Publication - Progress report

Planning Scotland's Seas: 2013 - The Scottish Marine Protected Area Project – Developing the Evidence Base tor Impact Assessments and the Sustainability Appraisal Final Report

Published: 19 Aug 2013
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781782567578

This report provides Marine Scotland with evidence on economic and social effects to inform a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) for each possible NC MPA, and a Sustainability Appraisal for the suite of proposals as a whole.

358 page PDF

3.8 MB

358 page PDF

3.8 MB

Contents
Planning Scotland's Seas: 2013 - The Scottish Marine Protected Area Project – Developing the Evidence Base tor Impact Assessments and the Sustainability Appraisal Final Report
3. Impacts to Human Activities

358 page PDF

3.8 MB

3. Impacts to Human Activities

Estimated potential impacts on human activities from individual MPA proposals are presented in Tables 4 to 6 of the MPA Site Reports ( Appendix E). This section provides an overview of the potential impacts by human activity type (sector).

The following activities were scoped out of the assessment on the basis that there would be no significant interaction between the activity and features proposed for protection within any of the current MPA proposals:

  • Marine Aggregates - the closest current licensed marine aggregate sites are around 60km from the nearest NC MPA proposals; and
  • Shipping - the only impact pathway identified by which shipping activity might impact features proposed for designation within existing NC MPA proposals is through damage to seabed habitats and associated species from anchoring. The pressure associated with formal and informal anchorage areas for commercial shipping is assessed under Ports and Harbours.

3.1 Aquaculture - Finfish

There are 9 inshore proposed MPAs that have existing finfish farm sites within the proposed site boundary or within 1km of the site boundary. Most proposed MPAs only overlap with a very small number of finfish farm sites, although Fetlar to Haroldswick and Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura overlap with larger numbers of sites (Fetlar to Haroldswick - 21 sites within proposed MPA boundary and one site within 1km of the boundary; Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura - 21 sites within the proposed MPA boundary and three sites within 1km of the boundary).

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).

In the absence of public information on the location of potential future finfish aquaculture developments, it has not been possible to assess the cost impacts of new development at site level, nor to quantify the costs of mitigation measures. It is not possible to quantify the costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions, although during consultation, the industry has flagged these issues as concerns.

Table 5 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 proposed 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 ( PV) in the lower scenario to £0.61 million in the upper scenario. The intermediate (best) estimate has been assessed as the same as the upper scenario.

Table 5. 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 0.060 0.22 0.22
National Costs for Future Development 0.30 0.39 0.39
Total Quantified Costs 0.36 0.61 0.61

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 5 may therefore underestimate the total cost impact to the finfish aquaculture sector.

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.

3.2 Aquaculture - Shellfish

There are 7 inshore proposed MPAs that have existing shellfish aquaculture sites within the proposed site boundary or within 1km of the site boundary. Most proposed MPAs only overlap with a very small number of shellfish aquaculture sites, although Fetlar to Haroldswick and Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura overlap with larger numbers of sites (Fetlar to Haroldswick - 10 sites within proposed MPA boundary and one site within 1km of the boundary; Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura - 21 sites within the proposed MPA boundary and three sites within 1km of the boundary).

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).

In the absence of public information on the location of potential future shellfish aquaculture developments, it has not been possible to assess the cost impacts of new development at site level, nor to quantify the costs of mitigation measures. It is not possible to quantify the costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions, although during consultation, the industry has flagged these issues as concerns.

Table 6 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 ( PV) in the lower scenario to £0.19 million in the upper scenario. The intermediate (best) estimate has been assessed as the same as the upper scenario.

Table 6. 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

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 6 may therefore underestimate the total cost impact to the shellfish aquaculture sector.

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.

3.3 Aviation

The main potential interaction between aviation and features proposed for designation within NC MPA proposals relates to the potential for disturbance to black guillemot by low flying aircraft or helicopters. A number of MPA proposals are located in close proximity to local airfields, for example, the airport at Westray is in close proximity to the Papa Westray proposed MPA. SNH advice is that they do not consider that the potential disturbance from low flying aircraft or helicopters in normal operation poses a significant risk to black guillemot. On this basis, SNH draft management options for NC MPA proposals supporting black guillemot features do not include any management measures in relation to aviation. For the purposes of this assessment, it has therefore been assumed that there will be no cost impacts to the aviation sector under any of the impact scenarios.

3.4 Carbon Capture and Storage

There are currently no operational CCS projects in Scottish waters. However, there is potential for future development. A study into the opportunities for CO 2 storage around Scotland (Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage ( SCCS), 2009) showed that within the Scottish Renewable Energy Zone study area, 29 hydrocarbon fields and 10 saline aquifers had apparent potential for CO 2 storage, all of which lie in offshore waters within the Central and Northern North Sea. Specific CCS development is proposed, centred on the Goldeneye field, approximately 100km north-east of St Fergus utilising an existing pipeline. It is possible that further pipelines will be constructed within the assessment period, running from the Firth of Forth and the Tees to the Goldeneye field.

