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Vacancy: Fishery Officers, various locations, closing date 3 August

Mon, 2020-07-06 13:45

We are currently seeking applications for Fishery Officers within the Marine Scotland Compliance based in Ayr, Lerwick, Peterhead, Portree and other ports as yet unspecified. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

Marine Scotland was created in April 2009 when the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) and Fisheries Research Services, were merged with the Marine Directorate, within the Scottish Government. The SFPA became Marine Scotland Compliance and the FRS became Marine Scotland Science.

Marine Scotland Compliance is responsible for deterring and detecting illegal activities through effective compliance and enforcement arrangements. We employ Marine staff that are responsible for the crewing of Marine Scotland Compliance’s three Marine Protection vessels and Coastal Inspection staff, who make up the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate. The Coastal staff are located at 18 Fishery Offices around the coast of Scotland and at the Registration of Buyers and Sellers (RBS) Unit, which is based in Aberdeen.

Fishery Officers are warranted British Sea Fishery Officers (BSFOs) working under the supervision of Senior Officers. As warranted officers (following satisfactory completion of the first nine months’ service and completion of our BSFO training programme) they will be required to carry out enforcement duties.

Due to the remote locations of landing ports a considerable amount of driving is involved therefore a full valid driving licence that enables the candidate to drive in the UK is required.

Applicants should note that this role includes carrying out visits to various types of establishments in all weather conditions. A willingness to carry out these visits is a prerequisite for the posts.

Qualifications Required

For jobs in Band B & C you must hold a minimum of three Highers or equivalent.

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria

1. Knowledge of Scottish fishing industry.
2. Excellent organisational skills to manage a varied workload and to meet targets in a flexible manner so to progress tasks with minimal supervision.
3. Ability to communicate effectively to colleagues and to a wide range of contacts, demonstrating sound judgement and reliability under pressure, and accepting responsibility for subsequent outcomes.
4. Ability to analyse, interpret and act upon evidence.

Further Information

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply please submit a short CV (two sides of A4) and a covering letter (as one document) via the online portal. This should address the essential criteria. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Stuart McCubbin, who can be reached on 0300 244 9187 or at Stuart.McCubbin@gov.scot.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the Resourcing Team via recruitment@gov.scot.

The post Vacancy: Fishery Officers, various locations, closing date 3 August appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Plastic Bag Free Day

Fri, 2020-07-03 13:00

Today is Plastic Bag Free Day, a global initiative that aims to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags. So, to acknowledge this day, we’d like to highlight some of the important work that we, in Marine Scotland, do to reduce the amount of plastic and marine litter from entering our amazing aquatic environment.

Marine litter

Marine litter is washing up on Scottish shores with each tide, it is a global challenge affecting the world’s oceans, seas, coastlines and shores. The problem is largely caused by a range of very slowly degradable material such as: plastics, metals and glass. The most commonly found litter at sea and washed ashore is plastic.Polystyrene particles washed up on the beach at Aberdeen Harbour

Marine plasticsMarine litter on Aberdeen beach Crown copyright

Marine plastics have a negative impact on our marine environment, our economy and they threaten human health. Larger plastic items in our seas can entangle animals, smother habitats, damage tourism and pose a serious risk to life and livelihood by causing vessel breakdowns at sea. As a result of sunlight and wave exposure, plastics become fragmented, making their way into the marine ecosystem by ingestion, consumed by creatures as small as plankton to as large as sea mammals. Plastic fragments cause obstructions and physical damage to the digestive tracts of animals which eat them and can result in death. Plastics may also act as a vector for contaminants.

Plastic pellets/nurdles

Marine plastics come in many forms including the smaller pieces of microplastics which include plastic pellets, powders and flakes (collectively referred to as ‘plastic pellets’) which are the building blocks of all plastic consumer goods, including plastic bags. To prevent pellet loss across the supply chain we support the plastic industry’s ‘Operation Clean Sweep’ (OCS), but we know more needs to be done which is why we are working with industry to develop a best pellet handling practice standard with: British Standards InstitutionBritish Plastics Federation (BPF)Investor Forum, and Fauna & Flora International.

Marine litter researchMarine Scotland staff beach cleaning

We conduct marine litter research with help from our colleagues in Marine Scotland Science (MSS). Seabed litter is monitored on all MSS vessels which carry out trawling, covering most of Scotland’s seas. Floating microplastics in our seas are also monitored by sampling them from the sea surface. In addition sub-tidal marine sediment samples are now also being collected and analysed. We also collect already dead fulmars, for stomach content analysis of plastic debris, as fulmars are used as an indicator species with the OSPAR Commission.

Initiatives to reduce marine litter

Marine Scotland supports many initiatives to reduce the amount of litter entering our seas and fund organisations which educate members of the public, organise beach litter cleans and promote the safe-disposal of marine litter. Some of which are:

  • supporting KIMO’s Fishing For Litter which helps fishermen remove and bring ashore litter that they catch in their nets
  • supporting KIMO’s Pick Up 3 Pieces which encourages beach visitors to take three pieces of litter with them when they leave
  • funding Local Coastal Partnerships around Scotland’s coastline which all have a role to play in supporting beach cleans and other efforts to reduce marine litter
  • supporting SCRAPbook a collaborative project between the Moray Firth Partnership and Sky Watch to map the litter hot spots round Scotland’s mainland coastline and support their clean-ups.
Further information:

To find out more about what Marine Scotland is doing to combat marine litter please check out some of the links below:

The post Plastic Bag Free Day appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Renewables Science Projects Leader – closing date 5 August

Wed, 2020-07-01 12:30

We are currently seeking applications for a Renewables Science Projects Leader within Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen or Edinburgh. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The Renewables Science Projects Leader will ensure the development and delivery of renewables science projects within REEA, the identification and pursuit of relevant funding opportunities for MSS, that the organisation as a whole has access to appropriate systems and processed for effective costing, approval and delivery of external contracts and other income streams. This role will involve close liaison with colleagues across Marine Scotland and a collaborative approach with both internal and external stakeholders, and potential delivery partners. The post will maintain and enhance relationships with international partners to further enable collaborative working and accessing of external funding streams.

Qualifications Required

For jobs in Band B & C you must hold a minimum of 3 Highers or equivalent.

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria

1. A good understanding of the marine environment and the potential impacts of anthropogenic activities upon key marine ecological receptors.
2. Experience of leading the successful development of commercial, research or scientific project proposals, including development of collaborative partnerships and the gaining of appropriate funding.
3. The ability to work independently with good organisational skills and effectively manage projects.
4. Track record of successfully managing and delivering research, scientific or technical projects to time and to budget, including the use of appropriate project management tools.

