Information

Proposal to designate Red Rocks and Longay as a Marine Protected Area: consultation

An overview of the consultation to designate a new Marine Protected Area within the Inner Sound of Skye, including short summaries of the available documentation. The MPA will protect flapper skate and their eggs as well as the geodiversity feature, Quaternary of Scotland.


Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment

Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments (BRIAs) look at the likely costs, benefits and risks of any proposed primary or secondary legislation. They also cover voluntary regulation, codes of practice, guidance, or policy changes that may have an impact on the public, private or third sector. A partial BRIA has been completed to consider the likely impacts of the proposals. The BRIA for the site will be finalised following the public consultation.

Evidence in the partial BRIA in relation to the proposed designation and management measures is drawn from the work of statutory nature conservation body NatureScot including assessments on previous MPAs and the most recent management advice for this site. This has been updated as required. It brings together the science-led arguments for management and the projected potential social and economic consequences of such action. This BRIA examines the socio-economic effects of designating the Red Rocks and Longay MPA and introducing management measures through the associated MCO. The appraisal period for assessing the socio-economic impacts covers the period from 2022 to 2041, although benefits will be delivered for longer if effective management measures remain in force.

The sectors and groups affected have been identified as:

  • Commercial fisheries; and
  • Tourism, recreational fishing and recreational diving.

The annual value of commercial fisheries within the MPA over the last 5 years is £69,000. If the site is designated the quantified costs for 2022-2041 to commercial fisheries and public sector is estimated to be in the region of £1.29-1.32 million. Total change to Gross Value Added (GVA) to commercial fisheries for 2022-2041 if the site is designated is estimated to be £0.511 million and direct reduction of employment if the site is designated is estimated to be 0.6 full time employment jobs. This reduction of employment estimate is a worst case scenario with vessels likely to react to any management measures in place in order to maintain profitability such as changing species/gear type.

Total non-quantifiable costs for tourism, recreational fishing and diving cannot be estimated but there would be an expected loss of ecosystem benefits for these activities in the MPA if prohibited. Total non-quantifiable costs for commercial fisheries if the site was designated cannot be estimated but displacement effects including conflict with other fishing vessels, environmental impacts in targeting new areas, longer steaming times and increased fuel costs, changes in costs and earnings, gear development and adaptation costs, and additional quota costs may occur.

Table 1 illustrates how the protected features of Red Rocks and Longay MPA contribute to benefits for people. Non-use value of the natural environment is the benefit people get simply from being aware of a diverse and sustainable marine environment even if they do not themselves 'use it'.

It is estimated that effective management of Red Rocks and Longay MPA may provide wider benefits over and above these non-use values society places on a healthy and productive marine environment. The management measures are likely to support continued egg laying by flapper skate that depend on boulder substrate located within the site as nursery habitats.

Table 1: Summary of ecosystem services benefits arising from designation of MPA and implementation of MCO.

Services

Relevance

Baseline Level

Estimated impacts of designation and management

Value Weighting

Scale of Benefits

Confidence

Fish for human consumption

High -

Support food web and contain nursery habitats.

Stocks reduced from potential maximum

Moderate – protection of site can contribute to recovery of fish and shellfish stocks

High -

Commercial species supported and priority wildlife species.

Moderate

Moderate

Fish for non-human consumption

Stocks reduced from potential maximum

Moderate – protection of site can contribute to recovery of fish and shellfish stocks

Gas and climate regulation

Nil - Low

Nil - Low

Nil-Low

Low

Low

High

Natural hazard protection

Nil - Low

Nil - Low

Low

Minimal-

Increase unlikely

Nil - Minimal

High

Regulation of pollution

Nil - Low

Nil - Low

Low -

If protection allows recovery of habitats, service could increase

Minimal-

Increase in this service unlikely

Minimal - Low

High

Non-use value of natural environment

Moderate – High

Contribution of the site to MPA network and non-use value of flapper skate.

Low- Moderate

Non-use value of the site may decline

Moderate -

Protection of features of site from damage, allowing some recovery of population of flapper skate.

High -

strong contribution to halting damage & decline of biodiversity. Protection of features is valued by divers and anglers.

Moderate

Moderate

Recreation

Moderate -

active individuals and businesses

Moderate - High

Including tourism activities and wildlife watching.

High – Protection of features of site from damage, allowing recovery of population of flapper skate.

Moderate -

Extensive activities

Minimal- Moderate -

Enhanced visitor experience

Low – Moderate

Research and Education

Moderate – High

Moderate – High

High

Protection of key characteristics of site from decline, improving future research opportunities for juveniles, flapper skate eggs and reproductive biology of adults

High - opportunity to study recovery, opportunity to study life history of flapper skate

High

High – recovery to be monitored, life history of flapper skate to be studied

This is a summary of the BRIA. See the partial BRIA that accompanies this consultation for full details.

Contact

Email: marine_conservation@gov.scot

Back to top