None of the currently envisaged infrastructure will significantly interact with the MPA proposals. Four MPA proposals overlap with possible hydrocarbon fields and saline aquifers identified as having future CCS potential ( East of Gannet and Montrose Fields: 2 saline aquifers; Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt - 1 hydrocarbon field; South East Fladen - 1 hydrocarbon field; Western Fladen - 1 hydrocarbon field). However, none of these fields are anticipated to be developed for CCS within the assessment period (Scottish Enterprise, no date). On this basis, no cost impacts are anticipated to the CCS sector.

3.5 Coast Protection and Flood Defence

There are a number of coast protection and flood defence structures around the Scottish coast. Most of these are located within the major estuaries Forth, Tay and Clyde and low lying coastal areas e.g. East Lothian, Clyde Sea and Moray Firth. None of these coast protection and flood defence structures are in the vicinity of proposed MPAs. A short length of coast protection is located along the coastline of the Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura proposed MPA, but this feature will not interact with the Common Skate feature for which this MPA is proposed. A number of proposed MPAs have 'developed beaches' (beaches with some form of development at the top of the beach ( e.g. walls and other structures)) but these structures will not significantly interact with MPA features. On this basis, no significant cost impacts are anticipated.

3.6 Commercial Fisheries

Commercial fishing takes place throughout Scottish waters by UK-flagged vessels, as well as vessels from other EU Member States and non- EU countries. In 2010, the Scottish fleet was responsible for landing 61% of the total UK value and volume of fish with Scottish vessels landing 367,000 tonnes of fish worth £435 million (Marine Scotland, 2011); in 2011 the value of landings increased to £501 million (Marine Scotland, 2012). In the inshore areas, fishing activity is predominantly by Scottish vessels, and close to the coast is mainly by smaller vessels (under-15m). Further offshore, there is more activity by other countries, and by larger vessels.

3.6.1 Potential Costs on the Commercial Fishing Sector

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.

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.

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

  • Value of potential landings foregone - assessed on a gear-specific and feature-by-feature basis;
  • Reduction in direct GVA ( i.e. reduction in GVA generated by the commercial fishing sector) - estimated by applying fleet segment-specific ratios ( GVA divided by fishing income) to the value of landings affected;
  • Reduction in direct and indirect GVA ( i.e. reduction in GVA generated by the sector and its supply chain) - estimated by applying the Type I GVA multiplier for sea fishing from the recently revised Scottish Government's Input-Output Tables and Multipliers (2009); and
  • Reductions in direct and indirect employment - estimated by applying the Type I employment effect for sea fishing from the Scottish Input-Output Tables and Multipliers.

Another supply chain that is relevant in assessing the potential economic impact of designation is the supply of fish by commercial fishing vessels to fish processing facilities, hotels/restaurants and the wholesale and retail trades. Management measures that restrict commercial fishing activity have the potential to reduce the quantity of fish and shellfish landed locally at Scottish landing ports and hence to reduce the supply of locally-landed catch to these industries.

The potential costs of designation on the fish processing industry have therefore been estimated in terms of the value of potential landings foregone by port of landing. Again, these have been assessed on a gear-specific and feature-by feature basis. The potential impacts on GVA and employment have not been assessed, as estimating the reduction in GVA and employment in this sector would also estimate the reduction in the commercial fisheries sector as an indirect effect, and hence would result in double counting.

Full details on the methodology used to estimate the costs for commercial fisheries and the wider economy are set out in Appendix C ( C7.7).

3.6.1.1 Potential Loss in Value of Landings by MPA (assuming zero displacement of fishing activity)

The cost impacts on commercial fisheries in terms of the value of landings affected, by proposed MPA are presented in Table 7. . A number of proposed MPAs will not have any cost impacts on the landings of UK fisheries. These are East Caithness Cliffs, Loch Creran, Monach Isles, Mousa to Boddam, and Papa Westray (inshore sites) and Hatton-Rockall Basin, North-west Orkney and West Shetland Shelf (offshore).

Table 7 shows that the proposed MPAs with the greatest impacts on the value of landings are:

  • Small Isles (impacts predominantly on over-15m, and to a lesser extent, under-15m, nephrops and whitefish trawls);
  • North-west Sea Lochs and Summer Isles (impacts predominantly on over-15m, and to a lesser extent under-15m, nephrops trawls);
  • South Arran (impacts predominantly on over-15m nephrops trawls);
  • Central Fladen (impacts predominantly on over-15m whitefish and nephrops trawls);
  • Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope (impacts predominantly on over-15m whitefish trawls and 'other gear' and under-15m whitefish trawls (although the cost impact on the under-15m sector may be an over-estimate));
  • South-west Sula Sgeir and Hebridean Slope (impacts predominantly on over- and under-15m whitefish trawls (although the cost impact on the under-15m sector may be an over-estimate));
  • Western Fladen (impacts predominantly on over-15m nephrops trawls); and
  • Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt (impacts predominantly on over-15m whitefish trawls).