Further Information

For further details and to apply online, visit our website at http://bit.ly/sgvacancies. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via our website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Jared Wilson who can be reached at jared.wilson@gov.scot or 0131 244 9103.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact HR Resourcing via recruitment@gov.scot

Further information for this job

The post Vacancy: Renewables Science Projects Leader – closing date 5 August appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scotia resumes survey programme

Tue, 2020-06-30 12:00

As with many other aspects of our lives at this time, our marine research vessel (MRV) survey programme of 2020 was significantly affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and ultimately stopped with the lockdown restrictions imposed in March.

However, in mid-June the MRV Scotia programme was permitted to resume with survey 0820S – the annual North Sea and West coast Nephrops underwater television survey (UWTV).

Safeguarding staff

Various staff across Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and Marine Scotland Compliance (MSC) reviewed and amended risk assessments to safeguard staff during laboratory preparations, loading equipment and all working at sea. To do this we had to:

  • Respond to risk assessments of activities of both marine and scientific staff, and change working practices to minimise the potential for disease transmission
  • ensure MSS engineers gathered, prepared and tested the required scientific equipment
  • alter the survey design, due to the reduced number of days available (survey grounds were reprioritised. No trawling or sediment sampling would be conducted and the number of stations would be reduced in all but one area)
  • reduce the number of staff involved to the bare minimum (sailing with only five MSS staff rather than the usual seven or eight)

The need to adapt to the required changes became very clear on the first day of loading, where normally staff would return home from Scotia after a day setting up equipment on the vessel. However, to reduce additional contact and risk, staff joined on Friday 12th June to load the vessel, and remained on board until the end of the survey 18 days later.

The COVID-19 related changes were felt immediately after boarding – no welcoming handshakes with colleagues not seen for maybe a year.  But smiles under face coverings and friendly conversations (at a distance!) soon re-established those connections. Many visible reminders around the vessel ensured staff adhered to the preventative measures whilst on board.

Copious amounts of hand sanitiser was available throughout the ship, 2m physical distancing markers were in all the corridors, one way systems were in operation around the vessel, face coverings were distributed, as were face shields. Meals were scheduled to reduce the number of people in the mess at any one time, and even the grapes in the mess were pre-picked and presented in separate cups to avoid additional contact.

Setting sail

Launching the UWTV sledge from the stern of ScotiaYet despite these new routines and restrictions, the work progressed well. With no trawl to rig there was less to load on to the vessel and the UWTV cable was spooled on to the winch much earlier in the day.  This allowed the containers and the sledge to be set up sooner than normal, which in turn resulted in the vessel being ready to sail 24 hours earlier than originally planned. So on the morning of the 14th June Scotia headed south to complete the UWTV survey in the Firth of Forth.

This area, along with the Moray Firth, is normally undertaken by MRV Alba na Mara but with the vessel remaining in port for the time being due to the difficulties of maintaining physical distancing on board, Scotia’s work plan was adapted to incorporate these two additional areas.

By late on Monday the 15th the survey had been completed in the Firth of Forth and the vessel headed north east to Fladen and resumed the normal pattern of work for Scotia during a typical June survey. Working 24 hours day in mainly foggy conditions, bar one exceptionally calm, sunny day (when all the photos were taken!) all the Fladen stations were completed by the morning of the 20th, after which the vessel started making its way to the North Minch to commence the next stage of the work.

Mooring retrieval

Progress through the North Minch went well covering all the planned stations on the west side of the Minch. In addition two COMPASS (Collaborative Oceanography and Monitoring for Protected Areas and Species) moorings were also recovered and replacement devices deployed. After surveying just five sites in the South Minch, the weather turned for the worse on the 22nd and the vessel headed east to the Small Isles. Sheltered from the worst of the wind the survey continued in daylight around Rhum, Eigg and Canna. Survey activity was suspended for a short time during the hours of darkness, due to the presence of creels in the area – creels and a towed TV sledge is not a good combination! Once daylight broke and the marker buoys for the creels could be seen again, the survey resumed. In the evening of the 23rd the vessel was situated off the Garvellachs to successfully recover and redeploy a new COMPASS mooring.

The vessel then made way for the Clyde, and worked up Kilbranan Sound, around the north end of Arran and then south again all the way to Ailsa Craig. Before leaving a calm, sunny Clyde on the 25th a MarPAMM (Marine Protected Area Management and Monitoring) mooring was recovered to the south east of Campbeltown. That same night, a major thunder and lightning storm with torrential rain occurred while the survey was being carried out to the west side of Mull. The skies had cleared by morning and work continued north towards Barra and then continued on north, arriving in a creel free Loch Snizort early on the morning of the 27th.

The west coast hills provided a stunning background as the survey worked north past Loch Torridon, Loch Ewe, the Summer Isles and on to Stoer Head where the final COMPASS mooring was to be recovered and replaced. On completing all the North Minch sites the vessel was to make way for the Moray Firth before heading back to port for unloading on the morning of the 30th.

Considering the various challenges initially facing the survey, including reduced days at sea, additional survey areas, reduced staffing and operating in line with national COVID-19 restrictions, the survey and vessel have achieved a huge amount and managed to fulfil its objectives. All planned stations have been surveyed, with the majority of the footage being reviewed whilst at sea with the collated results being processed ready for analysis and providing the essential data for the annual ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) management advice.

The success of this survey is through the efforts of all aboard and many ashore from both MSS and MSC.

Further Information

The post Scotia resumes survey programme appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Renewables Science Advice Leader – closing date 5 August

Mon, 2020-06-29 14:45

We are currently seeking applications for a Renewables Science Advice Leader within the Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen or Edinburgh. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The Renewables Science Advice Leader will ensure the provision of high quality scientific advice on renewable energy and major construction project licensing and policy in Scotland’s seas. This will involve rigorous quality control and quality assurance of the advice produced by the specialist advisors within MSS on a range of environmental receptors including marine mammals, seabirds, fish, fisheries, benthic ecology and physical processes. The post will ensure delivery of authoritative scientific advice to within government. They will develop excellent collaborative working with industry, academia and representatives from Scottish, UK and overseas governments.

Qualifications Required

For jobs in Band B & C you must hold a minimum of 3 Highers or equivalent.

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria

1. A sound understanding of, and experience of applying, quantitative approaches used in environmental assessments and Habitat Regulation Appraisals of marine renewables or other licenced marine activities.
2. A demonstrably good understanding of regulation and legislation relating to marine renewables or other licenced marine activities.
3. The ability to work independently with good organisational skills and effectively manage projects.
4. Experience of ensuring the successful delivery of advice or technical documents to a range of stakeholders/ clients, ensuring that appropriate quality assurance processes are followed.

Further Information

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Jared Wilson who can be reached at jared.wilson@gov.scot  or 0131 244 9103.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact HR Resourcing Team via at recruitment@gov.scot

Further information for this job

The post Vacancy: Renewables Science Advice Leader – closing date 5 August appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Day of the Seafarer

Thu, 2020-06-25 11:00

Today is International Day of the Seafarer and with three protection vessels and two research vessels we certainly know a thing or two about life at sea.

