaculture installations. The total quantified costs range from £0.36 million in the lower scenario to £0.61 million in the upper scenario. The intermediate estimate has been assessed as the same as the upper scenario.

Table 7. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified costs to finfish aquaculture (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Fetlar to Haroldswick 0.02 0.07 0.07
Loch Creran 0.01 0.01 0.01
Loch Sunart <0.01 0.01 0.01
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0.02 0.08 0.08
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish <0.01 0.01 0.01
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0.01 0.02 0.02
South Arran <0.01 <0.01 <0.01
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil <0.01 0.02 0.02
Wyre & Rousay Sounds <0.01 0.01 0.01
Total for Inshore Sites 0.06 0.22 0.22
National Costs for Future Development 0.30 0.39 0.39
Total Quantified Costs 0.36 0.61 0.61

4.2.10 While it has not been possible to estimate the costs of mitigation measures, the costs of such measures, where required, are likely to be larger than the costs associated with additional assessments and surveys to inform licensing decisions. The quantified cost estimates presented in Table 7 may therefore underestimate the total cost impact to the finfish aquaculture sector.

4.2.11 There are significant uncertainties surrounding the assessment. In particular, the number and location of future finfish farm applications is uncertain and the assessment is sensitive to assumptions on future development activity. The requirements for mitigation measures are also uncertain and will vary at site level. Overall confidence in the quantified estimates is assessed as low.

Aquaculture - Shellfish

4.2.12 There are seven inshore proposed MPAs that have existing shellfish aquaculture sites within the proposed site boundary or within 1km of the site boundary.

4.2.13 Cost impacts to the shellfish aquaculture sector may arise due to:

  • Additional assessment and survey costs associated with planning applications;
  • Additional mitigation measures for new developments to support achievement of site conservation objectives;
  • Costs associated with delays during the consenting process; and
  • Loss of investor confidence (developments do not proceed).

4.2.14 Table 8 presents a national assessment of the potential additional assessment and survey costs associated with future planning applications for new or extended shellfish aquaculture installations. The total quantified costs range from £0.14 million in the lower scenario to £0.19 million in the upper scenario. The intermediate estimate has been assessed as the same as the upper scenario.

Table 8. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified costs to shellfish aquaculture (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
National Costs for Future Development 0.14 0.19 0.19

4.2.15 While it has not been possible to estimate the costs of mitigation measures, the costs of such measures, where required, are likely to be larger than the costs associated with additional assessments and surveys to inform licensing decisions. The quantified cost estimates presented in Table 8 may therefore underestimate the total cost impact to the shellfish aquaculture sector.

4.2.16 There are significant uncertainties surrounding the assessment. In particular, the number and location of future shellfish farm planning applications is uncertain and the assessment is sensitive to assumptions on future development activity. The requirements for mitigation measures are also uncertain and will vary at site level. Overall confidence in the quantified estimates is assessed as low.

Commercial Fisheries

4.2.17 The potential costs of designation on the commercial fisheries sector are different in nature from those faced by most other sectors. For most sectors the potential costs of designation reflect potential increases in operating costs ( e.g. additional costs of applying for licences, additional survey costs). For commercial fisheries, however, the potential cost of designation is a loss or displacement of current (and future) output, caused by spatial or temporal restrictions on fishing activities required to protect vulnerable and sensitive MPA features.

4.2.18 Any decrease in output will, all else being equal, reduce the GVA generated by the commercial fishing sector; this is the direct effect. If the decrease in output reduces this sector's demand on suppliers, there will be knock-on effects on those industries that support commercial fishing vessels ( e.g. diesel suppliers, equipment suppliers, boat manufacturers and repairers and transport providers); this is the indirect effect.

4.2.19 The potential costs on the commercial fisheries sector and its downstream supply chain have been estimated in terms of:

  • Value of potential landings foregone;
  • Reduction in direct GVA;
  • Reduction in direct and indirect GVA; and
  • Reductions in direct and indirect employment.

4.2.20 The latter two of these bullet points are picked up in the 'People, Population and Health' chapter, whilst full details on the methodology used to estimate the costs for commercial fisheries and the wider economy are set out in Section 3.6.1 and Appendix C of the socio-economic assessment report.

4.2.21 The cost impacts on commercial fisheries in terms of the value of landings affected, by possible MPA are presented in Table 9. The total impact in terms of landings values represents a very small percentage (approximately 0-2%) of the estimated total value of landings in 2011. It is also important to highlight that these estimates, particularly the upper scenario, represent a worst case and may overestimate the potential costs at some sites. The estimates are based on the assumption that all activity is lost, that is, there is no adaption or displacement of fishing activity. I n reality, vessel owners are likely to try and adapt within the site ( e.g. by changing gear type or target species) if that is possible, or, search for alternative fishing grounds, in an attempt to maintain profitability.

4.2.22 The economic impact of the possible MPAs in Scotland depends on:

  • The contribution (current and potential) of the Scottish fishing industry to the Scottish Economy in terms of GVA and employment, and the extent to which that will be affected by the proposed designations; and
  • The level of dependence of the Scottish fishing industry (and businesses and wider communities associated with the industry) on the landings that will affected by the proposals.

4.2.23 Table 10 presents the potential total reduction in GVA over the period of analysis, by MPA. It is clear from this that there is a significant level of variation in the impact of designating different possible MPAs on GVA in the commercial fishing sector. The reduction in GVA ranges between £0- £5.28m under the intermediate scenario (with management measures at South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope site responsible for the greatest potential reduction) and £0 - £7.06m under the upper scenario (with management measures at Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope generating the greatest potential reduction).

Table 9. Average annual loss in value of landings, assuming zero displacement of fishing activity, in £ millions for commercial fisheries (2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Inshore Sites
Clyde Sea Sill 0.00 0.23 0.45
Fetlar to Haroldswick 0.00 0.00 0.00
Loch Sunart 0.00 0.00 0.01
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0.00 0.23 0.46
Loch Sween 0.00 0.01 0.02
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish 0.00 0.01 0.03
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0.00 0.26 0.51
Noss Head 0.00 0.00 0.00
Small Isles 0.00 0.29 1.01
South Arran 0.00 0.25 0.79
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil 0.00 0.01 0.02
Wyre & Rousay Sounds 0.00 0.00 0.00
Offshore Sites
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount * * *
Central Fladen 0.00 0.56 1.12
Central Fladen (core) 0.00 0.12 0.21
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields 0.00 0.05 0.22
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.06 0.36 0.87
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0.00 0.52 0.62
Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope 0.00 0.78 1.09
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel * * *
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain 0.00 0.00 0.00
Rosemary Bank Seamount * * *
South-east Fladen 0.00 0.34 0.67
South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope 0.00 0.80 1.00
Turbot Bank 0.00 0.00 - 0.07+ 0.00-0.14+
Western Fladen 0.00 0.43 0.85
Total 0.07 5.55 10.65
* Annual average loss of landings not shown as they would be disclosive (less than 5 vessels)
+ Range in value reflects whether Turbot Bank is designated for sandeel only or also for subtidal sands and gravels

Table 10. Present value ( PV) reduction in GVA (direct effect), assuming zero displacement of fishing activity, £millions (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Direct Effect Direct Effect Direct Effect
Inshore Sites
Clyde Sea Sill 0 1.62 3.23
Fetlar to Haroldswick 0 0 0.03
Loch Creran 0 0 < 0.01
Loch Sunart <0.01 0.01 0.03
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0 1.45 3.44
Loch Sween 0.02 0.05 0.13
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish 0 0.05 0.18
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0 1.56 3.12
Noss Head <0.01 <0.01 0.01
Small Isles 0 1.68 6.15
South Arran 0.01 1.67 4.84
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil 0 0.08 0.12
Wyre and Rousay Sounds <0.01 <0.01 0.04
Offshore Sites
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount 0.04 2.88 3.68
Central Fladen 0 3.03 6.02
Central Fladen (core) 0 0.67 1.18
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields 0 0.25 1.23
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.45 1.73 5.60
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0 4.17 4.80
Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope 0 4.94 7.06
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel 0.05 1.66 4.30
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain 0 0 0.01
Rosemary Bank Seamount 0.07 1.42 2.60
South-east Fladen 0 1.91 3.83
South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope 0 5.28 6.49
Turbot Bank <0.01 0.39 0.56
Western Fladen 0 2.43 4.86
Total 0.64 38.92 73.53

Energy Generation

4.2.24 The energy generation sector includes coastal power stations, offshore renewables (offshore wind, wave and tidal energy) and marine biofuel production. However, the assessment focuses on offshore renewables as none of the four coastal power stations will be affected by currently possible MPAs and the marine biofuel industry is very much in its infancy and there is insufficient information to undertake a meaningful assessment.