Taken together, these MPAs account for around 60-75% of total affected landings under each scenario.

The total annual average value of landings lost each year for those sites for which it is reported is estimated to range between £0.1 million and £10.1 million under the different scenarios - depending on the management measures assessed and the feature extents to which they are applied. No values are presented for Barra Fan and Hebrides Terrace Seamount, North-east Faroe Shetland Channel or Rosemary Bank Seamount proposed MPAs because the annual average values for over-15m vessels would be disclosive (fewer than 5 vessels). Subsequent estimates of GVA impacts for these sites are provided as this information is considered not to be disclosive.

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 noted that as a result of the proposed Firth of Forth offshore wind farm development, which partially overlaps with the Firth of Forth Banks Complex proposed MPA, it is possible that some fishing effort may be displaced from the MPA as a result of such development. However, it is unlikely that any physical development will have occurred at the point of designation. For the purposes of this assessment, the impacts have therefore been estimated based on current levels of fishing activity.

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. In 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. Vessels have switched fleet segments from one year to the next in the North Sea and West of Scotland demersal and nephrops segments in response to changing fish opportunities, fish prices and management measures (SeaFish, 2013a). It is difficult, however, to forecast the scale and nature of adaption or displacement of fishing activity that is likely to occur and hence the extent to which this will offset the reduced value of landings generated by MPA designation.

It is also recognised that there are costs associated with adaption and displacement (such as the costs of developing new gear types and changing gears, increased fuel costs from longer steaming times, changes in costs and earnings patterns of individual vessels, possible additional quota and days at sea costs) and that in some cases there may be a lack of suitable alternative fishing grounds. Displacement can also generate conflict between vessels displaced to a new site and vessels previously fishing in that site (or indeed reduce conflict if some gears are prohibited); as well as causing environmental impacts through targeting of new areas. In light of the difficulties involved in assessing the scale of adaption/displacement of fishing activity and the associated costs, the costs presented for commercial fisheries assume that total value of landings affected is forgone, every year, over the 20-year period. The loss in the value of landings (and indeed the GVA and employment estimates) presented below, therefore, represent worst case estimates.

Table 7. 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

3.6.2 Potential Economic Impact of MPA Designation

The economic impact of the proposed 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.

3.6.2.1 Economic importance of the commercial fishing sector to the Scottish economy and sustainable economic growth

Scotland's sea-fishing industry is estimated to contribute approximately 0.2% [13] to total Scottish GDP and 0.4% of GDP when the indirect and induced effects throughout the Scottish economy are added. Total employment in the sea-fishing industry was 4,400 in 2010 (Scottish Government, 2012b), which is 0.2% of the labour force in Scotland. The total effect on employment (taking account of indirect and induced effects) is estimated to be 6,424 full time equivalent ( FTE) jobs which is 0.3% of the labour force in Scotland. The most recent Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics published (Scottish Government, 2012a) show that in 2011, the number of fishermen employed in the Scottish fishing sector decreased by four percent compared to 2010 and is the now at lowest number ever recorded.

Although the commercial fishing sector makes a relatively low contribution to total Scottish GDP and employment, the Government Economic Strategy (2011), which sets out the Scottish Government's approach to establishing the foundations for long-term sustainable economic growth, identifies fisheries (as part of the Food and Drink sector) as one of six Growth Sectors [14] of the Scottish economy. These are sectors where Scotland has a real international comparative advantage, distinctive capabilities and businesses with the potential to be internationally successful in areas of global demand. The Scottish Government is prioritising these sectors, to ensure they grow, maximise value added and create high quality and sustainable jobs.

The Strategy recognises that securing faster, more sustainable growth will require increased performance across the economy and from of all areas of Scotland. The fact that most of the fish catching industry in Scotland is concentrated in coastal areas and islands means it has important role to play in ensuring that these parts of Scotland contribute to, and share in, future economic growth.

The latest Scottish Annual Business Statistics (August 2012) presents data on turnover, GVA and employment for the Growth Sectors. In 2010, GVA in the fishing sector in Scotland amounted to £195 million, up 38% on 2008. GVA in 2010 was also above the 2009 level of £150 million (Scottish Government, 2012b). The fishing industry has delivered these increases at a time when the majority of industry divisions in Scotland have experienced a decline in GVA due to the global downturn in 2008 and 2009 and recession.

