Publication - Consultation analysis

Planning Scotland's Seas: Scotland's National Marine Plan. Consultation Response Analysis Report

Published: 2 May 2014
Part of:
Marine and fisheries

Planning Scotland’s Seas: Scotland’s National Marine Plan was published for consultation in July 2013. Independent analysis of all written responses to the consultation has been undertaken and is presented in this report.

Planning Scotland's Seas: Scotland's National Marine Plan. Consultation Response Analysis Report


Chapter summary

  • Many of the respondents who commented on this question simply said that the sectors covered are adequate. There was also general support for the approach to the sectoral policies.
  • Respondents commented that the chapter does not have a strong spatial focus which should be addressed.
  • There were suggestions for improvement to the format of the sector chapter.
  • Respondents identified some sectors which could be broken down further.

6.1 Chapter 5 of the National Marine Plan gives an introduction to the chapters on specific marine planning policies. The sectors covered are:

  • Fisheries;
  • Aquaculture;
  • Wild Salmon;
  • Oil and Gas;
  • Carbon Capture and Storage;
  • Renewables;
  • Recreation and Tourism;
  • Transport;
  • Telecommunications;
  • Defence;
  • Aggregates.

Question 11 asked: 'Do you have any comments on Chapter 5?' and 'Are there other sectors which you think should be covered by the National Marine Plan?'.

Table 6.1 Question 11: Questions on Chapter 5

Respondent group Number commenting
Individuals (16) 2
Academic / scientific (7) 2
Aquaculture (5) -
Energy (12) 4
Environment / conservation (9) 6
Fisheries (13) 3
Historic / Heritage (5) 2
Industry / transport (9) 1
Local Authority (15) 9
Local coastal partnership (7) 3
Local group (5) -
Other public sector (10) 6
Recreation / Tourism (7) 1
Other (4) 1
Total (124) 40

6.2 As shown in table 6.1, 40 respondents commented on Chapter 5; several, across a number of groups, simply said no or that the sectors covered are adequate.

6.3 There was also general support for the approach to the sectoral policies although a small number commented that the approach taken means that interaction between sectors is lost or asked that cross-referencing be included.

6.4 Respondents commented that the chapter does not have a strong spatial focus which should be addressed. One Local Authority respondent said that there are no time-bound objectives and that this could mean actions being delayed. There was also a comment on the need for clarification of the timescale terms used: 'immediate', 'future' and 'longer term'. There was also a suggestion of including SMART objectives.

6.5 A public sector respondent said that it needs to be made clear that the sections on 'Living within environmental limits' do not provide exhaustive lists and that additional reference material should be signposted to provide additional information on impact types.

6.6 An energy respondent welcomed the inclusion of interaction with other users as a key issue.

6.7 There were some comments on the format of the sectors chapter and these included:

  • That the multiple symbols used create 'visual clutter' rather than being useful;
  • That the labelling of policies is inconsistent;
  • That there is unnecessary repetition which adds to a cluttered appearance (for example repetition of the full title);
  • That the policy for Wild Salmon and Migratory Fish has no number or identifier;
  • That the policies for Carbon Capture and Storage use abbreviations while the Oil and Gas policies use the full sector;
  • The need for headings to be consistent with the overall objectives from Chapter 3;
  • The need to make it clear that sectoral policies should not be taken in isolation from the general policies.

6.8 Respondents identified some sectors which could be broken down further including a Local Authority suggesting that Transport could be broken down into Shipping and Navigation, Ports and Harbours, Ferry Transport and Marine Safety. A public sector respondent suggested this chapter could be renamed 'Transport (Shipping, Ports, Harbours & Ferries)' and that it could also include detail about mooring and anchoring.

6.9 Similarly, there were suggestions there could be a separate sector on the Transmission Grid rather than this being included within the renewables chapter. A separate chapter would give the opportunity to include aspects such as interconnectors and issues such as strategic planning and grid development.

6.10 A number of sectors were identified as missing, including:

  • Coastal and maritime heritage;
  • The marine historic environment;
  • Nature conservation;
  • Natural heritage;
  • Ecosystem goods and services and natural capital;
  • Coastal infrastructure;
  • Recreation (especially sea-angling);
  • Marine education, science and research, specifically in relation to the development of marine tourism;
  • Transmissions sector and cable laying, other than telecoms and other infrastructure projects;
  • Electricity networks;
  • Decommissioning;
  • The regulatory sectors;
  • Food security;
  • Underground Coal Gasification;
  • Seaweed, including seaweed aquaculture and wild seaweed harvesting.

6.11 Activities which could be included in existing chapters were also suggested such as recognition of the "contribution of coastal and estuarine nuclear thermal power plant in delivering affordable, reliable and secure energy supplies" (energy).

6.12 Respondents also wanted to see recognition of the needs of the fishing sector "given that the spatial and temporal distributions of fish stocks and nursery areas are not uniform and may be subject to major change due to climate change and other factors." (fishing).

6.13 A public sector respondent suggested that a list of minor activities might include bait digging and winkle-picking/ foraging. Another issue identified by one respondent for inclusion was the importance of volunteering.

6.14 An academic/ scientific respondent felt that "the impacts of climate change on marine activities seems disproportionate considering there is limited mention of the impacts of marine activities on climate change".

6.15 There was also a call, from a Local Authority, for recognition of and consultation with coastal communities and for marine developments to be in accordance with Local Plans.