4.2.25 There are eight inshore and two offshore possible MPAs that have existing, planned or potential future offshore renewables development within the proposed site boundary or within 5km of the site boundary. One site, Wyre and Rousay Sound, overlaps with a Draft Plan Option area for tidal energy development being considered for inclusion in the Scottish Government's Tidal Energy Plan. North West Orkney overlaps with similar Draft Plan Options for offshore wind and wave energy development. The Firth of Forth Banks Complex overlaps with the Firth of Forth Round 3 offshore wind lease area for which two applications for offshore wind development were submitted in 2012 and for which further applications are planned. Other possible MPAs overlap with or are in close proximity to proposed or possible export cable routes for planned or possible future offshore wind, wave or tidal development.

4.2.26 Cost impacts to the offshore renewables sector may arise due to:

  • Additional assessment and survey costs associated with consent applications;
  • Additional mitigation measures for new developments to support achievement of site conservation objectives;
  • Costs associated with delays during the consenting process; and
  • Loss of investor confidence (developments do not proceed).

4.2.27 Table 11 presents a national assessment of the potential additional assessment and survey costs associated with future consent applications for new offshore renewables arrays and export cables. It also includes the cost of mitigation measures, where these are considered to be required. The total quantified costs range from £0.2m in the lower scenario to over £47m in the upper scenario. The intermediate estimate cost is approximately £2.7m.

4.2.28 It is not possible to quantify the costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions

4.2.29 There are significant uncertainties surrounding the assessment. In particular, the number and location of future offshore renewables developments is uncertain and the assessment is sensitive to assumptions on future development activity and cable routes. The requirements for mitigation measures are also uncertain and will vary at site level. Overall confidence in the quantified estimates is assessed as low.

Table 11. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified costs to energy generation (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Inshore Sites
Clyde Sea Sill 0.01 0.02 0.02
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0.04 0.23 0.23
Moussa to Boddam 0.01 0.01 0.04
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0.01 2.17 2.31
Noss Head 0.01 0.02 0.02
Papa Westray 0.01 0.01 0.11
South Arran 0.01 0.04 1.05
Wyre & Rousay Sounds 0.01 0.02 0.07
Offshore Sites
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0.07 0.07 43.44
North West Orkney 0.03 0.06 0.06
Total Quantified Costs 0.20 2.66 47.34

Military Activities

4.2.30 Military activities and exercises occur in three offshore and 12 inshore possible MPAs. A wide range of different activities occur within individual areas including general practice areas, submarine exercise areas, live firing, acoustic trials, mine laying and air combat practice.

4.2.31 It has not been possible to identify potential cost impacts to the military defence sector at site level, but a cost estimate has been made at national level. To assist in meeting its environmental obligations, the MoD has developed a Maritime Environmental Sustainability Appraisal Tool ( MESAT). This will include operational guidance to reduce significant impacts of military activities on MPAs. For the purposes of this assessment, it has been assumed that MoD will incur additional costs under all three scenarios in adjusting MESAT and other MoD environmental assessment tools in order to consider whether its activities will impact on the conservation objectives of MPAs. It will also incur additional costs in adjusting electronic charts to consider MPAs. These costs are summarised in Table 12.

Table 12. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified costs to military activities (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
National Total 0.19 0.19 0.19

Oil and Gas

4.2.32 There are eleven offshore proposed MPAs that have existing or planned exploration and/or development activity. A number of other sites have historic exploration activity such as the presence of abandoned wells, but there is no current or planned exploration or development activity for these sites.

4.2.33 It is estimated that around 15 oil and gas fields that intersect with possible MPAs will bring forward decommissioning plans over the assessment period. The locations of these fields cannot be disclosed for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

4.2.34 Cost impacts to the oil and gas sector may arise due to:

  • Additional assessment and survey costs associated with licence and permit applications for new exploration development and decommissioning;
  • Additional mitigation measures for new developments or decommissioning activities to support achievement of site conservation objectives;
  • Costs associated with delays during the licensing and permitting process; and
  • Loss of investor confidence (developments do not proceed).

4.2.35 Table 13 presents a national assessment of the potential additional assessment costs associated with future licence and permit applications for oil and gas exploration and development, as well as additional survey and mitigation costs. It also includes a national assessment of potential additional assessment costs associated with oil & gas decommissioning.

4.2.36 It is not possible to quantify the costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions.

4.2.37 There are significant uncertainties surrounding the assessment. In particular, the number and location of future oil and gas developments (including decommissioning) is uncertain, particularly in the longer term. The requirements for mitigation measures are also uncertain and will vary at site level. Overall confidence in the quantified estimates is therefore assessed as low.

Table 13. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified costs to oil and gas (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Offshore Sites
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount 0.07 1.56 5.79
Central Fladen 0.03 0.60 2.22
Central Fladen (core) 0.03 0.78 2.90
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields 0.23 0.23 35.02
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.49 0.49 27.93
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel 0.44 0.44 37.62
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain 0.02 0.02 1.15
North West Orkney 0.07 0.07 0.07
Turbot Bank* 0.01 0.01 0.01 - 0.54
West Shetland Shelf 0.02 0.02 2.17
Western Fladen 0.06 3.91 7.77
Decommissioning Costs 0.02 0.02 0.02
Total 1.49 8.15 122.67 - 123.20
* Range of quantified total costs (present value) due to alterative options for the designation of MPA features. The lower estimate relates to designation of sandeels only.

Ports and Harbours

4.2.38 There are ten inshore possible MPAs within which minor ports are present or adjacent to the site boundaries. No major ports are located within or adjacent to possible MPAs. One open disposal site is located within the North West Sea Lochs and Summer Isles possible MPA. There is no overlap between possible MPAs and Chamber of Shipping anchorage areas. Seven possible MPAs have one or more anchorages or mooring areas within them, which may come under the jurisdiction of harbour authorities.

4.2.39 Cost impacts to the ports and harbours sector may arise due to:

  • Additional assessment and survey costs associated with consent applications for new developments or dredge material disposals;
  • Additional mitigation measures for new developments, dredge material disposal activities or commercial anchorages to support achievement of site conservation objectives;
  • Loss of income associated with loss of trade;
  • Costs associated with delays during the consenting process; and
  • Loss of investor confidence (developments do not proceed).

4.2.40 Table 14 presents a national assessment of the potential additional assessment costs associated with future consent applications for new developments or dredge material disposal licences. No additional costs have been identified related to requirements for additional surveys to support consent applications or for mitigation measures as part of consent applications. The total quantified costs range from £0.14m in the lower scenario to around £0.16m in the upper scenario. The intermediate estimate cost is around £0.14m.

Table 14. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified costs to ports and harbours (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Inshore Sites
Clyde Sea Sill 0 0 0.01
East Caithness Cliffs 0.02 0.02 0.02
Fetlar to Haroldswick 0.01 0.01 0.01
Loch Sunart 0 0 0.01
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0.05 0.05 0.05
Loch Sween 0 0 0.01
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish 0.01 0.01 0.01
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0.04 0.03 0.04
Small Isles 0.01 0.01 0.01
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil 0.01 0.01 0.01
Total 0.14 0.14 0.16

4.2.41 It has not been possible to quantify the potential loss of income associated with loss of trade, nor costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions.

4.2.42 There are significant uncertainties surrounding the assessment. In particular, the number and location of future port developments is uncertain and the assessment is sensitive to assumptions on future development activity. The requirements for mitigation measures are also uncertain. Overall confidence in the quantified estimates is assessed as low.

Recreational Boating

4.2.43 Cost impacts may arise to the recreational boating sector if existing anchorages or moorings are closed or relocated. Potentially adverse interactions between recreational anchorages or moorings and MPA features have been identified within eight possible MPAs.

4.2.44 It has not been possible to quantify the cost impact of possible closure or relocation of recreational anchorages or moorings as more detailed site specific discussions are required on whether management measures were needed for individual anchorages or moorings. However, given the small number of anchorages and moorings likely to be affected, the cost impact is considered to be at worst minor.

Telecommunication Cables

4.2.45 There are two inshore and seven offshore possible MPAs that have existing telecom cables transiting the site. In addition one existing cable is within 1km of an inshore site. There is no information on potential future telecom cables. It is likely that most new development will comprise replacement of existing cables along existing routes. The asset life of a telecom cable is notionally 25 years. It is possible that some telecom cables will therefore require replacement within the assessment period. No licensing is required for cables beyond 12nm.

4.2.46 Cost impacts to the telecom cable sector may arise due to:

  • Additional assessment and survey costs associated with licence applications within the 12nm limit;
  • Additional mitigation measures for new developments to support achievement of site conservation objectives;
  • Costs associated with delays during the consenting process; and
  • Loss of investor confidence (developments do not proceed).

