Publication - Consultation analysis

Seal Haul-Out Sites Consultation Analysis

Published: 26 Jun 2014
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781784123499

Summary report containing a detailed analysis of the views and comments received from various stakeholders on the list of proposed haul-out sites.

11 page PDF

812.3 kB

11 page PDF

812.3 kB

Contents
Seal Haul-Out Sites Consultation Analysis
2. Questionnaire results

11 page PDF

812.3 kB

2. Questionnaire results

The majority of responses (76%) were supportive of the proposals but there was some disagreement between NGO's and some local developers over whether more or less sites were preferred.

Question One

Do you consider that the overall number of seal haul out sites proposed at national/regional/local level represent a reasonable balance between seal conservation and other sustainable activities?

67% replied that more sites should be designated and a proportion of these felt all haul-out sites should be designated, giving protection to all seals when ashore.

24% of respondents (majority industries around the coast) stressed that the proposal might negatively impact on their activity and considered that fewer sites should be designated.

Group Content More Sites Fewer Sites
NGO 1 12 -
Local Tourism - 9 -
Other (coastal) Industries - - 8
Individuals 2 14 1
GOV 2 1 4
Total % 9 % 67 % 24 %

Question Two

Do you consider that additional sites should be included at national/regional/local level and, if so, why, how many additional sites and which sites?

Group Yes No N/A (not answered)
NGO 7 1 5
Local Tourism 9 - -
Other (coastal) Industries - 5 3
Individuals 11 1 6
GOV 1 2 4
Total % 51 % 16 % 33 %

51% of respondents actually suggested additional sites for inclusion in the list. The suggested sites were considered by SMRU during a review but many failed to satisfy their criteria.

Question Three

Do you consider that fewer sites should be included at national/regional/local level and, if so, why, how many fewer sites and which sites?

Group Yes No N/A
NGO 12 1
Local Tourism 9 -
Other (coastal) Industries 6 2
Individuals 1 15 2
GOV 3 4
Total % 13% 71% 16%

71% were against reducing the number of sites, however some local coastal industries suggested that particular sites be excluded unless a clear definition of 'harassment' was provided. In response to their views Marine Scotland drafted guidance on harassment which will be available on Marine Scotland website. The sites suggested for exclusion were considered by SMRU during the review but fully met their criteria and were retained.

Question Four

Do you agree that existing Special Areas of Conservation ( SACs) for seals should be added to the list of seal haul-out sites being considered for possible designation?

Group Yes No N/A
NGO 8 -
Local Tourism 1 -
Other (coastal) Industries 2 -
Individuals 5 2 -
GOV 4 -
Total % 33% 7% -

A significant proportion (60%) of respondents did not answer this question and their comments suggest this is due to the lack of understanding about the differences between SACs and seal haul-out sites. In light of this limited response Marine Scotland has decided not to include existing SAC's which already have their own higher levels of protection.

Question Five

Do you consider that particular national or regional level activities might represent a potential risk of harassment to seals on haul-out sites in general?

National or Regional Activities with Potential Risk of Harassment of Seals

This chart represents the views of 65% of questionnaire respondents, who consider certain activities might represent a risk of harassment to seals at a national level (subject to a definition of harassment). Some local industries pointed out that mitigation measures might potentially reduce the risk of harassment in many circumstances.

The main concerns were the potential risks from aquaculture and, rather surprisingly, tourism and recreation.

Note:- unusual seal mortalities are included under shipping.

Question Six

Do you consider that particular local activities might represent a potential risk of harassment to seals on particular haul out sites included on the list?

Local Activities with Potential Risk of Harassment of Seals

This chart represents the views of 65% of questionnaire respondents, who consider certain activities might represent a risk of harassment to seals at a local level. Once again a few local industries pointed out that mitigation measures might potentially reduce the risk of harassment in many circumstances.

The overriding concern was the risk represented by tourism and recreation to local seal populations, including wildlife watching tours and yachting and kayaking.

Note:- unusual seal mortalities are included under shipping.

Question Seven

Do you have any views on whether the boundaries of particular haul out sites included on the list might be revised?

Group Yes No N/A
NGO 9 2 -
Local Tourism 1 -
Other (coastal) Industries 4 2 -
Individuals 4 1 -
GOV 1 -
Total % 33% 11% -

Only 44% responded to this question, however the majority requested the site boundaries should be reviewed on a regular basis and some even suggested boundaries be adjusted in various areas. The suggested boundaries were considered by SMRU during the review against their criteria.


Contact