Wild seaweed harvesting: strategic environmental assessment - environmental report

Investigates the sustainability and potential environmental impacts of wild seaweed and seagrass harvesting, maerl extraction and removal of beach-cast seaweed.


1. The working definition of sustainable harvesting in this document is the harvesting of a resource at specified time intervals ( e.g. every year) and over a specific period after it has recovered to a sufficient degree to be harvestable again.

2. Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH), and Historic Environment Scotland ( HES)

3. both are available at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/08/6786

4. There is another form of Ascophyllum known as A. nodosum f. mackayi. This is a free-living unattached form that lives on gravel, sand and mud beds in very sheltered sea lochs. It takes the form of dense, tangled masses of fronds, usually finer than attached fronds. In Britain it is known only from the west coast of Scotland and is regarded as being of conservation value.

5. What was formerly considered to be a third species, Z. angustifolia, is now generally considered to be an intertidal variant of Z. marina. For WFD monitoring purposes it has been retained as an entity.

6. d'Avack et al (2014) note that R. maritima is not a true seagrass, but is considered to be a freshwater species able to tolerate salinity. However, R. maritima will be included in seagrasses for the purposes of this SEA.

7. These maps only present the distributions of seaweeds that are available from existing GIS layers. In reality, seaweeds (except perhaps maerl) are more prolific and present around much of the Scottish coast.

8. Some species change their form with degree of wave action. For example, Ascophyllum nodosum can grow in a very long stranded form up to 2 m long in strong shelter where it forms very dense, harvestable stands. But with even slight exposure to wave action this species adopts a very small form, close to the rock surface, which is not harvestable.

9. Although extraction has been undertaken or proposed in Orkney in the past ( SNH, pers. comm.)

10. http://www.ukmarinesac.org.uk/communities/maerl/m1_1.htm

11. Maerl and seagrass, although not currently harvested in Scotland, have been included in the scope of the SEA for completeness, following the screening and scoping exercises, information review and discussion (see Section 2).

12. as required by Schedule 3 of the Act

13. Fjardic sea lochs are much shallower than fjordic sea lochs. They often possess a maze of islands and shallow basins connected by rapids, which are usually less than five metres deep and often intertidal ( JNCC, 2008).

14. https://marinescotland.atkinsgeospatial.com/nmpi/default.aspx?layers=780

15. Scotland's Marine Atlas. p. 71:

16. Important Plant Areas have been identied by Plantlife (an environmental NGO) as areas supporting internationally important wild plant populations.
See http://www.plantlife.org.uk/wild_plants/ipa_holder/ipas

17. Site of Community Interest ( SCI)

18. Some biotopes are excluded from this list.
See http://www.snh.gov.uk/protecting-scotlands-nature/priority-marine-features/priority-marine-features/

19. This biotope is also a component of the 'Tide-swept algal communities' PMF

20. This biotope is also a component of the 'Kelp beds' PMF

21. It is very unlikely that any harvesting would take place at these locations.

22. It is probable that dSPAs will soon be subject to public consultation and then will become p SPAs, being afforded the same protection as designated SPAs

23. Primary productivity is the rate at which energy is converted into organic substances by photosynthetic and chemosynthetic organisms
( https://www.britannica.com/science/marine-ecosystem/Patterns-and-processes-influencing-the-structure-of-marine-assemblages#ref588556).

24. Secondary productivity is the rate at which consumers convert the chemical energy of their food into their own biomass
( https://www.britannica.com/science/biosphere/Efficiency-of-solar-energy-utilization#ref589414).

25. Scotland's Environment (undated) Climate change [online]
Available at: http://www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/our_environment/air_and_climate/climate_change.aspx
(accessed 04/09/2015)

26. ICAO (undated) Climate change adaptation [online]
Available at: http://www.icao.int/environmental-protection/Pages/adaptation.aspx
(accessed 30/11/2015)

27. 1 hectare (ha) is 10,000 m 2 : in comparable units this rate is equivalent to 0.000052 g C/m 2 /yr

28. A rare and rich coastal grassland which occurs in Western Scotland mostly in the Western Isles.

29. http://www.marinecode.org/guide-g.asp

30. https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/checkcleandry/#

31. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/seamanagement/nmpihome

32. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 [online]
Available at: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/UNCLOS-TOC.htm
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

33. Directive 2008/56/ EC Establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) [online]
Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:164:0019:0040:EN:PDF
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

34. An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union [online]
Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2007:0575:FIN:EN:PDF
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

35. The Coast Protection (Notices) (Scotland) Regulations 1988 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1988/957/contents/made
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

36. The Coast Protection (Notices) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 1996 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/141/contents/made
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

37. Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/23/pdfs/ukpga_20090023_en.pdf
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

38. HM Government in association with Northern Ireland Executive, The Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government (2009) [online]
Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/1057/0080305.pdf
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

39. UK Marine Policy Statement (2011) [online]
Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-marine-policy-statement
Accesed on 18 May 2016.

40. Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2010/5/pdfs/asp_20100005_en.pdf
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

41. National Marine Plan (2015) [online]
Available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/6517
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

42. Convention on Biological Diversity [online]
Available at: http://www.cbd.int/convention/text/
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

43. CBD and the Jakarta Mandate [online]
Available at: http://www.cbd.int/idb/2012/?ttle
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

44. Introduction to the Convention on Migratory Species [online]
Available at: http://www.cms.int/en/legalinstrument/cms
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

45. Convention on Wetlands of International Importance 1971 (amended 1982/87) [online]
Available at: http://www.ramsar.org/about/the-ramsar-convention-and-its-mission
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

46. Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic ( OSPAR Convention) [online]
Available at: http://www.ospar.org/convention/text
Accessed 18 May 2016.

47. 2000/340/ EC: Council Decision of 8 May 2000 concerning the approval, on behalf of the Community, of the new Annex V to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic on the protection and conservation of the ecosystems and biological diversity of the maritime area and the corresponding Appendix 3 [online]
Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32000D0340
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

48. African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement [online]
Available at: http://www.unep-aewa.org/
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

49. Convention on migratory species Agreement on the conservation of small cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas [online]
Available at: http://www.ascobans.org/es/documents/agreement-text
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

50. Council Directive 92/43/ EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the Habitats Directive) [online]
Available at: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/nature_and_biodiversity/l28076_en.htm
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

51. Council Directive 79/409/ EEC on the conservation of wild birds [online]
Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32009L0147
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

52. The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats [online]
Available at: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/104.htm
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

53. Directive 2000/60/ EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy [online]
Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32000L0060
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

54. Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy [online]
Available at: http://www.tematea.org/?q=node/1460
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

55. Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 [online]
Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/comm2006/pdf/EP_resolution_april2012.pdf
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

56. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

57. The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 1994 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1994/2716/contents/made
Accessed on 18 May 2016

58. Conserving Biodiversity the UK Approach (2007) [online]
Available at: http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/PDF/UKBAP_ConBio-UKApproach-2007.pdf
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

59. Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2004/6/pdfs/asp_20040006_en.pdf
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

60. Scotland's Biodiversity - It's In Your Hands. A strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland (2004) [online]
Available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2004/05/19366/37239
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

61. 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity - A Strategy for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in Scotland (2013) [online]
Available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/06/5538
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

62. A Strategy for Marine Nature Conservation in Scotland's Seas (2011) [online]
Available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/marine-environment/Conservationstrategy/marineconstrategy
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

63. Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 as amended [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2011/209/contents/made
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

64. Scotland River Basin Management Plan and Solway Tweed River Basin Management Plan [online]
Available at: http://www.sepa.org.uk/water/river_basin_planning.aspx
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

65. Climate change (Scotland) Act 2009 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2009/12/contents
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

66. Scottish Government (2009) Climate Change Delivery Plan [online]
Available online: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/276273/0082934.pdf
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

67. Scotland's Climate Change Adaptation Framework Marine and Fisheries Sector Action Plan [online]
Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/175776/0114919.pdf
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

68. Climate Ready Scotland Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (2014) [online]
Available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/05/4669
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

69. Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 [online]
Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/Water/Flooding/FRMAct
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

70. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [online]
Available at: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf
Accessed 18 May 2016.

71. Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1973/33
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

72. Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/46
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

73. Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/3380/contents/made
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

74. Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014 [online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2014/19/contents/enacted
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

75. Our Place In Time - The Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland (2014) [online]
Available at: http://www.gov.scot/publications/place-time-historic-environment-strategy-scotland/
Accessed on 18 May 2016.

76. Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 (as amended) [online]
Available at: http://www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk/userfiles/file/Act_and_Policy/Crofters-Scotland-Act.pdf
Accessed 18 May 2016.

77. These SSSIs are in addition to the SSSIs that underpin the identified SPAs.


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