4.2.47 Table 15 presents a national assessment of the potential additional assessment and survey costs associated with future marine licence applications for new telecom cables within 12nm. The total quantified costs range from £0.01m in the lower scenario to £0.75m in the upper scenario. The intermediate (best) estimate has been assessed as the same as the lower scenario.

Table 15. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified costs to telecom cables (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Inshore Sites
Arran 0.01 0.01 0.74
Clyde Sea Sill 0.01 0.01 0.01
Total 0.01 0.01 0.75

4.2.48 It is not possible to quantify the costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions.

4.2.49 There are significant uncertainties surrounding the assessment. In particular, the number and location of future telecom cables is uncertain and the assessment is sensitive to assumptions on future development activity. The requirements for mitigation measures are also uncertain and will vary at site level. Overall confidence in the quantified estimates is assessed as low.

Combined Cost Impacts

4.2.50 Potential quantified and non-quantified costs have been identified for nine activities/sectors ( Table 16). The ranges represent the possible variation in cost impact depending on which options might be selected. The most significant potential costs may be incurred by the oil and gas sector, the commercial fisheries sector (note costs are expressed in terms of impacts to direct GVA, based on the estimated value of landings affected), and the energy generation sector.

Table 16. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for national cost impacts to human activities (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

Human Activity Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Aquaculture - finfish 0.36 0.61 0.61
Aquaculture - shellfish 0.14 0.19 0.19
Commercial fisheries (direct GVA) 0.64 24.03 - 38.92 50.70 - 73.53
Energy generation 0.13 - 0.20 2.59 - 2.66 3.90 - 47.34
Military activities 0.19 0.19 0.19
Oil and gas 1.38 - 1.49 3.63 - 8.15 122.67 - 123.20
Port and harbours 0.14 0.14 0.16
Recreational boating Not quantified Not quantified Not quantified
Telecom cables 0.01 0.01 0.75

4.2.51 For many of the activities and sectors affected - finfish and shellfish aquaculture, military activities, ports and harbours, recreational boating and telecom cables - both the site-level and combined impacts are likely to be very small therefore no significant combined impacts are expected.

4.2.52 Table 17 presents a summary of the potential combined quantified cost impacts for non-fisheries activities, including and taking account of alternative options for some of the offshore sites:

  • South-west Sula Sgeir and Hebridean Slope ( SSH) vs. Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope ( GSH);
  • Central ( CFL), Western ( WFL) and South-east Fladen ( SEF) (Central Fladen (core) would be designated under all options - the alternatives relate to the designation of the additional CFL area, which does not incorporate CFL (core) in this assessment); and
  • Firth of Forth Banks Complex ( FOF), Turbot Bank ( TBB) (addition of subtidal sands and gravels feature if FOF not designated) and Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain ( NSP).

4.2.53 In total, based on these alternatives, there are 12 possible combinations of options.

4.2.54 For the lower scenario, the quantified cost estimates for non-fisheries activities are broadly comparable across the 12 options. For the intermediate scenario, the estimated costs for options involving Western Fladen are around 50% higher than for other options, reflecting the potential requirement for micrositing of new oil and gas infrastructure in this possible MPA. For the upper scenario, options which include the Firth of Forth Banks Complex possible MPA are significantly more costly, owing to the potential cost impact of mitigation measures for proposed offshore wind energy development. No potential non-fisheries costs have been identified for South-west Sula Sgeir and Hebridean Slope ( SSH) or Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope ( GSH). Therefore, there is no difference in the cost estimates for these alternatives.

Table 17. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified cost impacts to non-fisheries activities for combinations of sites (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

Combination of MPA Options Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
GSH plus FOF plus CFL 2.45 8.03 162.95
GSH plus FOF plus SEF 2.42 7.43 160.73
GSH plus FOF plus WFL 2.49 11.34 168.50
GSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus CFL 2.40 7.98 121.19
GSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus SEF 2.37 7.38 118.97
GSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus WFL 2.43 11.28 126.74
SSH plus FOF plus CFL 2.45 8.03 162.95
SSH plus FOF plus SEF 2.42 7.43 160.73
SSH plus FOF plus WFL 2.49 11.34 168.50
SSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus CFL 2.40 7.98 121.19
SSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus SEF 2.37 7.38 118.97
SSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus WFL 2.43 11.28 126.74

4.2.55 Table 18 presents a summary of potential impacts to direct GVA for fisheries activities within inshore and offshore sites. The cost impacts range from £0.6m in the lower scenario to around £24m to £29m in the intermediate scenario and £51m to £58m in the upper scenario. The differences are largely accounted for by differences between the impacts associated with the Fladen options (estimated impact to direct GVA ranges between £2-3m and £4-6m under the intermediate and upper scenarios, respectively, with the highest cost impacts relating to CFL) and inclusion of the Firth of Forth Banks Complex (estimated impact around £5m greater than alternative option).

Table 18. Impacts to GVA in £ millions for quantified cost impacts to commercial fisheries for combinations of sites (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

Combination of MPA Options Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
GSH plus FOF plus CFL 0.64 28.93 57.69
GSH plus FOF plus SEF 0.64 27.82 55.50
GSH plus FOF plus WFL 0.64 28.33 56.52
GSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus CFL 0.64 25.14 53.46
GSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus SEF 0.64 24.03 51.26
GSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus WFL 0.64 24.55 52.29
SSH plus FOF plus CFL 0.64 29.27 57.13
SSH plus FOF plus SEF 0.64 28.16 54.93
SSH plus FOF plus WFL 0.64 28.67 55.96
SSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus CFL 0.64 25.49 52.89
SSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus SEF 0.64 24.38 50.70
SSH plus TBB feature and NSP plus WFL 0.64 24.89 51.73

Impacts on Marine Activities from Inshore Site Proposals (0-12nm)

4.2.56 Table 19 presents a summary of potential quantified cost impacts for non-fisheries activities within inshore sites, together with estimated additional costs for finfish and shellfish aquaculture planning application costs which could only be estimated at national level. The scale of estimated quantified costs is generally very low for all possible MPAs except for North-west Sea Lochs and Summer Isles under the intermediate and upper scenarios and for South Arran under the upper scenario. For these proposed sites/scenarios, higher levels of cost impact were identified associated with a potential requirement to re-route export power cables from Draft Plan Option Areas currently being considered for possible future offshore energy generation. There is therefore a high level of uncertainty concerning whether such costs might need to be incurred

Table 19. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for cost impacts to non-fisheries activities for inshore sites (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Clyde Sea Sill 0.01 0.02 0.03
East Caithness Cliffs 0.02 0.02 0.02
Fetlar to Haroldswick 0.03 0.08 0.08
Loch Creran 0.01 0.01 0.02
Loch Sunart 0.00 0.01 0.01
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0.11 0.36 0.36
Loch Sween 0.00 0.00 0.00
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish 0.01 0.02 0.02
Monach Isles 0.00 0.00 0.00
Mousa to Boddam 0.01 0.01 0.04
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0.05 2.23 2.36
Noss Head 0.01 0.02 0.02
Papa Westray 0.01 0.01 0.11
Small Isles 0.00 0.00 0.00
South Arran 0.02 0.05 1.76
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil 0.01 0.03 0.03
Wyre & Rousay Sounds 0.01 0.03 0.08
National costs (finfish and shellfish aquaculture planning application costs) 0.44 0.58 0.58
Total 0.76 3.48 5.50

4.2.57 Table 20 presents a summary of potential quantified impacts on direct GVA for commercial fisheries within inshore sites. No cost impacts are estimated for five inshore sites and very low costs are estimated for all sites under the lower scenario. Relatively minor cost impacts are estimated for five sites under the intermediate and upper scenarios. More substantial cost impacts are estimated for Clyde Sea Sill, Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura, North- west Sea Lochs and Summer Isles, Small Isles and South Arran under the intermediate and upper scenarios. Total cost impacts for the inshore sites under the intermediate and upper scenarios are estimated to be £8.17m and £21.31m (direct GVA, discounted over assessment period) respectively.