The most recent sea fisheries statistics show that the value of fish landed by Scottish vessels increased by 13% in real terms in 2011 to reach the highest level in the century (Scottish Government, 2012a). The figures show that 359,000 tonnes of fish were landed by Scottish vessels with a value of £501 million. A key factor contributing to this was a 40% increase in real terms in the value of pelagic landings, to £184 million in 2011 and a 5% increase in real terms in the value of shellfish to £164 million. This record value of landings was achieved from 359,000 tonnes of fish, the lowest volume landed in the decade.

The commercial fishing sector, therefore, has an important contribution to make to increasing Scotland's growth and ensuring that all parts of Scotland share in that growth. In 2010, although Scotland had only 8.6% of the UK population, it landed 61% of the total value of fish caught in the UK. The industry is therefore of much greater economic (and social and cultural) importance to Scotland than to the rest of the UK.

3.6.2.2 Impact of Loss of Landings on GVA and Employment (assuming zero displacement of fishing activity)

Table 8 presents the impact which the management measures (under lower, intermediate and upper scenarios) 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. Full details on the methods used to calculate the GVA estimates are presented in Appendix C ( C7.7). These estimates are based on the sum of values across all proposed MPAs and therefore represent overestimates, as not all site options will be required to complete the network (see section 7 for more information on the combined impact of the network).

Table 8 shows the potential direct impact is an annual reduction in GVA of between £0.03 million (lower scenario) and £3.76 million per year (upper scenario). That represents approximately 0%-2% of the sector's GVA. Over the 20-year timeframe of the analysis, the estimated total reduction in sectoral GVA ranges from £0.64 million (lower scenario) up to £73.5 million (upper scenario).

Table 8. 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

The total direct and indirect impact on GVA is an annual reduction in GVA of between £0.05 million and £4.97 million, across the scenarios. The total reduction over the 20-year time frame, is estimated to range between £0.96 million and £99.53 million, across the scenarios.

Table 9. 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.

As indicated in Table 9, under the assumption of zero displacement, the designation of all proposed MPAs is estimated to lead to between 1 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.

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).

The employment impacts also assume that reductions in GVA will automatically translate into job losses. In reality, vessels are likely to be able to absorb some small reductions in turnover and hence profit without that having any impact on employment. Further, even where the reductions in GVA are significant enough to affect employment, vessel owners have a number of alternative options before having to make fishermen redundant ( e.g. reduction in wages, reduction in hours).

The point at which reductions in profits start to impact on employment issues will be different for the owners of different vessels. Rather than apply an arbitrary estimate of the threshold below which businesses would be able to absorb costs, it has been assumed that all losses in GVA translate directly into lost employment. The estimates presented above, therefore, are considered likely to over-estimate the economic impacts generated by the proposals.

Although the GVA and employment impacts are relatively small at the Scottish economy and sectoral level, they could have more significant economic and social consequences for the specific locations, individuals and communities that are affected. The scale and significance of the impacts will depend on who bears the costs and the relatively vulnerability of the local economies, fishing sectors and social groups upon which they fall. A detailed distributional analysis has therefore been undertaken for the commercial fisheries sector (and the fish processing sector) and is presented in Section 5.

3.6.2.3 Impact of Affected Landings on GVA and Employment, by MPA (assuming zero displacement of fishing activity)

Tables 10 and 11 present the potential annual average reduction in GVA and the potential total reduction in GVA over the period of analysis, by MPA, respectively. Both tables present the direct effects on the sector and the combined effects on the sector ( i.e. direct effect) and its supply chain ( i.e. indirect effect). Table 12 presents the potential impact of designation on employment.

Table 10. Average annual reduction in GVA (direct effect and the combined direct and indirect effect), assuming zero displacement of fishing activity, £ millions (2012 prices)

NCMPA Proposal Scenarios
Lower Intermediate Upper
PV Direct Effect Direct and Indirect PV Direct Effect Direct and Indirect PV Direct Effect Direct and Indirect
Inshore Sites
Clyde Sea Sill 0 0 0.081 0.121 0.162 0.242
East Caithness Cliffs 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fetlar to Haroldswick 0 0 0 0 0.001 0.002
Loch Creran 0 0 0 0 0 0
Loch Sunart < 0.001 < 0.001 < 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.002
Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura 0 0 0.072 0.109 0.172 0.258
Loch Sween 0.001 0.001 0.003 0.004 0.006 0.009
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish 0 0 0.003 0.004 0.009 0.013
Monach Isles 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mousa to Boddam 0 0 0 0 0 0
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0 0 0.078 0.117 0.156 0.234
Noss Head < 0.001 < 0.001 < 0.001 < 0.001 0.001 0.001
Papa Westray 0 0 0 0 0 0
Small Isles 0 0 0.084 0.126 0.308 0.462
South Arran < 0.001 0.001 0.084 0.126 0.242 0.363
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil 0 0 0.004 0.006 0.006 0.009
Wyre and Rousay Sounds < 0.001 < 0.001 < 0.001 < 0.001 0.002 0.003
Offshore Sites 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount 0.002 0.003 0.144 0.187 0.184 0.239
Central Fladen 0 0 0.151 0.197 0.301 0.391
Central Fladen (core) 0 0 0.033 0.043 0.059 0.076
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields 0 0 0.013 0.017 0.061 0.08
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.023 0.034 0.087 0.112 0.28 0.364
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0 0 0.284 0.271 0.327 0.296
Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope 0 0 0.247 0.321 0.353 0.459
Hatton-Rockall Basin 0 0 0 0 0 0
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel 0.002 0.003 0.083 0.108 0.215 0.28
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain 0 0 0 0 0.001 0.001
North-west Orkney 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rosemary Bank Seamount 0.004 0.005 0.071 0.092 0.13 0.169
South-east Fladen 0 0 0.096 0.124 0.191 0.249
South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope 0 0 0.264 0.343 0.325 0.422
Turbot Bank 0 0 0.02 0.026 0.028 0.036
West Shetland Shelf 0 0 0 0 0 0
Western Fladen 0 0 0.121 0.158 0.243 0.316
Total 0.032 0.048 2.021 2.612 3.763 4.974

