9 WILD SALMON AND MIGRATORY FISH
- A key theme emerging was agreement that improved data is needed. A number of topics were cited including migratory routes, stock structure, distribution; with some suggestions that there is potential to gather data through partnership work.
9.1 The draft National Marine Plan noted that salmon and sea trout move between fresh water and the marine environment; as such, appropriate management techniques are needed in both environments to realise the recreational and economic benefits from fish stocks.
9.2 The chapter on wild salmon and migratory fish provided background and context for this sector, outlined key issues for marine planning, presented a marine planning policy and outlined some issues to consider for the future.
Comments on Wild Salmon and Migratory Fish, Chapter 8
9.3 Respondents were asked:
Question 17: Do you have any comments on Wild Salmon and Migratory Fish, Chapter 8?
9.4 As can be seen in the table below, 34 respondents provided commentary to this question.
Table 9.1 Question 17: Do you have any comments on Wild Salmon and Migratory Fish, Chapter 8?
|Academic / scientific (7)||1|
|Environment / conservation (9)||5|
|Historic / Heritage (5)||-|
|Industry / transport (9)||-|
|Local Authority (15)||8|
|Local coastal partnership (7)||1|
|Local group (5)||-|
|Other public sector (10)||3|
|Recreation / Tourism (7)||1|
9.5 A number of respondents simply outlined their support for part or all of this Chapter; albeit that one respondent noted that while the economic, social and recreational benefits are well described, there needs to be consideration of the conservation value of salmon and sea trout. A number of respondents provided suggestions for modifications or additions to the chapter.
9.6 The main theme emerging at this question was agreement that improved data would be beneficial (this was outlined in 'The Future' section of this chapter). Topics mentioned included the need for data on stock structure, distribution, abundance, population dynamics, migratory routes and the cross transference of disease. There were also some suggestions that there is potential to gather data through partnership work between, for example, the Scottish Government and developers.
9.7 These comments came primarily from organisations within the environment/ conservation sector and Local Authorities. As one Local Authority noted, improved data would allow for fuller consideration of environmental concerns and spatial planning guidance:
"The need for improved data on stock structure, distribution, abundance, population dynamics, and migratory routes, including the impacts of development and use of the marine environment on migratory fish species is welcomed. This will allow for fuller consideration of environmental concerns in the licensing of marine finfish aquaculture and development of spatial planning guidance."
9.8 There were also some requests, primarily from respondents within the fisheries sector for more research relating to migratory patterns and the possible effects of electromagnetic radiation from sub-sea cabling. An energy company noted there is a need for scientific knowledge at a strategic level for developers to undertake the required assessments.
9.9 A small number of respondents referred to other research that would be of relevance to this chapter. Some of this is research that has already been undertaken and included:
- A report by Orkney Sustainable Fisheries on crabs (author is Kate Walker);
- Recent research which has demonstrated that changes in sea surface temperature, and associated changes in the distribution of prey items, correlate strongly with recent declines in marine survival of Atlantic salmon (no reference to the source of this research);
- Current research in salmonids being undertaken by Marine Scotland;
- The Salmon at Sea (SALSEA) project.
9.10 There were also some references to further research that respondents would like to see undertaken, including:
- Research that will enable achievement of sustainable development;
- Research into the impact of wind, wave and tidal developments on wild salmonids, and the potential for a partnership approach between developers and the government in undertaking this research;
- Research into the potential effects of electromagnetic fields on the movement of crustaceans;
- More research is needed on wild salmonid populations and in particular on migration routes and interactions with renewable energy developments;
- Research is required to better understand the processes which govern population dynamics of migratory fish.
Alternative planning policies
9.11 Respondents were then asked:
Question 18: Are there any alternative planning policies that you think should be included in this chapter?
9.12 Only a small number of respondents made any suggestions to this question, although there were two suggestions for alternative objectives, and some commentary on policies. The suggested additional objectives are listed below:
Suggested additional objectives
- To keep areas important to wild salmon and migratory fish free of fish farms on the west coast and islands of Scotland as well as on the north and east coasts;
- A previous draft included an objective to 'limit impact of coastal mixed stock fisheries and encourage reduction in annual catches to help preserve stocks'.
9.13 There were no suggestions for alternative policies per se, although a Local Authority felt that some policies in the chapter on aquaculture were relevant to migratory fish and should be included within this chapter. They also requested direction on what happens if a proposed development or use will have an adverse impact on migratory fish and whether the development will be allowed to proceed. This respondent also asked for a presumption in favour of wild salmon and migratory fish over farmed finfish.