Table 20. Impacts to GVA in £ millions for commercial fisheries for inshore sites (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Inshore Sites
Clyde Sea Sill - 1.62 3.23
East Caithness Cliffs - - -
Fetlar to Haroldswick - - 0.03
Loch Creran - - <0.01
Loch Sunart <0.01 0.01 0.03
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura - 1.45 3.44
Loch Sween 0.02 0.05 0.13
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish - 0.05 0.18
Monach Isles - - -
Mousa to Boddam - - -
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles - 1.56 3.12
Noss Head <0.01 <0.01 0.01
Papa Westray - - -
Small Isles - 1.68 6.15
South Arran 0.01 1.67 4.84
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil - 0.08 0.12
Wyre & Rousay Sounds <0.01 <0.01 0.04
Total 0.03 8.17 21.31

Impacts on Marine Activities from Offshore Site Proposals (12-200nm)

4.2.58 Table 21 presents a summary of potential quantified cost impacts for non-fisheries activities within offshore sites, together with estimated quantified costs associated with oil & gas decommissioning and military activities which could only be estimated at national level. The scale of estimated quantified costs in the lower and intermediate scenarios is generally very low for all possible MPAs except for The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount and Western Fladen in the intermediate scenario where higher estimated costs arise as a result of additional management measures for new oil & gas exploration and development activity. In the upper scenario, a number of additional sites could potentially experience significant additional costs as a result of additional management measures for new oil & gas exploration and development activity. Additional costs could be experienced by the offshore renewables sector associated with management measures for the Firth of Forth Banks Complex possible MPA.

Table 21. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for quantified cost impacts to non-fisheries activities for offshore sites (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Offshore Sites
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount 0.07 1.56 5.79
Central Fladen 0.03 0.60 2.22
Central Fladen (core) 0.03 0.78 2.90
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields 0.23 0.23 35.02
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.49 0.49 27.93
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0.07 0.07 43.44
Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope 0.00 0.00 0.00
Hatton-Rockall Basin 0.00 0.00 0.00
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel 0.44 0.44 37.62
North-west Orkney 0.10 0.13 0.13
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain 0.02 0.02 1.15
Rosemary Bank Seamount 0.00 0.00 0.00
South-east Fladen 0.00 0.00 0.00
South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope 0.00 0.00 0.00
Turbot Bank 0.01 0.01 0.01 - 0.54*
West Shetland Shelf 0.02 0.02 2.17
Western Fladen 0.06 3.91 7.77
National costs (oil & gas decommissioning) 0.02 0.02 0.02
National costs (military activities) 0.19 0.19 0.19
* depending on whether Turbot Bank is designated for sandeel or also for subtidal sand and gravel habitats

4.2.59 Table 22 presents a summary of potential quantified impacts on direct GVA for commercial fisheries within offshore sites. No or very limited cost impacts are estimated for four offshore sites - Hatton Rockall Basin, Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain, North West Orkney and West Shetland Shelf under all of the scenarios reflecting the lack of fishing activity in the first two sites and no requirement for additional fisheries management measures for the latter two sites. Very low cost impacts are estimated for all sites under the lower scenario, except Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt, reflecting the assumed low requirement for management measures in this scenario. For the remaining sites, impacts to direct GVA in the intermediate and upper scenarios range from £0 to £0.6m (Turbot Bank - depending on the features for which the site may be designated) respectively, up to £4.9 to £7.1m (Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope) (discounted over assessment period) respectively.

Table 22. Impacts to direct GVA in £ millions for quantified impacts to commercial fisheries for offshore sites (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

NC MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Offshore Sites
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount 0.04 2.88 3.68
Central Fladen - 3.03 6.02
Central Fladen (core) - 0.67 1.18
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields - 0.25 1.23
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.45 1.73 7.10
Firth of Forth Banks Complex - 4.17 4.80
Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope - 4.94 7.06
Hatton-Rockall Basin - - -
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel 0.05 1.66 4.30
North-west Orkney - - -
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain - - 0.01
Rosemary Bank Seamount 0.07 1.44 2.60
South-east Fladen - 1.91 3.83
South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope - 5.28 6.49
Turbot Bank - 0 - 0.39 0 - 0.56
West Shetland Shelf - - -
Western Fladen - 2.43 4.86

4.3 People, Population and Health

4.3.1 This section summarises the potential distributional and social impacts of designating MPAs that could arise from impacts on other marine activities. It also includes potential costs to government, as these are costs borne by society as a whole. More detail on this analysis can be found in Chapters 4 and 5, as well as Appendix C, of the socio-economic assessment report.

4.3.2 This section also summarises the results of benefits assessments. These are categorised according to the ecosystem services framework. They include both 'direct use' (values placed on goods and services provided by the marine environment that humans make use of) and 'non-use' (value society places on existence of features, ability for others to use them, or for future generations to use them) values, compared against the situation under the 'Do Nothing' scenario. These results are drawn from Chapter 6 and section 7.5 of the socio-economic assessment report.

Distributional / Social Analysis

4.3.3 The analysis has demonstrated that designation of the possible MPAs, under the intermediate and/or upper scenarios, could generate potentially significant socio-economic impacts on the following sectors and/or the businesses, communities or individuals that depend on them:

  • Commercial fisheries;
  • Energy generation; and
  • Oil and gas.

4.3.4 For commercial fisheries, implementation of the management measures required to protect the features of some MPAs (under the intermediate and upper scenarios), would result in a reduction or displacement of current and future output. It has been possible to quantify the potential loss of output and the associated impacts on GVA and employment for the sector and the economy as a whole. Although the GVA and employment impacts are relatively small at the Scottish economy and sectoral level, they could have potentially significant economic and, hence, social consequences depending on the specific regions/ports, individuals and communities that are affected.

4.3.5 Table 23 presents the impact which the management measures could have on the GVA generated by the fishing sector in Scotland and GVA generated by the fishing sector and its downstream supply chain, under the assumption of zero displacement.

Table 23. Impact on GVA for the commercial fishing sector (direct impact and direct plus indirect impact) assuming zero displacement of fishing activity, £ million

GVA Impact Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Direct Impact:
Average annual reduction in GVA, £m/yr ( PV) 0.03 2.02 3.76
Total reduction in GVA (2014-2033), £m( PV) 0.64 38.92 73.53
Direct plus Indirect Impact:
Average annual reduction in GVA, £m/yr ( PV) 0.05 2.61 4.97
Total reduction in GVA (2014-2033), £m( PV) 0.96 52.25 99.53

4.3.6 Table 24 demonstrates that the designation of all possible MPAs is estimated to lead to between 2 and 131 full-time equivalent jobs being lost directly and indirectly throughout the Scottish Economy, across the scenarios. This represents between 0-2% of total full-time equivalent jobs created directly and indirectly by the Scottish fishing industry.

Table 24. Average (mean) number of direct and indirect jobs affected assuming zero displacement of fishing activity, year-on-year over 2014-2033, FTEs

Reduction in Employment Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Direct and Indirect:
Average (mean) number of jobs affected [1] (year on year over 2014-2033) 1 69 131
Notes: The total impact on employment has been estimated as the average (mean) number of jobs affected, (rather than the sum of jobs affected), over the 20 year period. This is because it is likely that it would be the same jobs that are affected, year-on year and hence summing the jobs would provide a misleading total.

4.3.7 These estimates suggest that, under the lower scenario, the economic impact of designation would be minimal. While the estimated loss of GVA under the intermediate and upper scenarios would clearly have a negative impact, the impact at the Scottish economy and sectoral level, is relatively small. Even under the upper scenario, the impact represents less than 2% of the sector's GVA and employment. Furthermore, these estimates are considered to overestimate the likely impacts as they assume that all fishing effort and associated landings is lost rather than being displaced (even although some displacement is likely).

4.3.8 Tables 25 and 26 present the potential total reduction in GVA over the period of analysis and the potential impact of designation on employment, by MPA, respectively.

4.3.9 The distributional analysis presented in this section considers the distribution of the potential economic (and hence social) costs of designating the entire suite of possible MPAs. Six different aspects are assessed as part of the distributional analysis:

  • Location;
  • Age groups;
  • Gender groups;
  • Fishing groups;
  • Income group; and
  • Social groups.

4.3.10 The key results of the distributional analysis are summarised in Tables 27 and 28. For some aspects, the distribution of costs ( e.g. across different Scottish regions and ports, categories of vessel and species type) has been assessed quantitatively. For others ( i.e. age, gender, income and social groups), the analysis indicates whether designation of the possible MPAs is likely to impact on these groups, and, if so, whether the impact is anticipated to be minimal, negative, or significantly negative.