Table 11. 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)

NCMPA 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 5.6 7.28
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0 0 4.17 5.43 4.8 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 4.3 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 2.6 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 12. 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 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 2.65 5.3
Loch Sween 0.04 0.08 0.2
Lochs Duich, Long and Aish 0 0.08 0.14
Monach Isles
Mousa to Boddam
North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles 0 2.93 5.86
Noss Head
Papa Westray
Small Isles 0 3.25 11.50
South Arran 0.02 2.87 8.67
Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil 0 0.1 0.16
Wyre and Rousay Sounds 0 0 0.04
Offshore Sites
The Barra Fan & Hebrides Terrace Seamount 0.06 4.36 5.71
Central Fladen 0 6.37 12.74
Central Fladen (core) 0 1.34 2.34
East of Gannet & Montrose Fields 0 0.53 2.56
Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt 0.70 4.14 9.93
Firth of Forth Banks Complex 0 5.94 7.08
Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope 0 8.91 12.43
Hatton-Rockall Basin
North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel 0.08 2.61 6.42
Norwegian Boundary Sediment Plain 0 0.02
North-west Orkney
Rosemary Bank Seamount 0.10 2.00 4.14
South-east Fladen 0 3.85 7.70
South-west Sula Sgeir & Hebridean Slope 0 9.09 11.43
Turbot Bank 0 0.79 1.57
West Shetland Shelf 0 0 0
Western Fladen 0 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.

It is clear from Table 10 that there is a significant level of variation in the impact of designating different proposed MPAs on GVA in the commercial fishing sector (and its associated supply chains). The reduction in annual average GVA ranges between £0- £0.34m under the intermediate scenario (with management measures at South-west Sula Sgier & Hebridean Slope responsible for the greatest potential reduction) and £0 - £0.46m under the upper scenario (with management measures at Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt generating the greatest potential reduction).

Similarly, Table 12 shows that the potential employment losses associated with designating different proposed MPAs, ranges from 0 to approximately 9 FTEs under the intermediate scenario (with management measures at South-west Sula Sgier & Hebridean Slope generating the greatest losses), and 0 to approximately 10 FTEs under the upper scenario (with management measures at Faroe-Shetland Sponge Beltgenerating the greatest potential losses), and 0 to approximately 13 FTEs under the upper scenario (with management measures at Central Fladen, Geikie Slide & Hebridean Slope and Sula and Sula Sgier & Hebridean Slope generating the greatest potential losses).

It is important to highlight that for the reasons set out in sub-section 3.6.1 above, the estimates presented in Tables 10, 11 and 12 represent worst case estimates of the potential impact of designation on GVA and employment.

3.6.3 Impacts on Other Countries

In 2012 a number of foreign vessels were recorded fishing in Scottish Waters and 591 overlapped with the MPA areas. Of this number the main country which will be potentially affected include Norway where 78 vessels fished in the North-East Faroe-Shetland Channel proposed MPA, 32 vessels in Barra Fan and Hebrides Terrace Seamount, and 28 vessels fished in Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt and Geikie Slide and Hebridean Slope. However, as the gear type used by these vessels is not known, the number of vessels that would actually be impacted by the proposed management measures is similarly unknown. Beyond Norway the other countries whose fleets are potentially affected include France, Denmark and the Netherlands, with smaller numbers of vessels affected from Germany, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Ireland, Spain and Sweden. The numbers of vessels potentially affected in each case are identified in the MPA site reports in Appendix E.

3.7 Energy Generation

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 proposed MPAs and the marine biofuel industry is very much in its infancy and there is insufficient information to undertake a meaningful assessment

There are eight inshore and two offshore proposed 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 [15] 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 proposed 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.

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).