Marine Scotland, and its predecessors, have a long fleet history, with both research and patrol vessels at the heart of our work. As far back as 1882 the Fishery Board for Scotland was established for the purposes of protecting sea fisheries in the waters around Scotland and land based inspection of landed catches. It was also around this time that the need for a dedicated laboratory to concentrate on the science behind Scotland’s fishery was recognised.

The first vessel that the Fishery Board took over was a former Royal Navy sailing cutter “Vigilant”, which had worked for some years on protection tasks. The “Garland” then joined as the first research vessel. A full history of the Marine Scotland vessel fleet can be found in this booklet which also includes the recently awarded SS Explorer.

Launched in 1955 the SS Explorer was the first purpose built marine research vessel for Scotland and the first research ship to be fitted with a computer. Although decommissioned in 1985 the SS Explorer Preservation Society later restored the ship into a living museum, which last month won a Regional Flagship award in the National Historic Ships UK Flagship competition.  This recently digitally remastered original film shows the SS Explorer working in the late 1950’s and gives a great glimpse into what life as a seafarer would’ve been like.

Our protection vessels are deployed for 315 days each year on marine monitoring and enforcement duties in the Scottish zone of the 200 mile British Fishery Limits. Effective monitoring and enforcement of marine and fisheries legislation is vital if we are to protect Scotland’s valuable marine areas and fish stocks. In Marine Scotland we do this by:

  • detecting breaches of fisheries regulations by monitoring and inspection at sea and in ports
  • reporting as appropriate to the prosecuting authorities
  • providing intelligence on fishing activity in the sea areas around Scotland

Our research vessels conduct on average 37 surveys a year amassing 563 days at sea conducting research activities to grow our knowledge and understanding of Scotland’s seas.

Our vision is to have clean, healthy, safe productive, biologically diverse marine and coastal environments, managed to meet the long term needs of people and nature. So today, to celebrate the Day of the Seafarer we‘d like to say thank you to all of our colleagues who take to the waves often missing celebrations, holidays and family gatherings to ensure we fulfil our purpose to manage Scotland’s seas for prosperity and environmental sustainability.

Further Information:

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Vacancy: Third Engineer, Edinburgh – closing date 21 July

Wed, 2020-06-24 10:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Third Engineer within Marine Scotland based in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The successful  candidates will be expected to work on all vessels in the Marine Scotland fleet if required. The fleet consists of MRV Alba Na Mara and MRV Scotia which are 27 metres and 69 metres in length respectively.  Research cruises vary in length, but generally are no more than 22 days.

The Marine Protection Vessels are Minna, Jura and Hirta. Minna is 47 metres in length and both Jura and Hirta are 84 metres in length. These vessels carry out patrols which normally last 21 days.

All vessels work double manning allowing for trip on/trip off rostering.

Qualifications Required

• Engineering Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency
• All relevant STCW certification including Proficiency in Designated Security Duties
• Valid ENG 1 (Unrestricted)

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria

1. Possession of EOOW CoC.
2. Excellent communication skills
3. Recent experience sailing on vessels with diesel electric propulsion systems.
4. Confidence in all aspects of vessel maintenance and awareness of the safe working practices required.

Further Information

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Jim Cahill who can be reached at Jim.Cahill@gov.scot.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact HR Resourcing via recruitment@gov.scot.

The post Vacancy: Third Engineer, Edinburgh – closing date 21 July appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Second Officer, Edinburgh – closing date 8 July

Tue, 2020-06-23 15:30
We are currently seeking applications for a Second Officer within the Marine Scotland based on board any of our Marine Patrol, Research Vessels or Inshore RIBs. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.


Marine Scotland is the lead marine management organization in Scotland. It was established on April 1 2009 as a Directorate of the Scottish Government (SG), to integrate core marine functions involving scientific research, compliance monitoring, policy and management of Scotland’s seas.

Marine Scotland combined the functions and resources of the former SG Marine Directorate, Fisheries Research Services and the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency.

The Marine Patrol Vessels are involved in monitoring compliance with International, UK and National rules and regulations of licensed activities in the marine environment around Scotland out to 200 miles and beyond when required. This includes enforcing UK, EU and International fisheries laws and regulations. This is intended to assist the conservation of fish stocks and in creating the conditions necessary for the existence of a modern and sustainable sea fishing industry.

Essential Criteria

1. Candidates must have experience of being a solo watch keeping officer, and confident manoeuvring in close quarter situations.
2. Successful applicants must have experience of inspecting and monitoring firefighting and lifesaving appliances and the ability to describe this process.
3. Must have experience of managing an electronic and paper charting system and  explain the statutory standard.
4. Up-to-date industry knowledge with a full understanding of Marine Scotland ; with candidates  competent to carry out all additional tasks being a British Sea Fisheries Officer entails.

Qualification

Candidates must hold a minimum of an unlimited Officer of the Watch certificate of competency, be fully certificated to meet STCW requirements and have experience of being a watch keeping officer. Before applying, please ensure that you have these (or equivalent) professional qualifications. Applicants without them will not be considered for appointment. If you are in any doubt about your qualifications, please ask for our advice before you apply. Alternatively the Maritime Coastguard Agency can offer advice on seafaring.

Further Information

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Alexis Lee who can be reached at Alexis.Lee@gov.scot.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Emma Crawford.

Further information for this job

The post Vacancy: Second Officer, Edinburgh – closing date 8 July appeared first on Marine Scotland.

New Scheme to Help Aquaculture Sector Preserve Stock

Mon, 2020-06-22 15:55

Aquaculture businesses affected by the collapse of international markets due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can apply to cover the costs of maintaining unsold stock through a new £1.25 million fund.

The scheme, which is being funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, will support businesses by compensating for the costs of transport, processing and cold storage for salmon, trout and shellfish until the end of 2020.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This has been a challenging time for the aquaculture sector with businesses unable to bring products to market but continuing to face high operational costs.  “This new funding, which will provide financial support for cold storing salmon, trout and shellfish, will mean businesses will be able to cover some of the additional costs they have faced trying to preserve stock during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Farmed salmon is Scotland’s most important food product and valuable food export and we want to support the sector through these challenging times.”

Julie Hesketh-Laird, Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: “Our farmers have worked tirelessly through this lockdown period to keep farms running, to protect the health and welfare of their workers and salmon and to maintain supplies to customers.

“There has been innovation by farmers in finding new markets because of the drop in export demand due to COVID-19 restrictions. But there is still a need for some of them for temporary storage, until overseas markets start to normalise again. We are delighted that the Scottish Government has managed to access European funds to help with this process.”

