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
4. Costs to the Public Sector

358 page PDF

3.8 MB

4. Costs to the Public Sector

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 listsed 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.

It is possible that public bodies such as The Crown Estate ( TCE) could also experience impacts on its revenues from seabed leases should some development projects not proceed as a result of MPA designation or should some existing TCE moorings require relocation (see section 3.12). However, it has not been possible to estimate such potential impacts within this assessment. In addition, Scottish Water may also incur some additional costs, although the assumption used for this assessment is that any management measures required to support the achievement of MPA objectives would already be required under the Water Framework Directive.

Most of the potential costs identified have been assessed at the level of individual MPA sites, except for inshore site monitoring, compliance and enforcement, promotion of public understanding and an element of regulatory and advisory costs which have been assessed at national level.

4.1 Marine Management Schemes

As part of the process of designation, management plans will be developed for each potential nature conservation MPA, setting out the preferred management option and how it will be delivered. These management plans represent a sunk cost as the work will largely be completed ahead of the decision to designate individual sites. For many sites, particularly offshore sites where the only significant human activity is likely to be commercial fishing, the management plan is likely to provide a sufficient basis for coordinating management efforts. However, for inshore sites where a large number of activities may be occurring, it may be necessary to develop a more formal Marine Management Scheme which sets out the roles and responsibilities of different public authorities so that there is clarity concerning how these authorities will be delivering their statutory functions to support achievement of the conservation objectives for protected features within the MPAs. These management schemes will be considerably more detailed than the management plans, similar in nature to the Schemes of Management that have been established for some European Marine Sites.

For the purposes of this assessment, it has been assumed that a management scheme will be required for certain inshore sites within 6nm 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 6 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.

The cost associated with preparing a Management Scheme has been assumed to be £24,500 (at 2012 prices) per site based on the estimate of £23,000 at 2009 prices provided in Scottish Government (2009). It is assumed that 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 £0.144 million.

4.2 Statutory Instruments

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.

4.2.1 Marine Conservation Orders

Marine Conservation Orders ( MCOs) may be required to regulate activities that take place within a designated MPA where and when required. MCOs are provided for under the Marine (Scotland) Act and are therefore applicable only to inshore sites. They might be required to prohibit or restrict certain activities such as entry into a site, anchoring vessels, killing, taking etc animals or plants, depositing material or damaging the seabed. The cost associated with the making of such Orders has been assumed to be £3,500 (at 2009 prices), being the mid-range of the estimate provided in Scottish Government (2009). 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.

4.2.2 Inshore Fisheries Management Measures

Should fisheries management measures be required in inshore waters, it is likely that these will be pursued under fisheries legislation rather than through MCOs. The Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act enables Ministers to establish spatial management measures within 6nm through Orders which may prohibit certain gear or vessel types, the targeting of particular species and the time periods for which such prohibitions apply. Separately, s197 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 as read with s158 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 gives Scottish Ministers the power to amend the conditions of fishing licences to protect the marine environment within territorial waters (0-12nm). These can be used to apply similar restrictions to those applicable using the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984. As this Act only applies in the 0-6nm zone, conditions on fishing licences will be used as a method used to provide fisheries management when measures are required in NC MPAs located within the 6-12nm zone where the UK has exclusive access.

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), being the mid-range of the estimate provided in Scottish Government (2009).

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 £0.019 million and £0.045 million (Present Value, 2012 prices discounted at 3.5% over the assessment period). It is noted that on going work to ensure that commercial fisheries activities comply with the requirements of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive may also lead to a requirement for Fisheries Orders in some potential MPA locations. Assuming that a single Order can be made to establish the management measures required both for potential nature conservation MPAs and compliance with Article 6 of the Habitats Directive, this would reduce the costs to the public sector in making these Orders.

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. Marine Scotland (Marine Scotland, pers. comm., 2013) has indicated that modifications to fishing licences is a minor administrative task (all fishing licences could be amended within 3 days by a single member of staff) and the costs of amending a proportion of fishing licences would therefore be absorbed within existing activity. 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. Based on current information, it is not anticipated that any specific CFP measures would be required for sites partly or wholly between 6 to 12nm. Where sites overlap the 12nm boundary, CFP measures would necessarily be required if fishing activity was to be restricted.