Table 25. Present value ( PV) reduction in GVA (direct effect and the combined direct and indirect), assuming zero displacement of fishing activity, £millions (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Direct Effect Direct and Indirect Direct Effect Direct and Indirect Direct Effect Direct and Indirect
Inshore Sites
Clyde Sea Sill 0 0 1.62 2.42 3.23 4.85
Fetlar to Haroldswick 0 0 0 0 0.03 0.04
Loch Creran 0 0 0 0 < 0.01 < 0.01
Loch Sunart <0.01 < 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.03 0.04
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0 0 1.45 2.17 3.44 5.16
Loch Sween 0.02 0.03 0.05 0.08 0.13 0.19
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish 0 0 0.05 0.08 0.18 0.27
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0 0 1.56 2.34 3.12 4.67
Noss Head <0.01 <0.01 <0.01 <0.01 0.01 0.02
Small Isles 0 0 1.68 2.53 6.15 9.23
South Arran 0.01 0.01 1.67 2.51 4.84 7.26
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil 0 0 0.08 0.12 0.12 0.18
Wyre and Rousay Sounds <0.01 <0.01 <0.01 <0.01 0.04 0.05
Offshore Sites
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount 0.04 0.06 2.88 3.75 3.68 4.78
Central Fladen 0 0 3.03 3.93 6.02 7.83
Central Fladen (core) 0 0 0.67 0.87 1.18 1.53
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields 0 0 0.25 0.33 1.23 1.59
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.45 0.68 1.73 2.25 5.60 7.28
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0 0 4.17 5.43 4.80 5.93
Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope 0 0 4.94 6.42 7.06 9.18
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel 0.05 0.07 1.66 2.16 4.30 5.59
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain 0 0 0 0 0.01 0.01
Rosemary Bank Seamount 0.07 0.11 1.42 1.84 2.60 3.37
South-east Fladen 0 0 1.91 2.49 3.83 4.98
South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope 0 0 5.28 6.87 6.49 8.44
Turbot Bank <0.01 <0.01 0.39 0.51 0.56 0.72
Western Fladen 0 0 2.43 3.16 4.86 6.31
Total 0.64 0.96 38.92 52.25 73.53 99.53

Table 26. Average (Mean) number of direct and indirect jobs affected assuming zero displacement of fishing activity (year on year, 2014-2033), by MPA, FTEs

MPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Direct and Indirect Direct and Indirect Direct and Indirect
Inshore Sites
Clyde Sea Sill 0.00 2.58 5.16
East Caithness Cliffs
Fetlar to Haroldswick
Loch Creran
Loch Sunart 0.00 0.02 0.07
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0.00 2.65 5.30
Loch Sween 0.04 0.08 0.20
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish 0.00 0.08 0.14
Monach Isles
Mousa to Boddam
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0.00 2.93 5.86
Noss Head
Papa Westray
Small Isles 0.00 3.25 11.50
South Arran 0.02 2.87 8.67
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil 0.00 0.13 0.21
Wyre and Rousay Sounds 0.00 0.00 0.05
Offshore Sites
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount 0.06 4.36 5.71
Central Fladen 0.00 6.37 12.74
Central Fladen (core) 0.00 1.34 2.34
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields 0.00 0.53 2.56
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.70 4.14 9.93
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0.00 5.94 7.08
Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope 0.00 8.91 12.43
Hatton-Rockall Basin
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel 0.08 2.61 6.42
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain 0.00 0.02
North-west Orkney
Rosemary Bank Seamount 0.10 2.00 4.14
South-east Fladen 0.00 3.85 7.70
South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope 0.00 9.09 11.43
Turbot Bank 0.00 0.79 1.57
West Shetland Shelf 0.00 0.00 0.00
Western Fladen 0.00 4.86 9.71
Total 1.0 69.3 130.9
Notes: The total impact on employment has been estimated as the average (mean) number of jobs affected, (rather than the sum of jobs affected), over the 20 year period. This is because it is likely that it would be the same jobs that are affected, year-on year and hence summing the jobs would provide a misleading total.

Table 27. Distribution of quantified economic costs for commercial fisheries and fish processors (assuming zero displacement of fishing activity) - location, age, gender

Sector/ Impact Location Age Gender
Regions Port (s) Rural, Urban, Coastal or Island Children Working Age Pension- able Age Male Female

Commercial Fisheries

Reduction in landed value, GVA and employment

Share of total costs for vessels >15 m under Intermediate and Upper Scenario:

North-east: over 50%

West: 20% .

North-west: 12-14%

North: 4%

East:1%

Largest employment impacts in: Fraserburgh: 18-32 FTE job losses Peterhead: 5-9 FTE job losses Mallaig: 3-8 FTE job losses Ayr: 4-6 FTE job losses Campbeltown: 2-7 job losses

Largest relative impact on total landings to port:

Buckie: 6- 14% of total landings affected

xx

Impacts concentrated in coastal areas; urban in North-East, rural in West and North-west

xxx

Potentially significant negative effect if parent loses job/ becomes unemployed

xxx

xx

Potential negative effect if retirees own affected vessels or live in households affected by unemployment

xxx

2-131 FTE job losses

xxx

Potentially significant negative effect if member of household loses job/becomes unemployed.

Fish Processors

Reduction in local landings at landing ports

x
North-east and North-west regions most significantly affected

In most ports affected landings represent a very low proportion (0-3%) of total landings: x

Mallaig: xx affected landings represent 2-7% of total landings to the port;
Kinlochbervie: xx affected landings represent 3-5% of total landings to the port, under intermediate and upper scenarios

x
Impacts concentrated in coastal areas; urban in North-East, rural in North-west
x x 0

x

60% of processors male

x

40% of processors female

Impacts: xxx : significant negative effect;
xx : possible negative effects;
x: minimal negative effect, if any;
0: no noticeable effect expected.

Table 28. Distribution of quantified economic costs for commercial fisheries and fish processors (assuming zero displacement of fishing activity) - Fishing groups, income groups and social groups

Sector/Impact Fishing Groups Income Group Social Groups
Vessel Category <15m
>15m
Gear Types/Sector 10% Most Deprived Middle 80% 10% Most Affluent Crofters Ethnic Minorities With Disability or Long-Term Sick

Commercial fisheries

Reduction in landed value, GVA and employment

Under lower scenario - main impact on <15m vessels

Under intermediate and upper scenarios - main impact on >15m vessels

Main gear types affected for vessels <15m are nephrops trawlers

Main gear types affected for vessels >15m are whitefish and nephrops trawls followed by dredges

No impact on pelagic vessels

xx

Possible negative impact on 10% most deprived

xx

Possible negative impact on middle income group

x
Information only available on average incomes, not the distribution of income. Not clear, therefore, whether this group will be affected
0 No breakdown of fisherman employment by social group

0

No employment data but unlikely to be employed in fisheries

Fish Processors

Reduction in local landings at landing ports

Impacts on species type:

Lower scenario - approx. 80% of affected landings are demersal and 20% shellfish

Intermediate and upper scenarios - almost 60% of affected landings are shellfish and the remainder demersal

Impact on different types of processing units:

Shellfish & demersal fish processing units that cannot offset reductions in local landings with imported fish: xx

Shellfish & demersal fish processing units that can offset reductions in local landings with imported fish: x

Pelagic-only processing units: 0

x x 0 0 No breakdown of fish processing employment data available by social group No breakdown of fish processing employment data available by social group
Impacts: xxx : significant negative effect;
xx : possible negative effects;
x: minimal negative effect, if any;
0: no noticeable effect expected

4.3.11 Table 29 presents the annual loss of landings affected by region and home port, for vessels greater than 15m. It is not possible to present the analysis for the total annual loss of landings as data on landings affected by home port are not available for smaller vessels ( i.e. less than 15m). Over 65% of the landings affected under the intermediate and upper scenarios are lost by larger vessels. The analysis presented below therefore captures a high proportion of the landings affected, although it is recognised that the distribution of impacts across ports may be different between the larger-scale and smaller-scale vessels. It is clear from Table 29 that the costs of designating the entire suite of possible MPAs would fall disproportionately on the North-east region.

4.3.12 In order to assess the significance of the potential impacts on specific Scottish districts/ports, Table 30 presents data on two key indicators for all Scottish districts/ports:

  • The value of landings affected (from over-15m vessels) as a percentage of the total value of landings to ports; and
  • The potential number of jobs lost as a percentage of the total number of fishermen employed at each district/port.

4.3.13 It is clear from Table 30 that the value of landings lost as a result of designating the suite of possible MPAs represents a very small proportion of total landings for the large majority of Scotland's districts and ports. At most districts/ports, the affected landings represent less than 1% of total landings under the intermediate and upper scenarios. At some ports - Fraserburgh, Ayr, Campbeltown, Mallaig and Oban - affected landings account for a higher proportion (ranging between 1.5% and 5.5%) of the value of total landings, but are still relatively low. The largest job losses are expected in Fraserburgh. Under the intermediate and upper scenarios, it is estimated that the proposals could put between 18 and 32 jobs at risk; this represents a 3-5% reduction in the number of fishermen employed on vessels based in Fraserburgh.

4.3.14 Further detail on the distribution of impacts can be found in Section 5.1 of the socio-economic assessment report.

4.3.15 The social impacts generated by the designation of MPAs will be strongly connected to the nature, scale and distribution of the economic impacts. Table 31 identifies the areas of social impact that are likely to be affected by the quantified and non-quantified economic costs identified for the commercial fisheries, energy generation, and oil and gas, and assesses their potential significance.