It is not possible to quantify the costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions, although during consultation, the industry has flagged these issues as significant concerns, particularly in relation to the Firth of Forth Round 3 development.

Table 13 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 ( PV) in the lower scenario to over £47m ( PV) in the upper scenario. The intermediate (best) estimate cost is approximately £2.7m ( PV).

Under the lower scenario, minor additional costs would be associated with the need to undertake additional assessments of potential impacts to MPA features as part of development applications for offshore renewables developments. For the intermediate scenario, which is based on SNH's advice on the most likely management requirements, it is possible that additional costs might be incurred associated with re-routeing of a potential export cable from a Draft Plan Option area for wave energy within North-west Sea Lochs & Summer Isles proposed MPA. However, this is an indicative cable route from a Draft Plan Option area which will be subject to public consultation and it is therefore uncertain whether the development might proceed in the future.

Table 13. 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

Under the upper scenario, a number of additional potential cost impacts have been identified. These include potential costs associated with a possible requirement to re-route a potential export cable from a Draft Plan Option area for tidal energy within South Arran proposed MPA and for additional management measures for proposed offshore wind development within the Firth of Forth Banks Complex proposed MPA.

For South Arran proposed MPA, this is an indicative cable route from a Draft Plan Option area which will be subject to public consultation and it is therefore uncertain whether the development might proceed in the future.

For the Firth of Forth Banks Complex proposed MPA, significant cost impacts may be incurred under the upper scenario due to the cost associated with the potential requirement to use graded scour protection. Seagreen Wind Energy Limited has indicated that the scale of these costs could render planned future development unviable. However, it should be noted that JNCC's current advice is that the intermediate scenario represents their best view on potential management requirements.

For the purposes of the assessment, it has been assumed that consent will be obtained for the two Phase 1 offshore windfarms within the Round 3 zone (Project Alpha and Project Bravo, Seagreen Wind Energy Limited) before designation of the MPA (assumed 2014) . However, should consent not be obtained before 2014 and should additional management measures be required, additional costs could be incurred, particularly under the upper scenario. For example, applying the assessment methodology to the Phase 1 sites, the additional costs associated with graded scour protection are estimated to be £14.8m PV.

Scottish Renewables expressed concern that if the additional costs arising from management measures under the upper scenario restricted developments (current, planned, or future) or meant that developers did not proceed with projects, there could be impacts on future GVA and employment in this sector with knock-on effects on this sector's supply chains and the wider Scottish economy. Although it is highly uncertain whether designation of the proposed MPAs would affect future economic activity in this sector under the upper scenario, in light of the potential risks, the socio-economic impacts that could be generated as a result are assessed as part of the social impact analysis ( sub-section 5.2).

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.

3.8 Military Activities

Military activities and exercises occur in three offshore and 12 inshore proposed 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.

It has not been possible to identify potential cost impacts to the military defence sector at site level. A cost estimate has been made at national level drawing on information provided by MOD to the MCZ IA (Finding Sanctuary et al, 2012).

As a public authority and operator, MoD is required under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to carry out its functions and activities in a way that will further, or least hinder, the conservation objectives of MPAs. The Secretary of State for Defence's Safety, Health, Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development in Defence policy statement directs MoD to introduce management arrangements which, so far as is practicable, ensure that outcomes are at least as good as those required by the European Union's Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, from which military activities are exempt ( JNCC and Natural England, 2011). To assist in meeting its environmental obligations, 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. In line with the MCZ IA (Finding Sanctuary et al, 2012), it has been assumed that there will be a one-off cost of £25,000 in 2014 (at 2012 prices) to update MESAT with an annual cost of £5000 p.a. (at 2012 prices) from 2015 onwards to maintain MESAT.

It has also been assumed that MoD will mitigate the impact of military activity on MPA features through additional planning consideration during operations and training (as provided through the revisions to MESAT) and during coastal military activities covered by Integrated Rural Management Plans. The costs of these mitigation measures have been assumed to be £10,000 p.a. (at 2012 prices) in the first four years of the IA period, reducing to £5,000 p.a. from year 5 onwards in line with the assumptions used in the MCZ IA (Annex H10 of Finding Sanctuary et al, 2012).

On this basis, it is estimated that the PV cost (2012 prices, discounted at 3.5% over the assessment period) would be £0.19m for all three scenarios ( Table 14). No potential benefits have been identified to the military defence sector.

Table 14. 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

3.9 Oil and Gas

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.

The Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt proposed MPA encompasses five major fields West of Shetland including Schiehallion, Foinaven and Loyal which are currently in production and Laggan and Tormore which are currently under development. The East of Gannet and Montrose Fields MPA proposal encompasses 18 known hydrocarbon fields and four oil and gas platforms (Nordic Apollo FPSO; 21/25 GAN NET A; 22/17 B and 22/17 A).