Stephen Cameron, Managing Director at the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group, said: “At a time when markets are uncertain, due to COVID-19, the availability of this funding will keep farms and factories busy and allow flexibility in how we manage our stock and our workforce. We are extremely appreciative of the ongoing hard work and support from the Scottish Government and, in particular, the Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing.”

Background

Further information and application forms about the new scheme to fund cold storage of products is available.
Around £800,000 from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund has already been allocated to 11 aquaculture businesses looking to make improvements to their businesses.

 

Main picture provided courtesy of Istockphoto.

The post New Scheme to Help Aquaculture Sector Preserve Stock appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Protecting Scotland’s Seafood Sector

Fri, 2020-06-19 14:49

Critical amendments must be made to the UK Fisheries Bill to ensure that it protects and supports Scotland’s seafood sector in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the challenges of Brexit, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has said.

Ahead of its reading in the House of Lords on June 22, Mr Ewing has proposed changes to the Bill that would help non-departmental public body, Seafish, better support the Scottish seafood industry.

The proposed changes to Seafish’s functions would give the Scottish industry a greater say in how the levy it pays is deployed in Scotland, including for the marketing and promoting of Scottish seafood. The amendments would also give Seafish more flexibility to market and promote Scottish seafood both domestically and across the world.

Mr Ewing said:

“I recognise that Seafish is already doing good work for the industry but these amendments will enhance its role in Scotland while giving seafood businesses in Scotland more influence on how the levy it pays is used.

“Around 90% of the levy currently collected from Scotland stems from fish caught in our waters which is the polar opposite of levy collected in England where 90% comes from imported fish. Scotland therefore has different needs and the industry has an increasing desire to develop a distinct Scottish brand and market, and promote this in the same way as other Scottish sectors successfully do for produce like beef and lamb.

“The changes we are proposing will also support the Scottish seafood sector regain a foothold in markets that have been lost through COVID-19 and in exploiting new markets in the future.”

Background

The UK Fisheries Bill, sets the legal framework for the UK to operate as an independent coastal state.

A full list of the amendments is available. 

Amendment 1 (Sea Fish Industry Authority: powers in relation to parts of UK)

The main purpose of this amendment is to give the Sea Fish Industry Authority (“the Authority”) greater flexibility to exercise its functions separately and differently in different parts of the UK, in relation to the sea fish industry, sea fish and sea fish products landed or trans-shipped in those different parts.

This amendment inserts a new clause which, by subsection (3), inserts a new section 3A into the Fisheries Act 1981 (“the 1981 Act”).   This new section will allow the Authority to exercise its functions separately and differently in relation to:

  • the sea fish industry in different parts of the United Kingdom,
  • sea fish and sea fish products landed in different parts of the United Kingdom, and
  • sea fish and sea fish products trans-shipped in different parts of the sea within British fishery limits adjacent to different parts of the United Kingdom.

In consequence of this new section 3A of the 1981 Act allowing the Authority to exercise its functions separately and differently in relation to different parts of the United Kingdom, subsection (2) of the new clause will amend section 2(1) of the 1981 Act to remove the requirement for the Authority to serve the interests of the sea fish industry of the United Kingdom “as a whole”. Subsection (2) also consequentially amends section 2(1) of the 1981 Act to recognise the purpose of the exercise of the Authority’s powers is not solely to promote the efficiency of the sea fish industry of the United Kingdom but also to promote the marketing and consumption of (and export of) sea fish etc. relating to different parts of the United Kingdom etc.

Amendment 2 (Sea Fish Industry Authority: delegation of functions)

This amendment inserts a new clause which, by subsection (2), inserts a new section 3B of the 1981 Act. This will allow the Authority to authorise any other person to exercise on its behalf any of its functions  to the extent determined by the Authority.  It will also allow the Authority to give any such person financial and other assistance to do so.

Amendment 3 (Sea Fish Industry Authority: accounts and reports)

This amendment is intended to ensure, among other things, that the Authority reports how income received from the levies it imposes has been applied in respect of each part of the United Kingdom.

The amendment inserts a new clause which, by subsection (2)(a), inserts a new subsection (2A) into section 11 (account and reports) of the 1981 Act.  This new subsection provides that the statement of accounts which the Authority is required to prepare must specify the total amount of income received (in the relevant financial year) from levies imposed under section 4 of that Act in relation to sea fish or sea fish products landed in Scotland or trans-shipped within the Scottish zone (see amendment 7 for definition). In addition, subsection (2)(b) of the new clause also inserts a new subsection (7A) into section 11 of the 1981 Act to require that annual reports, prepared under subsection (7) of that section, include details of how income received from levies imposed under section 4 of the 1981 Act has been applied in respect of each part of the United Kingdom.

Amendment 4 (Sea Fish Industry Authority: plan relating to allocation of Scottish levies)

The main purpose of this amendment is to require the Authority:

  • to set out annually how it proposes to apply the levy income it expects to receive during the relevant financial year that is attributable to sea fish and sea fish products landed in Scotland or trans-shipped in the Scottish zone, and
  • to seek approval of those proposals from  the committee appointed under paragraph 16(A1) of Schedule 1 of the 1981 Act (to be inserted by amendment 5).

This amendment inserts a new clause, which inserts a new section 11A into the 1981 Act. Subsection (1) of this new section requires the Authority to prepare a plan, before the start of each financial year, setting out: (i) an estimate of the total amount of income it expects to receive that year from levies imposed in relation to sea fish and sea fish products landed in Scotland or transhipped within the Scottish zone; and (ii) the Authority’s proposals for applying that income. The plan must be referred to the committee appointed under paragraph 16(A1) of schedule 1 of the 1981 Act (to be inserted by amendment 5) for approval of the proposals for applying the income.

Subsection (2) provides that the Authority must publish the plan as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the committee’s approval. Subsection (3) provides that the Authority must then send a copy of the plan to the Scottish Ministers and lay the plan before the Scottish Parliament.

Subsection (4) provides that the Authority must have regard to each relevant plan in exercising its functions and, in particular, in authorising any delegation of functions to another person. Subsection (5) requires any person to whom functions have been delegated to also have regard to each relevant plan. A “relevant plan” is defined in subsection (6) as the most recent plan and any earlier plan containing proposals to apply levy income during the year that the function is being exercised.

Amendment 5 (Sea Fish Industry Authority: committee for Scotland)

This amendment inserts a new clause, which by subsection (2)(a) inserts new sub-paragraphs (A1) to (A3) into paragraph 16 of schedule 1 (the Sea Fish Industry Authority) of the 1981 Act.  These new provisions require the Authority to appoint a committee for the purpose of assisting the Authority in the exercise of its functions in relation to the sea fish industry in Scotland.  They also require the Authority to consult the committee on the exercise of its functions in relation to the sea fish industry in Scotland.  Subsection (2)(b) and (c) of the new clause makes two consequential amendments of paragraphs 16(1) and (2) of schedule 1 of the 1981 Act.