4.3.16 Further detail on the social impacts of MPA designation can be found in Section 5.2 of the socio-economic assessment report.

Table 29. Annual average value (£ million) and percentage of landings affected by region and home port, for >15m vessels, assuming zero displacement of fishing activity (costs discounted over the assessment period) 2012 prices

Region/District/Port Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Total value of landings affected at port As % of total value of landings affected across all ports Total value of landings affected at port As % of total value of landings affected across all ports Total value of landings affected at port As % of total value of landings affected across all ports*
NORTH EAST:
Fraserburgh 0.00 18 1.17 40 2.07 36
Buckie 0.00 0 0.15 5 0.32 6
Aberdeen 0.00 0 0.01 0 0.02 0
Peterhead 0.00 26 0.32 11 0.61 11
North East Total 0.00 44 1.65 56 3.02 53
NORTH:
Kirkwall 0.00 32 0.10 3 0.16 3
Scrabster 0.00 0 0.01 1 0.02 0
Lerwick 0.00 0 0.01 0 0.01 0
North Total 0.00 32 0.12 4 0.20 4
WEST:
Campbeltown 0.00 19 0.15 5 0.43 8
Oban 0.00 0 0.18 6 0.35 6
Ayr 0.00 0 0.26 9 0.39 7
West Total 0.00 19 0.59 20 1.16 20
NORTH WEST:
Stornoway 0.00 0 0.03 1 0.08 1
Lochinver 0.00 0 0.05 2 0.06 1
Portree 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.01 0
Mallaig 0.00 0 0.19 7 0.49 9
Ullapool 0.00 0 0.07 2 0.16 3
Kinlochbervie 0.00 0 0.01 0 0.02 0
North West Total 0.00 0 0.35 12 0.83 14
EAST
Eyemouth 0.00 0 0.01 0 0.02 0
Pittenweem 0.00 0 0.01 0 0.01 0
East Total 0.00 0 0.02 1 0.04 1
TOTAL 0.01 2.73 5.25
* The value of total landings affected ( i.e. across all ports) is different under the three scenarios. The value of landings affected at one port as a percentage of the total value of landings across all ports, therefore, can be lower under the upper scenario than it is under the intermediate scenario.

Table 30. Landings affected (assuming zero displacement of fishing activity) as a percentage of total landings and job losses as a percentage of the total number of fishermen employed, by district/port

Scottish Region/Port Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Affected landings as % of total landings to port Estimated reduction in employment In employment as % of total employed in fishing Affected landings as % of total landings to port Estimated reduction in employment In employment as % of total employed in fishing Affected landings as % of total landings to port Estimated reduction in employment In employment as % of total employed in fishing
Aberdeen 0 0 0.0 0.2 0 0.3 0.4 0 0.5
Buckie 0 0 0.0 6.4 2 1.4 13.6 5 2.9
Eyemouth 0 0 0.0 0.2 0 0.1 0.5 0 0.3
Fraserburgh 0 0 0.0 3.1 18 2.8 5.5 32 4.9
Peterhead 0 0 0.0 0.3 5 1.3 0.7 9 2.6
Pittenweem 0 0 0.0 0.2 0 0.1 0.4 0 0.2
Scrabster 0 0 0.0 0.1 0 0.1 0.1 0 0.2
Orkney 0 0 0.0 - - - - - -
Shetland 0 0 0.0 - - - - - -
Stornoway 0 0 0.0 0.4 0 0.0 1.0 0 0.0
Ayr 0 0 0.0 3.2 4 0.8 4.6 6 1.2
Campbeltown 0 0 0.0 1.5 2 0.8 4.2 7 2.5
Kinlochbervie 0 0 0.0 0.1 0 0.4 0.3 0 0.9
Lochinver 0 0 0.0 0.2 1 4.0 0.3 1 5.3
Mallaig 0 0 0.0 2.8 3 2.9 7.0 8 7.2
Oban 0 0 0.0 3.0 3 1.1 5.9 5 2.2
Portree 0 0 0.0 0.0 0 0.0 0.1 0 0.0
Ullapool 0 0 0.0 0.6 1 0.5 1.4 3 1.2

Table 31. Social impacts associated with quantified and non-quantified economic impacts

Sector Potential Economic Impacts Economic Costs Area of Social Impact Affected Mitigation Significance of Social Impact
Commercial Fishing Loss of traditional fishing grounds with consequent loss in landings, value of landings and hence GVA

Annual average loss in value of landings, assuming zero displacement of fishing activity: £0.1m-£10.1m

Annual average reduction in GVA (direct plus indirect) assuming zero displacement of fishing activity: £0.05 - £4.9m

  • Culture and heritage - impact on traditions from loss of fishing grounds.
xx
If the loss in GVA significant enough, risk of job losses (direct plus indirect) Job losses, assuming zero displacement of fishing activity:
  • Direct and indirect: 2-131 FTE jobs
A reduction in employment can generate a wide range of social impacts:
  • Health (increase in illness, mental stress, loss of self esteem and risk of depression);
  • Increase in crime;
  • Reduction in future employment prospects/future earnings.
Which, in turn, can generate a range of short and long term costs for wider society and the public purse.
Support to retrain those affected and for the promotion of new small businesses in fisheries dependent areas xxx
Displacement Effects Not quantified Quantified impact on jobs assume worst case scenario ( i.e. no redistribution of effort). In reality displacement effects likely to occur with socio-economic consequences:
  • Employment - reduced employment due to changes in costs and earnings profile of vessels ( e.g. increased fuel costs, gear
    development and adaption costs, additional quota costs).
  • Conflict/Loss of social cohesion - diminishing fishing grounds may increase conflict with other vessels/gear types, increase social tensions within fishing communities and lead to a loss of social cohesion among fleets. Could also lead to increased operating costs as a result of lost or damaged gear. Equally, gear conflict could reduce where gears are restricted/prohibited.
  • Health - increased risks to the safety of fishers and vessels and increased stress due to moving to lesser known areas.
  • Environmental - increased impact in targeting new areas, longer streaming times and increased fuel consumption.
  • Culture and heritage - change in traditional fishing patterns/ activities.
xx
Energy Generation Additional mitigation measures for new developments to support achievement of site conservation objectives Quantified Cost Impact: Total PV cost: £0m - £47m
  • Future employment opportunities - if increased operational costs associated with management measures render projects unviable or restrict project size there will be a negative impact on economic activity and job creation in this sector.

xxx

(under upper scenarios)

Costs associated with delays during the consenting process. Loss of investor confidence (developments do not proceed). Not quantified
  • Future employment opportunities - if the delays deter investments there will be a negative impact on economic activity and future job creation in this sector.
  • Environment - possible negative impact in relation to climate change and the ability of the Scottish Government to meet its 2020 renewables targets, decarbonisation targets and climate change targets. There would also be consequent financial implications of climate change impacts.

xxx

(under upper scenarios)

Oil and Gas Additional mitigation measures for new developments or decommissioning activities to support achievement of site conservation objectives Total PV cost: £0m - £120m
  • Future employment opportunities - reduced future employment opportunities if costs significant and render development projects unviable.

xxx

(under upper scenarios)

Costs associated with delays during the licensing and permitting process. Loss of investor confidence (developments do not proceed). Not Quantified
  • Employment - reduced future employment opportunities if delays deter investments

xxx

(under upper scenarios)

Notes: The likely areas of social impact are based on the key areas identified by the GES/ GSR Social Impacts Taskforce
Ratings:
x x x : significant negative effect;
x x : possible negative effect;
x: minimal negative effect, if any;
0: no noticeable effect expected

Costs to Government

4.3.17 Following a decision to designate individual sites, costs will be incurred by the public sector in the following broad areas, it should however be noted that not all measures listed will be needed at all sites, i.e. these requirements will be site specific:

  • Preparation of Marine Management Schemes;
  • Preparation of Statutory Instruments;
  • Development of voluntary measures;
  • Site monitoring;
  • Compliance and enforcement;
  • Promotion of public understanding; and
  • Regulatory and advisory costs associated with licensing decisions.

Marine Management Schemes

4.3.18 For the purposes of this assessment, it has been assumed that a management scheme will be required for certain inshore sites within 6 nautical miles where there are multiple activities taking place over a significant proportion of the site. This includes sea lochs, where there is a significant community of interest. SNH has advised that sites for which black guillemot is the only feature will not require a Management Scheme. On this basis six sites have been tentatively identified as potentially requiring Management Schemes:

  • North West Sea Lochs and Summer Isles;
  • Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh;
  • Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil;
  • Loch Sunart;
  • Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura; and
  • South Arran.