A large number of 26 th and 27 th licensing round awards have been made for oil and gas licensing blocks that are within or which overlap proposed MPAs, including:

  • Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt - 52 awards;
  • North-East Faroe-Shetland Channel - 50 awards; and
  • East of Gannet and Montrose Fields - 21 awards.

It is estimated that around 15 oil and gas fields that intersect with proposed MPAs will bring forward decommissioning plans over the assessment period ( DECC, pers. comm., 2013). The locations of these fields cannot be disclosed for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

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).

It is not possible to quantify the costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions, although during consultation, the industry has flagged these issues as significant concerns, particularly in relation to development within the West of Shetland fields.

Table 15 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.

Under the lower scenario, minor additional costs would be associated with the need to undertake additional assessments of potential impacts to MPA features as part of development applications for oil and gas developments. Further potential costs might be incurred under the intermediate scenario primarily associated with the need for micrositing of oil and gas infrastructure to avoid sensitive habitats (areas of high density for tall sea pens).

Greater potential cost impacts are identified under the upper scenario, associated with additional survey and mitigation measures, including requirements to microsite infrastructure to avoid damaging a wider range of sensitive habitats and a requirement to skip and ship drill cuttings to avoid damaging sensitive habitats. These mitigation measures would particular affect potential cost impacts for the East of Gannet and Montrose Fileds, Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt and North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel proposed MPAs, reflecting the high levels of likely future development in these areas and requirements for extensive micrositing and skip and ship of drill cuttings. Oil & Gas UK have expressed concerns that the scale of potential cost impacts could render some proposed developments unviable. However, it should be noted that JNCC's current advice is that the intermediate scenario represents their best view on potential management requirements.

Table 15. 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.

Oil & Gas UK has expressed concern that if the additional costs arising from management measures under the upper scenario restricted developments (current, planned, or future) or meant that developers did not proceed with projects, there could be impacts on future GVA and employment in this sector. The exploitation of significant discoveries generally involves multi-billion pound investments. Should significant discoveries be identified but not exploited, this could have substantial knock-on effects on this sector's supply chains and the wider Scottish economy. Although it is highly uncertain whether designation of the proposed MPAs would affect future economic activity in this sector under the upper scenario, in light of the potential risks, the socio-economic impacts that could be generated as a result are assessed as part of the social impact analysis ( sub-section 5.2).

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.

3.10 Ports and Harbours

There are ten inshore proposed MPAs within which minor ports are present or adjacent to the site boundaries. No major ports are located within or adjacent to proposed MPAs. One open disposal site is located within the North West Sea Lochs and Summer Isles proposed MPA. There is no overlap between proposed MPAs and Chamber of Shipping anchorage areas. Seven proposed MPAs have one or more anchorages or mooring areas [16] within them (South Arran, Lochs Duich, Long and Aish, Fetlar to Haroldswick, Upper Loch Fyne & Loch Goil, Loch Sween, North West Sea Lochs and Summer Isles and Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura), which may come under the jurisdiction of harbour authorities.

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).

It has not been possible to quantify the potential loss of income associated with loss of trade. There is a concern within the ports sector about the consequential loss of income that may arise as a result of reductions in fishing activity, particularly at those ports that are dependent on income from harbour dues from commercial fishing vessels (Ullapool Harbour Trust, pers. comm., 2013).

It has not been possible to quantify the costs associated with potential delays during the consenting process or the impact of designation on investment decisions, although this is considered unlikely to be a substantial issue for minor port developments. Some additional costs could be associated with mitigation measures for relocation of anchorages that come under the jurisidiction of harbour authorities, should such measures be required, for example, to relocate to less sensitive habitat areas. However, these costs have not been quantified.

Table 16 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 ( PV) in the lower scenario to around £0.16m in the upper scenario. The intermediate (best) estimate cost is around £0.14m ( PV).

Table 16. 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 0.03 0.03 0.03
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

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.

3.11 Power Interconnectors and Transmission Lines

There are 11 inshore and three offshore proposed MPAs that have existing or planned (consented) interconnectors transiting the site or within 1km of the site boundary. Most proposed MPAs only overlap with a single power interconnector, although Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura is intersected by 11 existing power interconnectors and transmission lines.

Given the assumption that there will be no review of existing consents or licences, no significant cost impacts are anticipated to arise in relation to existing power interconnectors and transmission lines. Should marine licences be required for maintenance work on specific sections of cable within MPAs in the future (for example, to rebury cables that have become exposed), the cable operators would be required to undertake additional assessments to take account of potential impacts to MPA features. It is possible that additional mitigation measures could be required for such works. However, the number and location of such works cannot be predicted. No significant cost impacts to the power cable sector have been identified in the assessment under any of the scenarios.