Amendment 6 (Sea Fish Industry Levies: powers in relation to Scotland and the Scottish Zone)

The main purpose of this amendment is to devolve, to the Scottish Ministers, the control of the Scottish aspects of levies imposed by the Authority. Currently, levies imposed by the Authority require confirmation by the relevant Ministers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.

The amendment is therefore intended to ensure that levies imposed in relation to sea fish or sea fish products landed in Scotland or trans-shipped in Scottish waters will instead require confirmation by the Scottish Minsters. That will leave English, Welsh and Northern Irish Ministers to exercise their functions in relation to landings and trans-shipments which take place elsewhere. None of this disturbs the current requirements for who pays or collects the levy.

This amendment inserts a new clause amending provisions of the 1981 Act relating to levies.  Section 4 of the 1981 confers a power on the Authority by regulations, to impose a levy on persons engaged in the sea fish industry. Regulations made by the Authority under section 4 must currently be confirmed by order of the relevant Ministers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.

The amendments to section 4 and schedule 2 of the 1981 Act will ensure that, where the Authority makes regulations to impose a levy in relation to sea fish or sea fish products landed in Scotland or trans-shipped within the ‘Scottish zone’ (as defined), they must be confirmed by order of the Scottish Ministers. Any such order of the Scottish Ministers would be subject to the negative procedure in the Scottish Parliament. The amendments provide that the Scottish Ministers must, before making an order confirming any regulations, consult the committee appointed under paragraph 16(A1) of Schedule 1 of the 1981 Act (to be inserted by amendment 5) and such other persons as they consider appropriate.

The Ministerial power in section 4(7) of the 1981 Act, by order, to increase the maximum rate of the levy is also amended so that the Scottish Ministers will exercise this power as regards a levy imposed in relation to sea fish or sea fish products landed in Scotland or trans-shipped within the Scottish zone.  Any such order of the Scottish Ministers would be subject to the affirmative procedure in the Scottish Parliament. The amendments provide that the Scottish Ministers must, before laying a draft Scottish statutory instrument containing such an order, consult the committee appointed under paragraph 16(A1) of Schedule 1 of the 1981 Act (to be inserted by amendment 5) and such other persons as they consider appropriate.

Amendment 7 (Sea Fish Industry Levies: definitions relating to Scotland and the Scottish Zone)

This amendment inserts a new clause which makes consequential amendments to section 14 (interpretation of Part 1) of the 1981 Act by inserting definitions of “Scotland” and “the Scottish zone”.

 

 

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Fisheries Bill amendments

Fri, 2020-06-19 14:45

After clause 35
1 After clause 35, insert—
“Sea Fish Industry Authority

Sea Fish Industry Authority: powers in relation to parts of UK
(1) The Fisheries Act 1981 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 2(1) (duties of the Authority)—
(a) after the third “of”, insert “(amongst other things)”,
(b) delete the words “as a whole”.
(3) After section 3 (powers of the Authority), insert—
“3A Exercise of functions in relation to different parts of the UK etc.
The Authority may exercise its functions separately and differently in relation to—
(a) the sea fish industry in different parts of the United Kingdom,
(b) sea fish and sea fish products landed in different parts of the United Kingdom,
(c) sea fish and sea fish products trans-shipped in different parts of the sea within British fishery limits adjacent to different parts of the United Kingdom.”.”

2 After clause 35, insert—
“Sea Fish Industry Authority: delegation of functions
(1) The Fisheries Act 1981 is amended as follows.
(2) After section 3A (exercise of functions in relation to different parts of the UK etc.), insert—
“3B Delegation of functions
(1) The Authority may authorise any other person to exercise on its behalf such of its functions and to such extent as it may determine.
(2) The Authority may give to any person authorised under this section to exercise any of its functions—
(a) financial assistance (by way of loan, grant or guarantee),
(b) other assistance including assistance by way of the provision of property, staff or services,
for the purposes of those functions.
(3) The giving of authority under this section to exercise a function does not—
(a) affect the Authority’s responsibility for the exercise of the function, or
(b) prevent the Authority from exercising the function itself.”.”

3 After clause 35, insert—
“Sea Fish Industry Authority: accounts and reports
(1) The Fisheries Act 1981 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 11 (accounts and reports)—
(a) after subsection (2) insert—
“(2A) The statement of accounts must specify the total amount of income received in the financial year from levies imposed under section 4 in relation to sea fish or sea fish products landed in Scotland or trans-shipped within the Scottish zone.”,
(b) after subsection (7) insert—
“(7A) The report must include details of how income received from levies imposed under section 4 has been applied in the financial year in respect of each part of the United Kingdom by the Authority in exercising its functions including in particular details, in respect of each part of the United Kingdom, of how the income has been applied by the Authority in—
(a) promoting the efficiency of the sea fish industry in that part,
(b) promoting the marketing and consumption of, and the export of, sea fish and sea fish products relating to that part.”.”

4 After clause 35, insert—
<Sea Fish Industry Authority: plan relating to allocation of Scottish levies
(1) The Fisheries Act 1981 is amended as follows.
(2) After section 11 (accounts and reports), insert—
“11A Plan relating to allocation of Scottish levies
(1) Before the start of each financial year, the Authority must—
(a) prepare a plan setting out—
(i) an estimate of the total amount of income that the Authority expects to receive during the financial year from levies imposed under section 4 in relation to sea fish or sea fish products landed in Scotland or trans-shipped within the Scottish zone, and
(ii) a description of how the Authority proposes to apply that income in the course of exercising its functions, and
(b) refer the plan to the committee appointed under paragraph 16(A1) of Schedule 1 (“the Scottish committee”) for approval of the Authority’s proposal mentioned in paragraph (a)(ii).
(2) The Authority—
(a) must publish a plan prepared under subsection (1) as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the Scottish committee’s approval as mentioned in subsection (1)(b), and
(b) may publish the plan in such manner as it considers appropriate.
(3) The Authority must, as soon as reasonably practicable after publishing a plan under subsection (2)—
(a) send a copy of the plan to the Scottish Ministers, and
(b) lay the plan before the Scottish Parliament.
(4) The Authority must have regard to each relevant plan—
(a) in the exercise of its functions, and
(b) in particular, in authorising any other person under section 3B to exercise any of its functions on its behalf.
(5) A person who is authorised by the Authority under section 3B to exercise any of the Authority’s functions must have regard to each relevant plan in the exercise of those functions.
(6) In subsections (4) and (5), a “relevant plan”, in relation to the exercise of a function, means—
(a) the latest plan published under subsection (2), and
(b) any earlier plan published under subsection (2) in so far as it contains proposals to apply income referred to in subsection (1)(a)(ii) during the financial year in which the function is being exercised.”.>

5 After clause 35, insert—
“Sea Fish Industry Authority: committee for Scotland
(1) The Fisheries Act 1981 is amended as follows.
(2) In schedule 1 (the Sea Fish Industry Authority), in paragraph 16—
(a) before sub-paragraph (1) insert—
“(A1) The Authority must appoint a committee for the purpose of assisting the Authority in the exercise of its functions in relation to the sea fish industry in Scotland.
(A2) The committee is to consist of or include persons who are not members of the Authority.
(A3) The Authority must consult the committee on the exercise of its functions in relation to the sea fish industry in Scotland.”,
(b) in sub-paragraph (1), before “committees” insert “other”,
(c) in sub-paragraph (2), for “such committees” substitute “committees appointed under this paragraph”.”