4.3.19 The cost associated with preparing a Management Scheme has been assumed to be £24,500 (at 2012 prices) per site. It is assumed that these Schemes are developed in 2014 and 2015 with the costs split equally across these 2 years. On this basis the one-off PV cost (2012 prices discounted at 3.5% over the assessment period) for these Schemes is £0.14 million.

Statutory Instruments

4.3.20 A number of different mechanisms may be used to restrict or regulate works or activities potentially affecting nature conservation MPAs:

  • Marine Conservation Orders (under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010);
  • Fisheries management measures within 12nm under the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984; and
  • Fisheries management measures beyond 12nm under the Common Fisheries Policy.

4.3.21 Marine Conservation Orders ( MCOs) may be required to regulate activities that take place within a designated MPA where and when required. The cost associated with the making of such Orders has been assumed to be £3,500 (at 2009 prices). The initial management options papers developed by SNH have not identified any specific requirements for MCOs at this stage. Given the uncertainty surrounding the future requirement for MCOs , no specific costs have been identified to the public sector within this assessment.

4.3.22 Should fisheries management measures be required in inshore waters, it is likely that these will be pursued under fisheries legislation rather than through MCOs. For the purposes of this assessment, it has been assumed that an Order will be required for each MPA which is wholly or partially within 6nm for which new fisheries management restrictions may be required under one or more of the assessment scenarios. The cost associated with the making of such Orders (or modifying existing Orders) has been assumed to be £3,500 (at 2009 prices). Based on the assumptions on management options used in the site specific assessments, it is estimated that five to twelve sites will require new or modified fisheries Orders to support achievement of the conservation objectives, depending on the scenario. It is assumed that these Orders and amendments to fisheries licences will be made in 2014, representing a one-off cost of between £0.02 million and £0.05 million (Present Value, 2012 prices discounted at 3.5% over the assessment period).

4.3.23 For sites wholly or partly between 6 to 12nm where UK vessels have exclusive access , it has been assumed that any required fisheries management measures will be implemented through amendments to licence conditions for individual vessels. It is assumed that amendments to fisheries licences will be made in 2014, but will not represent a significant additional cost to the public sector. For sites wholly or partly between 6 to 12nm where non- UK vessels have historic fishing rights, measures to manage non- UK vessels would need to be pursued under the CFP.

4.3.24 Should fisheries management measures be required in offshore waters, these would need to be pursued through the CFP in consultation with the European Commission. For the purposes of this assessment, it has been assumed that CFP measures will be required for each MPA which is wholly or partially beyond 12nm for which new fisheries management restrictions may be required under one or more of the assessment scenarios. The cost associated with negotiating such measures has been assumed to be £5,000 per site (at 2012 prices), although there is no available evidence on which to base this estimate. Under the lower scenario, CFP measures could be required at 5 offshore sites, rising to 10 to 11 sites under the intermediate and high scenarios depending on choices about alternative site options. Assuming these measures are developed during 2015 and 2016 with the cost spread evenly over these 2 years, the one-off PV cost (2012 prices discounted at 3.5% over the assessment period) for these measures ranges from £0.03 million (lower scenario) to £0.05 million (intermediate and upper scenarios).

Voluntary Measures

4.3.25 For some sites, it may be appropriate for public bodies to develop voluntary measures to manage certain types of recreational activity. This may be particularly appropriate for remote coastal sites where the scale of impact is unlikely to be severe and where there is little possibility of cost-effective enforcement. The cost associated with developing and publicising voluntary measures is uncertain, but considered likely to be similar to the costs of preparing Orders (assumed to be £3,500 (at 2009 prices). Given the uncertainty surrounding the future requirement for voluntary measures, no specific costs to the public sector have been identified within this assessment.

Site Monitoring

4.3.26 The costs of site surveys to characterise potential nature conservation MPAs in advance of designation have been treated as sunk costs because the expenditure has already occurred or has been budgeted. Following designation, there will be an ongoing requirement to undertake monitoring within nature conservation MPAs, both to improve understanding of the distribution of features and to monitor the condition of features to assess achievement of the feature-specific conservation objectives. It is assumed that sites will be monitored based on a 6-year reporting cycle.

4.3.27 The costs of monitoring individual MPAs will vary depending on their location, with higher costs likely to be associated with surveys for offshore sites, owing to the requirement for larger vessels. For the purposes of this assessment, the following assumptions have been applied:

  • Inshore sites with seabed habitat features (sites mainly within 12nm) - current levels of expenditure on benthic habitat and species surveys for inshore sites will continue (approximately £300k p.a. at 2012 prices);
  • Inshore sites with only black guillemot feature (Monach Isles, Papa Westray, East Caithness Cliffs) - assume total cost of £30k (2012 prices) every 6 years; and
  • Offshore sites (sites mainly beyond 12nm):
    • Fladen survey work undertaken simultaneously;
    • Shallow water sites at a cost of £272 per sq km;
    • Deep water sites at a cost of £25,000 per day = £350,000 per survey (assuming average 14 day survey) as deeper and more expensive than relatively shallower sites; and
    • Cost of North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel survey doubled due to size to £700,000.

4.3.28 The expenditure on inshore sites equates to around £1.83m per 6 year reporting cycle, or approximately £110,000 per site. For the offshore sites, Table 32 presents estimated survey costs for individual sites. Depending on the alternative options selected, there may be between 12 and 13 offshore sites. Assuming monitoring is undertaken on a 6 year cycle, this would equate to a total annual cost of £0.92 million to £1.01 million, although it is possible that a lower frequency of monitoring could be applied to offshore sites.

Table 32. Estimated survey costs - offshore sites

Name Site Type Sq km Area Cost Per Survey (£m)
Turbot Bank Shallow 233.45 0.06
Fladen Group Shallow 723.33 (upper value) 0.20
East of Gannet and Montrose Fields Shallow 1837.76 0.50
Firth of Forth Banks Complex Shallow 2130.06 0.58
West Shetland Shelf Shallow 4047.30 1.10
North-west Orkney Shallow 4388.46 1.19
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain Shallow 160.79 0.04
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt Deep 6378.74 0.35
Hatton-Rockall Basin Deep 1264.64 0.35
South-west Sula Sgeir and the Hebridean Slope Deep 2093.45 0.35
Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope Deep 2269.04 0.35
Rosemary Bank Seamount Deep 7413.13 0.35
The Barra Fan and Hebrides Terrace Seamount Deep 4700.83 0.35
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel Deep 26,967.71 0.70

4.3.29 The estimated PV cost (2012 prices discounted at 3.5% over the assessment period) for the suggested level of future monitoring required is £18.6 million to £20.0 million.

Compliance and Enforcement

4.3.30 Where management measures are necessary to support the achievement of conservation objectives for individual features within MPAs, a level of compliance and enforcement activity will be required. For licensable activities, this is likely to primarily entail scrutiny of monitoring returns provided by operators in fulfilment of conditions in their licences and in most cases is likely to impose only a minimal administrative burden on regulators. For unlicensed activity, some additional site based monitoring could be required. It is estimated that potential additional inspection requirements for MPAs will be prioritised within existing resources and will not therefore lead to any significant increase in existing costs.

4.3.31 For inshore sites, where spatial management measures are required for commercial fishing activities, it will also be possible to measure compliance by >12m vessels with any spatial closures using VMS data. For vessels <12m, it may be necessary to establish alternative compliance mechanisms, for example, using local VMS systems based on mobile phone technology, which have successfully been used to monitor compliance with spatial closures in Lyme Bay. Should such systems be considered necessary for inshore MPAs, it is unlikely that the total cost of implementing, monitoring and enforcing such systems would exceed £5k per site p.a. It has been assumed that three such systems are established from 2016 (high scenario only). The estimated PV cost (2012 prices discounted at 3.5% over the assessment period) is £0.20m.

4.3.32 For other types of unlicensed activity, it is unlikely that formal compliance monitoring will be required unless specific local issues arise. For inshore sites, additional information on compliance is likely to be provided by members of the public.

Promoting Public Understanding

4.3.33 Once designated, a level of promotion of the MPAs and their management plans will be undertaken. This may take a variety of forms including provision of information via the internet, including within Marine Scotland Interactive, and for inshore sites, local public education activity and possibly the provision of signage at key access points. The costs associated with these activities are generally considered to be part of normal corporate activity for Marine Scotland, SNH and JNCC and for the purposes of this assessment it has therefore been assumed that no additional costs will be incurred. There could be a maximum one-off cost of £50,000 to Marine Scotland associated with developing public information on the internet, assumed to be incurred in 2014.

Regulatory and Advisory Costs Associated with Licensing Decisions

4.3.34 Where licensed development is proposed in the vicinity of features protected within nature conservation MPAs, developers may be required to provide an assessment of the potential impacts of the development on those features as part of their overall development application. Under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, where it is concluded that a proposed development is capable of affecting other than insignificantly a protected feature of an NC MPA, a more detailed assessment of the potential impact is required.