There are significant uncertainties surrounding the assessment. While the planning of power interconnectors and transmission lines is undertaken centrally by Government and there is reasonable information on the forward programme over the next decade, there is significant uncertainty surrounding the development of the offshore grid, which will be driven by development plans for offshore renewables which are themselves uncertain. It is possible that additional proposals for new interconnectors which interact with MPA features could be brought forward and implemented within the period of the assessment. The requirements for mitigation measures are uncertain and will vary at site level. Overall confidence in the quantified estimates is assessed as medium.

3.12 Recreational Boating

Scottish coastal waters are important for recreational boating activity. A large number of sailing and cruising routes are present in inshore waters with some transits through offshore waters. There are also a large number of recreational anchorages and moorings within sea lochs and sheltered coastal waters. The transit of vessels along cruising and sailing routes is not considered to pose significant risks to the features proposed for designation within current proposed MPAs. However, recreational anchoring and moorings have the potential to cause damage to sensitive seabed habitats and species.

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 proposed MPAs:

  • South Arran;
  • Lochs Duich, Long and Aish;
  • Upper Loch Fyne & Loch GoilLoch Sunart;
  • Loch Sween;
  • North-west Sea Lochs and Summer Isles
  • Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura;
  • Small Isles; and
  • Wyre and Rousay Sounds.

Under the lower and intermediate scenarios, SNH has identified 5 proposed MPAs where a small number of anchorages may require relocation (South Arran, Loch Sunart, Loch Sween, North-west Sea Lochs and Summer Isles and Wyre and Rousay Sounds) and 2 proposed MPAs where individual moorings may require relocation (Loch Sunart and North-west Sea Lochs and Summer Isles). Under the upper scenario, a larger number of anchorages and moorings may require relocation, taking account of current uncertainties in the spatial extent of MPA features and their sensitivity to anchor/mooring damage.

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.

3.13 Telecom Cables

There are two inshore (South Arran and Clyde Sea Sill) and seven offshore (Central Fladen, Central Fladen Core, North-east Faroe-Shetland Channel, Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt, Hatton-Rockall Basin, North West Orkney, West Shetland Shelf) proposed MPAs that have existing telecom cables transiting the site. In addition one existing cable is within 1km of an inshore site (Moussa to Boddam). 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. For the purposes of the assessment it has been assumed that one cable transiting the South Arran and Clyde Sea Sill proposed MPAs will require replacement during the assessment period.

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).

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

Table 17 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 £0.014m ( PV) in the lower scenario to £0.046m in the upper scenario. The intermediate (best) estimate has been assessed as the same as the lower scenario.

Table 17. 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

The costs largely relate to undertaking additional assessments of the potential impacts of laying a new cable on the features within the MPA. Within the upper scenario for South Arran, it has been assumed that additional survey would be required to support route planning and that an additional 1km of telecom cable is required to re-route around the burrowed mud feature.

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.

3.14 Tourism

Tourism is an important and widespread economic activity within Scotland and tourism will interact with all of the proposed inshore MPAs with a coastal location. However, tourism is assessed as having relatively minor potential impacts on features within the proposed MPAs and no significant direct cost impacts are anticipated.

Given the close relationship between coastal tourism, recreational boating and water sports, impacts to the recreational boating and water sports sectors could potentially have indirect impacts on the tourism sector. While some potential impacts to the recreational boating sector have been identified (see section 3.12) in relation to possible requirements to relocate anchorages, these are not considered likely to have a significant impact on recreational boating activity. No potentially significant impacts of proposed MPAs on water sports have been identified (see section 3.15). On this basis, no significant indirect impacts on the tourism sector are anticipated.

The tourism sector may benefit directly from the designation of NC MPAs with a coastal component (with the MPA providing an added attraction to a destination). Indirect benefits may also accrue as a result of benefits to other sectors. For example, some benefits to the water sports sector have been identified associated with potential improvements in the ecological value of NC MPAs stemming from management measures applied to other sectors (see section 3.15). Potential benefits to the tourism sector are discussed in more detail within the benefits assessment ( Section 6).

3.15 Water Sports

A wide range of water sports activities take place in Scottish waters including recreational angling, surfing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, small sail boat activities (such as dinghy sailing) and scuba diving (BMF et al., 2009). Recreational boating activity in larger vessels such as yachts is covered separately (see section 3.12). Water sports activities will interact with all of the proposed inshore MPAs with a coastal location. Some activities such as diving will also interact with some sites further offshore, for example, there are four dive sites within the Firth of Forth Banks Complex proposed MPA. However, all water sports are assessed as having relatively minor potential impacts on features within the proposed MPAs and no significant direct cost impacts are anticipated.

Some benefits to the water sports sector have been identified associated with potential improvements in the ecological value of NC MPAs stemming from management measures applied to other sectors. For example, recreational fishing may benefit from improved fish resources (more and larger fish) and recreational diving may benefit from the increased abundance and size of fish and conspicuous epiflora/fauna. Potential benefits to the water sports sector are discussed in more detail within the benefits assessment ( Section 6).


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