6 After clause 35, insert—
“Sea Fish Industry Levies
Sea Fish Industry Levies: powers in relation to Scotland and the Scottish Zone
(1) The Fisheries Act 1981 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 4 (levies)—
(a) in subsection (2), for “Ministers” substitute “appropriate Ministerial authority”,
(b) in subsection (7), for “Ministers” substitute “appropriate Ministerial authority”,
(c) after subsection (8) insert—
“(8A) In this section, “appropriate Ministerial authority” means—
(a) in relation to sea fish or sea fish products landed in Scotland or trans-shipped within the Scottish zone, the Scottish Ministers,
(b) in any other case, the Ministers.”,
(d) in subsection (9), after “order” in both places where it occurs insert “of the Ministers”,
(e) after subsection (9) insert—
“(9A) Any order of the Scottish Ministers—
(a) under subsection (2) is subject to the negative procedure,
(b) under subsection (7) is subject to the affirmative procedure.
(9B) Before laying a draft Scottish statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (7) before the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Ministers must consult—
(a) the committee appointed under paragraph 16(A1) of Schedule 1, and
(b) such other persons as they consider appropriate.”.
(3) In section 14 (interpretation of Part 1), in the definition of “the Ministers”, in paragraph (c), after “with” insert “(except in the case of an order under section 4(2) or (7))”.
(4) In schedule 2 (Sea Fish Industry Levies)—
(a) for “Ministers” in each place where it occurs substitute “appropriate Ministerial authority”,
(b) after paragraph 3 insert—
“4 The Scottish Ministers must, before making an order confirming any regulations, consult—
(a) the committee appointed under paragraph 16(A1) of Schedule 1, and
(b) such other persons as they consider appropriate.
5 In this schedule, “appropriate Ministerial authority” has the same meaning as in section 4 of this Act.”.”

7 After clause 35, insert—
“Sea Fish Industry Levies: definitions relating to Scotland and the Scottish Zone
(1) The Fisheries Act 1981 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 14 (interpretation of Part 1), after the definition of “the Ministers” insert—
““Scotland” and “the Scottish zone” have the same meanings as in the Scotland Act 1998 (see section 126(1) and (2) of that Act);”.”

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Collaborative Effort to Support COVID-19 Testing

Tue, 2020-06-16 13:00

Marine Scotland is continuing in its efforts to provide support and assistance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with colleagues in the Marine Laboratory, in Aberdeen, arranging the transfer and loan of testing equipment to NHS Grampian.QIACube Robot

The equipment identified for loan is usually used for molecular testing for diagnosis and surveillance of diseases in aquatic animals. In making these robots available it is helping to enhance the testing capacity and contingency of existing facilities in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

QIACubeHTSpeaking on the collaboration Head of Marine Scotland Science, Tim McDonnell OBE said: “We are delighted Marine Scotland Science has been able to lend equipment and support NHS Grampian in its COVID-19 response. Our laboratories, in the Ellis Building, have the resources to ensure that NHS Grampian can fulfil its obligation to the ‘test, trace, isolate, support strategy’ announced last month by the First Minister.”

Both nucleic acid extraction robots QIAcube and QIAcubeHT are ordinarily used for testing, diagnosis and surveillance of aquatic disease in our diagnostics laboratories in the Aberdeen Campus of Marine Scotland. Although both robots are now on loan there is still sufficient capacity to deal with ongoing testing and any new notifications of aquatic animal disease that might occur.

Further Information:

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Support for the Seafood Sector

Mon, 2020-06-15 12:45

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing has provided an update on the support the Scottish Government has provided for the seafood sector during Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The collapse of international markets and the shutdown of the UK’s food service industry due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a severe impact on our seafood industry and the communities that live and work in it.

Over the last few months the Scottish Government has been working at pace to provide a lifeline to fishers, aquaculture and processing businesses which have faced new and unprecedented challenges, introducing a package of hardship funds in a matter of weeks.

Thanks to the remarkable efforts of Marine Scotland staff, we announced the first scheme on 25 March and made the first payments just nine days later.

To help the many fishing businesses that were tied up practically overnight, we launched two funds for vessels over and under 12 metres. I can today confirm that these funds have now closed and have paid out more than £8.2 million to 900 vessels across Scotland, providing essential support to some of our most vulnerable fishers.

As part of our COVID-19 response we have also made extra quota worth up to £2 million available to more than 1,500 smaller vessels which usually target shellfish, giving fishers the opportunity to diversify and to access mackerel and stocks like haddock, whiting and ling in the North Sea and west coast.

Elsewhere in the sector, our Seafood Resilience Fund came to a close last week paying out grants of £5.7 million to 130 seafood processors and we will consider how best to deploy remaining as part of our efforts to support the sector and wider economy.

While in aquaculture we have now paid out more than £367,000 to help 34 businesses as shellfish growers and trout farmers continue to be affected by the loss of market access and the costs of maintaining unsold stock. Further support measures for aquaculture will also be announced shortly.

Last month I also announced £800,000 for 11 aquaculture businesses through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. This will help shellfish growers and trout producers make improvements to their businesses and recover from the loss of markets due to COVID-19.

As we carefully move towards the safe restart of the economy I will continue to work with our seafood sector to provide targeted support and guidance and to regularly consult with industry representatives to ensure we are doing all we can to protect the livelihoods of those working in it.”

Background

 

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Call for Clarity on Future Funding

Thu, 2020-06-11 14:05

The UK Government must provide urgent clarity on how it plans to replace the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and support coastal communities who have been hardest hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has said.

In a letter to Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice, Mr Ewing highlighted that Scotland previously received 1.8% of the EMFF budget, a total of €107 million. However, given sea fishery landings which are 9% of the EU total, this could entitle Scotland to the equivalent of at least €594 million, or £532 million.

The full text of the letter follows:

I previously wrote to you in March regarding the replacement for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Since that point the importance of clarity on replacement funding has increased and I note that at a time when the EU is signalling greater emphasis on financial support packages for recovery, the Treasury, despite previous commitments to do so, are failing to clarify how and when decisions on the replacement funding for the EMFF will be taken.