4.3.35 The main areas identified where additional costs may be incurred in reviewing licensing and consent applications include:

  • Planning applications for new or extended finfish and shellfish aquaculture installations (local authorities, particularly Western Isles, Argyll & Bute, Highland and Shetland Councils) - £0.04 million PV (all scenarios);
  • CAR licences for use of chemical therapeutants in finfish aquaculture installations ( SEPA) - £0.01 million (all scenarios) PV;
  • Oil and gas licences and permits for new oil & gas exploration and development ( DECC) - £0.14 million to £0.15 million ( PV) (all scenarios), depending on offshore options chosen; and
  • Marine licences for new development activity (multiple sectors) (Marine Scotland) - £0.03 million to £0.04 million PV (lower scenario) to £0.04 million to £0.05 million PV (upper scenario), depending on combination of alternative sites selected.

4.3.36 Table 33 summaries the estimated potential costs to the public sector. There are a number of uncertainties surrounding the estimates of costs to the public sector, in particular, the frequency with which offshore biological surveys will be carried out, the requirement for and costs of compliance and enforcement of any inshore fisheries management measures and the costs associated with securing CFP measures.

Table 33. Present value ( PV) in £ millions for public sector costs (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices)

Activity Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
Marine Management Schemes 0.14 0.14 0.14
Statutory Instruments - Inshore Measures 0.02 0.04 0.05
Statutory Instruments - Offshore Measures 0.03 0.05 0.05
Voluntary Measures - - -
Site Monitoring - Inshore 4.63 4.63 4.63
Site Monitoring - Offshore 18.62 to 19.99 18.62 to 19.99 18.62 to 19.99
Compliance and Enforcement - - 0.20
Promoting Public Understanding 0.05 0.05 0.05
Regulatory and Advisory Costs
  • Planning applications - aquaculture
  • CAR licences - finfish aquaculture
  • Oil & gas licensing
  • Marine licensing
0.04
0.01
0.14 to 0.15
0.03 to 0.04
0.04
0.01
0.14 to 0.15
0.04
0.04
0.01
0.14 to 0.15
0.04 to 0.05
Total 23.71 to 25.10 23.76 to 25.14 23.97 to 25.36

Benefits

4.3.37 This section considers the range of benefits that could arise from the proposed designation of MPAs. These benefits are assessed based on the implementation of the potential management measures used to consider the likely costs in previous sections. As with the costs, a range of management scenarios is used to reflect the range of likely future management approaches.

4.3.38 The analysis of benefits adopts an ecosystem services approach. It is important to note that it assesses the expected changes in ecosystem services as a result of designation and management - it is not an assessment of the total ecosystem services arising from the proposed sites. The change in ecosystem services is assessed relative to the baseline of the expected condition of the sites in the absence of designation and management. This is a source of considerable uncertainty, as the extent and condition of the features of the proposed sites, and their response to management measures, are not well understood.

4.3.39 Treating marine protected areas as a collection of individual and separate features providing separate ecosystem services potentially ignores any network effects that could occur from a set of continuous set of marine protected areas. In marine conservation a number of adjacent marine reserves may demonstrate network effects, i.e. the benefit from the networks may be greater (or less) than the sum of the benefits from the individual MPAs. These effects are potentially of great importance in marine protected areas because of the lack of barriers and mobility of species. Network effects are considered highly relevant to identifying the benefits of the MPAs, but cannot be quantified.

4.3.40 Table 34 shows a summary of the cumulative ecosystem services impacts of the proposed sites. In addition to these final ecosystem services from the proposed sites, the network of sites could cumulatively have an effect on supporting services. Including the value of the services can in some cases double-count the final services they support. However, they should be considered because they can have additional value through supporting final services from outside the network of sites and through their contribution to the resilience of marine ecosystems and levels of marine ecosystem services.

4.3.41 Many features in the proposed sites are associated with a wide range of supporting marine ecosystem services. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that designating the proposed network of sites will make a contribution to the resilience of ecosystem services from the Scottish marine environment. However, currently available evidence does not allow any quantification of this benefit.

4.3.42 Further discussion and information on the benefits of MPA designation is presented in Chapters 6 and 7 of the socio-economic assessment report.

Value Transfer for Non-User Benefits of MPA Network

4.3.43 This section details a value transfer to measure the non-use value of designating a network of Marine Protect Areas in Scotland. Value transfer is a process by which readily-available economic valuation evidence is applied in a new context for which valuation is required. However, it should be noted that the process of value transfer is rarely perfect: some adjustment of the available evidence (the 'source study') is needed to apply it to another context. This adjustment introduces uncertainties into the valuation evidence produced, and these are reflected in the range of values obtained. Further detail on this process can be found in Section 7.5.1 of the socio-economic assessment.

Table 34. Cumulative view of final Ecosystem Services

General Ecosystem Service Categorisation Final Ecosystem Services to be Used Observations from Site Analysis
Provisioning Provision of fish and shellfish for human and non-human consumption High uncertainty in response of fish and shellfish populations to protection of benthic habitats. Changes to primary productivity are complex and interactions between species uncertain. Furthermore, the designation may enhance levels of commercial and non-commercial species, but simultaneously make them less accessible to commercial fishing activities.
Cultural Recreation Most inshore sites have some recreational activities ( e.g. angling, diving, boating routes and anchorages), and these are likely to be enhanced if participants can encounter increased levels of biodiversity, and/or if they feel the quality of the marine environment is less likely to be degraded.
Research and education The value of individual sites for research is not well understood. Research and education opportunities are enhanced through protection of healthy marine ecosystems, but the value of this is uncertain at individual sites due to the availability of substitutes. The value of the network in this respect is greater, as there is no substitute for the proposed network.
Non-use Non-use values are potentially very substantial over the 20 year assessment period, but also uncertain. See discussion below.
Regulating Natural hazard protection No benefits are identified in terms of hazard protection, as the proposed network is assessed not to have any interaction with coastal defences.
Environmental resilience This service was not considered for individual sites as it is regarded as something that operates at a larger scale ( i.e. the network level). The MPA network will contribute to increased resilience of marine ecosystems through protection of marine biodiversity. Worm (2006) identified that more ecologically diverse marine ecosystems were more resilient to external pressures and disturbances.
Gas and climate regulation Carbon sequestration within marine environments is more significant where there is primary productivity from benthic vegetation. Relevant habitats are present in some possible MPAs, but they are an extensive feature of the proposed network, and some are already subject to protection. Therefore the additional value of the network in this respect is considered low.
Regulation of pollution Waste assimilation services are provided by some sites' protected features ( e.g. Maerl beds), but actions under the Water Framework Directive ( WFD) are assumed to be dealing with any significant impacts on coastal water quality, any so benefits of designations in to improve water quality in excess of WFD requirements are assumed to be very low.

4.3.44 The source study for this value transfer is McVittie and Moran (2008). This is considered a suitable, and the most relevant, study for value transfer due to the similarity of the following factors in this study and in the possible Scottish MPA designations:

  • The good considered: a non-market good based on government action;
  • The change: designation of a national scale network of marine protected areas ( MPAs) subject to management measures that protect biodiversity;
  • The population: the national population (a Scottish subsample is identified);
  • The context: new marine protection legislation; and
  • Timing: although economic conditions have changed, the data is relatively recent.

4.3.45 The source study estimates benefits derived from the implementation of the nature conservation measures in the draft Marine Bill, specifically, MCZs in the UK.

4.3.46 The value transfer produces a range for the non-use value of the designation of a network of MPAs in Scotland. The first part of the range is identified by scaling total non-use value expressed by Scottish households for all UK marine waters down, to only account for Scottish waters. Both values can be thought to represent the non-use value of Scottish waters by Scottish households. The former value assumes that households in Scotland only value marine conservation in Scottish waters whilst the latter assumes that they value marine conservation evenly across UK waters.

4.3.47 A second part of the range of plausible values is then identified by adjusting for the possibility of a lag in the benefits of marine conservation. Table 35 summarises the range of values that the adjustments in this value transfer lead to. The non-use value of Scottish households, with such assumptions made on the scale of Scottish marine waters and possible time-lag in the benefits from designation, are estimated at between £239 million and £583 million, at 2012 prices discounted over 20 years, from 2014.

Table 35. Range of non-use values of Scottish waters by Scottish households

Adjustment Estimated Value (2012 prices)
Scottish Households value for UK MPAs £583 million
Adjusted for size of the Scottish marine environment £355 million
Adjusted for benefits time lag £392 million
Adjusted for benefits time lag AND size of the Scottish marine environment £239 million

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