4.2.3 Offshore Fisheries Management Measures

Should fisheries management measures be required in offshore waters, these would need to be pursued through the CFP in consultation with the European Commission. These measures, if approved, would control the activities of all fishing vessels. The measures could introduce spatial restrictions on gear types, the targeting of particular species and the time periods for which such prohibitions would apply.

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) (Marine Scotland, pers. comm., 2013), 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 £0.025 million (lower scenario) to £0.047 million to £0.052 million (intermediate and upper scenarios).

4.3 Voluntary Measures

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), being the mid-range of the estimate provided in Scottish Government (2009)). Given the uncertainty surrounding the future requirement for voluntary measures, no specific costs to the public sector have been identified within this assessment.

4.4 Site Monitoring

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. Effort will be targeted towards those features considered to be most at risk. The approach to site-based monitoring following designation will be set out in a detailed monitoring strategy that will be developed by SNH and JNCC as part of a UK-wide marine monitoring strategy that is being coordinated by JNCC in collaboration with the statutory nature conservation bodies.

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, SNH pers. comm.);
  • 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) (based on JNCC, pers. comm.):
    ­ Fladen survey work undertaken simultaneously;
    ­ Shallow water sites at a cost of £272 per sq km (based on MCZ IA costings report);
    ­ 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.

The expenditure on inshore sites equates to around £1.83m per 6 year reporting cycle, or approximately £110,000 per site. This compares to an estimated average value of £150,000 per site (covering both inshore and offshore sites) presented in Table 7 of the Final Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Marine (Scotland) Bill (Scottish Government, 2009).

For the offshore sites, Table 18 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 ( JNCC, pers. comm.).

Table 18. 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

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.

4.5 Compliance and Enforcement

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. For commercial fishing activity, particularly in offshore sites which are exclusively used by over 12m vessels, Vessel Monitoring System ( VMS) data will provide a good source of information on compliance with any spatial closures. However, where management measures restrict gear types, some additional site based inspection activity may also be required, although in the future, remote sensing technologies or high frequency VMS technologies may be able to be used to indicate gear types being deployed. Marine Scotland Compliance have three Marine Protection Vessels ( MPV) that are deployed on fisheries enforcement activities in Scottish inshore and offshore waters. Marine Scotland Compliance (Marine Scotland, pers. comm., 2013) has indicated that potential additional inspection requirements for NC MPAs will be prioritised within existing resources and will not therefore lead to any significant increase in existing costs.

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. Detailed information on the total costs of implementing the local VMS pilot system for Lyme Bay is not available although the cost of acquiring and installing a monitoring terminal was around £1k (Neil Wellum, MMO pers. comm.). This terminal permits users to download information in near-real time. Should such systems be considered necessary for inshore NC 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 £0.199m.

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.

4.6 Promoting Public Understanding

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. Marine Scotland (Marine Scotland, pers. comm., 2013) has indicated that there could be a maximum one-off cost of £50,000 associated with developing public information on the internet, assumed to be incurred in 2014.

4.7 Regulatory and Advisory Costs Associated with Licensing Decisions

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. This main assessment stage focuses on determining whether the potential development might pose a significant risk of hindering the conservation objectives. Where additional assessment effort is required of developers, this will necessarily entail additional review effort by regulators and their advisors. Based on information contained in the draft Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Scottish Marine Bill, the cost to regulators of reviewing developer submissions is approximately 10% of the cost to the developer of preparing those submissions (Scottish Government, 2009). Additional regulatory and advisory costs associated with reviewing additional assessments have therefore been calculated on this basis.

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) - £0.044 million PV (all scenarios);
  • CAR licences for use of chemical therapeutants in finfish aquaculture installations ( SEPA) - £0.006 million (all scenarios) PV;
  • Oil and gas licences and permits for new oil & gas exploration and development ( DECC) - £0.138 million to £0.146 million ( PV) (all scenarios), depending on offshore options chosen; and
  • Marine licences for new development activity (multiple sectors) (Marine Scotland) - £0.029 million to £0.036 million PV (lower scenario) to £0.040 million to £0.047 million PV (upper scenario), depending on combination of alternative sites selected.

The cost impacts identified above will fall on the lead regulators for the relevant licensing regimes but also on SNH and JNCC, the statutory nature conservation bodies.

4.8 Summary of Estimated Costs to the Public Sector

Table 19 summaries the estimated potential costs to the public sector. Information on site specific costs is also provided in the relevant Site Reporting Templates ( Appendix E) where costs could be allocated to individual sites.

Table 19. 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

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.


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