Clearly the whole economy faces challenging times, however you will also be painfully aware that the rural economy, and in particular coastal communities, will be some of the hardest hit. Given that individuals from these communities have fewer options for alternative occupations, would need to travel great distances to access work elsewhere and face barriers to retrain or to access community support, the need for clarity on how we support the marine economy is a priority.

As we seek to reduce the impact these communities feel and deliver the necessary measures to effect recovery, the loss of all EU funding will be sorely felt. Opportunities currently exist to harness shifts both in using digital infrastructure more and the renewed focus on a green recovery and the implications on the blue economy. Without a clear funding strategy these opportunities will be missed. You will be aware that the European Commission have recently increased the funding available under the EMFF by €500 million to €6.6 billion as part of their immediate recovery strategy. Additionally this funding will be available from the start of 2021 which is in contrast to the indications that any EMFF replacement will not be available till the start of the 20/21 financial year.
I would suggest with respect that there is therefore a need to bring forward EMFF proposals which match those that are being developed for the EU – and your own commitment and determination to secure a better deal for Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and English fishing sectors, their wider seafood industries and coastal communities, would be much appreciated.

As I have previously highlighted, Scotland’s share of the UK EMFF allocation, €107m, was only 1.8% of the total EMFF budget available. I have consistently argued that Scotland should receive an allocation in keeping with its seafood sectors and the size of the marine environment it not only manages, but also seeks to support through the recovery period. As highlighted:

  • Scotland has 13% of EU aquaculture production (including 94% of total EU salmon production),
  • 9% of the sea fisheries landings,
  • and the 4th largest EU core sea area to manage.

On sea fisheries landings alone, 9% of the new EMFF budget would be worth €594m (some £532m).

I look forward to hearing your early views. I am copying this letter to Lesley Griffiths and Edwin Poots.

Yours sincerely

FERGUS EWING

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How our Planning Team Plan for a Plan!

Thu, 2020-06-11 13:00

Last December, after two years of technical planning work, stakeholder engagement, drafting, revising, re-drafting and several sleepless nights the ‘draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy’ was published and open for public consultation, meeting a Programme for Government commitment.

Over 350 people attended across all of the events, including; community councillors, elected members, local residents, renewable energy developers, fishers and fishery membership organisations, yachters, enterprise organisations, local business owners, local development trusts, marine planning partnerships, local council officials and stakeholders such as RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

The draft Plan sets out the proposed locations for further offshore wind development, in Scottish waters, and will be used by Crown Estate Scotland in its next offshore wind seabed leasing round (ScotWind). The draft Plan is accompanied by a very hefty set of supporting environmental, economic and social assessments.

After a couple of weeks off for Christmas and some hectic planning (as planners, we plan best under pressure), in February we took the draft Plan on the road and began a hectic eighteen stop, five week-long tour of Scotland (and London).

Dealing with the influx of detailed questions about the topics was quite a challenge – and some days flew past, whilst others felt a little longer! One of the newer skills we’ve acquired is that we can all now pick out the commercial shipping density maps (1 of 267) from the supporting documents, like a magician pulling a card from a deck of cards.

The feedback from the consultation events, and all of the responses, will now be analysed and will inform Scottish Ministers about the key issues, and help shape the Plan going forward.

How did we do it?
  • We had a small team with a lot of ground to cover, so we had to split up to make the most of the time. To ensure consistency, our resident tech expert made a standardised presentation, along with more detailed regional/local presentations, which we made accessible online for anyone that couldn’t attend the events.
  • Contingency planning – travelling to the islands in winter is always going to be fraught with difficulty. For each of the island legs we made sure we arrived in plenty of time, or sent an advance party. This was handy when several people who were due to join us in Orkney couldn’t make it because of the bad weather (apparently the abortive flight from Edinburgh (which landed in Glasgow) was a little challenging, even for seasoned passengers!) and meant that one of our colleagues decided the ferry back was a far more attractive proposition.
  • We were lucky to enough to have support from colleagues across the wider Marine Planning and Policy team and the Licensing Operations Team. This prompted some interesting conversations about how the draft Plan relates to their work. As you can imagine, a lot of stakeholders who attended the events had questions about more than just planning for the next round of offshore wind development and it helped to be able to address as much as possible or point them in the right direction.
  • There are Marine Scotland colleagues all around the coast and we took the opportunity to drop in and see colleagues where we could. It was great to see some friendly faces and some newer ones. We really appreciated the cups of tea and warm welcomes (as well as the dining recommendations). The local offices were also key in helping to promote the purpose and importance of these events to fishing stakeholders.

Our final event was in London on 11 March, just before the COVID-19 lockdown measures really started to hit. Thanks to help from colleagues in Scotland House, we held the meeting in the Hub, which was a big hit with attendees, to a slightly smaller audience than planned. I have to admit we were a little envious of the view across to the Oxo Tower from their balcony!

The consultation closed on 25 March and we ended up having a total of 443 responses, which we’re currently reviewing. The Consultation Analysis Report will be published on our website in the coming weeks.

You can find out more about the draft plan itself here or you can contact the team at SectoralMarinePlanning@gov.scot

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Recent Marine Scotland Science Publications

Tue, 2020-06-09 12:00

Marine Scotland Science, as a core Scottish Government (SG) Division, is working to support SG’s overall COVID-19 response. It also continues to sustain critical marine science delivery and has over the last month produced the following notable publications:

  • Armstrong, J.D., Branding, A., Main, R., Mitchell, A., Morris, D. & Ounsley, J. (2020). Science for crafting policy: acoustic tracking of salmon smolts and post-smolts. The SAMARCH Project International Salmonid Coastal and Marine Telemetry Workshop (Edited by: K. Whelan, D. Roberts and J. Gray), pages 81-84.
    https://samarch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SAMARCH-Tracking-Conference-Nov-2019-final_compressed.pdf
    This paper considered options for using acoustic tracking of salmon smolts at sea to develop marine spatial planning in coastal zones and cautioned against using loss rates of tagged fish to infer impacts of predators without verifying methods appropriately.
  • ICES. 2020. Working Group on Marine Mammal Ecology (WGMME). ICES Scientific Reports, 2:39. 85pp. http://doi.org/10.17895/ices.pub.5975
    Publications Report: Expert Group Report: EPDSG WGMME2020 pdf
  • Jackson, F.L., Fryer, R.J., Hannah, D.M. & Malcolm, I.A. (2020). Predictions of national‐scale river temperatures: A visualisation of complex space–time dynamics. Hydrological Processes, 2020; 1– 3.
    https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13761.
    This paper modelled and visualised river temperatures across Scotland during the extreme hot summer of 2018 to assess which of Scotland’s rivers were affected by temperatures that exceeded critical thresholds for Atlantic salmon and to inform management response to climate change.
  • Morris, D., Godfrey, J., Gauld, N., Raffell, J. & Armstrong, J.D. (2020). Acoustic tracking of sea trout and salmon smolts using a grid arrangement of acoustic receivers in a Scottish sea loch system. The SAMARCH Project International Salmonid Coastal and Marine Telemetry Workshop (Edited by: K. Whelan, D. Roberts and J. Gray), pages 32-34.
    https://samarch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SAMARCH-Tracking-Conference-Nov-2019-final_compressed.pdf
    This paper evaluated details of tracking approaches for providing information on distributions of salmon and sea trout in the Scottish west coast in support of aquaculture planning.
  • Munro, L.A. (2020). Scottish shellfish production survey 2019. Scottish Government, Aberdeen.
    https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-shellfish-farm-production-survey-2019/pages/3 and data at
    https://data.marine.gov.scot/dataset/scottish-shellfish-farm-production-survey-data
    This publication provides data essential for assessing the state of the Scottish shellfish industry for SG policy, for UK food security, and for EuroStat and FAO aquaculture and food security assessments.
  • Murray, S.A., Thompson, H.P., Spence, M.A., Pinnegar, J.K., Greenstreet, S., Moriarty, M., Hélaouët, P. &  Lynam, C.P. (2020). A feeding guild indicator to assess environmental change impacts on marine ecosystem structure and functioning. Journal of Applied Ecology.
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13662.
    This paper provides information for assessing responses of wild fish populations and ecosystems to climate change.
  • Priede, I.G., Burgass, R.W., Mandalakis, M., Spyros, A., Gikas, P, Burns, F. & Drewery, J. (2020). Near-equal compressibility of liver oil and seawater minimises buoyancy changes in deep-sea sharks and chimaeras. Journal of Experimental Biology, 11 May 2020.
    https://jeb.biologists.org/content/223/9/jeb222943
    The physical properties of oils stored in the liver of deep-sea sharks and chimaeras show that water temperature rather than depth (pressure) is important in regulating the buoyancy of these species during vertical migrations.

Video talk:

Meadhbh Moriarty. (2020). Evaluation of multiple coupled biological-physical models in Loch Linnhe.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTM7Jxc4TK8.
This presentation describes ongoing work on sea lice dispersal modelling to inform area management of salmon farms, and farm interactions with wild salmonids.

 

Additional Information

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Boarding Safely in the Future

Tue, 2020-06-02 10:00

As an organisation that deals with regulation and enforcement, the COVID-19 pandemic has created some challenges for us and we are committed to doing everything we can to limit the spread of the virus, and to protect our own people as they carry out their duties.

Whilst we haven’t stopped all of our surveillance and operations, in order to ensure the safety of both fishers and our staff alike, we have adapted our process of inspections at sea and in port in line with government guidance. Like many others, however, we are now looking forward and considering how best to do things, including boardings, ensuring that any of these that are done, are being done so in line with regulations.

Last week we undertook an exercise, in fully controlled circumstances, where officers from Marine Protection Vessel (MPV) Jura undertook a boarding of the Marine Research Vessel (MRV) Scotia, which was acting as a demersal trawler. The boarding attempted to carry out a full inspection, including document checks, net inspection and measurement, and an inspection of the fish hold.

Two British Sea Fishery Officers (BSFOs) conducted the boarding while an additional BSFO acted as an observer to take photographs and take notes.

The exercise went well with many learning points to be taken away:

  • Co-operation is essential, especially with fishing vessel Masters, who will be key to ensuring any operations can be done safely.
  • Communication needs to be simple, clear and precise for both the BSFOs and fishing crew, during the pre-boarding and the boarding itself.
  • Practice makes perfect, particularly around post-boarding procedures on return to the MPV which need to be thorough and well-rehearsed, including removal and cleaning of kit.

We will be looking to undertake further exercises in the future to ensure that we are as prepared as we can be and so that we can help industry to be prepared too.

 

Further Information:

 

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Angling restrictions eased

Fri, 2020-05-29 09:01

Angling will be permitted from Friday 29 May as part of phase 1 of the easing of lockdown restrictions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced people can go fishing on their own or with a member of their household in their local area, as long as they adhere to physical distancing measures.

"Lockdown is being modified slightly – it is not over".

Today FM @NicolaSturgeon outlined the changes to the current lockdown restrictions which will come into effect from tomorrow (Friday 29 May).

Read the updated guidance on how you can stay safe at https://t.co/y3sU2MKoc3 pic.twitter.com/A8g78mn4SH

— Scottish Government (@scotgov) May 28, 2020

During this phase,  travelling for activities, like angling, should remain within the local area and you should try to travel by foot or bike. As a guide, five miles from your home would be within your local area.

You must also continue to:

  • Ensure physical distancing is in place by staying at least 2 metres away from other people
  • Wash or sanitise hands thoroughly and regularly
  • Ensure cough etiquette is maintained
  • Wear face coverings in enclosed spaces

The move to phase one will allow those of us who are not self-isolating or shielding to work in and enjoy the outdoors more. Of course, if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus you must continue to self-isolate.

Fisheries Management Scotland and Angling Scotland have established guidance to help anglers ensure a safe environment for themselves and all on-site staff.

We welcome the First Minister’s announcement today that angling activity can resume in Scotland in line with the phased approach to relaxing the current restrictions. See our updated guidance for anglers & fishery owners https://t.co/ElNnpH1Y0F @marinescotland pic.twitter.com/XW6IE6hyuP

— Fisheries Management Scotland (@fms_scotland) May 28, 2020

This guidance will be kept under review so that it continues to be in line with public health advice. Anglers are advised to regularly check this guidance and their fisheries for updates.

We welcome the news that Angling has been allowed from Friday. Our guidance to both Anglers and Fisheries was well received by @sportscotland and @scotgov. We looking forward to working together as we move forward safely

Read the guidance herehttps://t.co/7J69pZ0TxN

— AnglingScotland (@ScotlandAngling) May 28, 2020

Please continue to adhere to this guidance – by playing your part you can help limit the spread of disease and protect yourself, your family and your local community.

Further information 

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Research Partners Collaborate One Last Time

Wed, 2020-05-20 14:15

Earlier this year our colleague and Spatial Ecologist Dr Grant Campbell attended the final EU ATLAS General Assembly meeting in Edinburgh.  26 multidisciplinary partners and leading organisations, including Marine Scotland, attended the conference both in person and via video call to discuss their combined knowledge and understanding of the marine environment in the North Atlantic.

Here Dr Campbell tells us what was discussed and what the next steps are following the completion of the EU ATLAS Project.

****************************************************************

EU ATLAS (“A Trans-Atlantic Assessment and deep-water ecosystem-based spatial management for Europe”) is a research and innovation action funded under the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, and is the largest integrated study of deep Atlantic ecosystems ever undertaken.

I am fortunate enough to be involved and represent Marine Scotland Science (MSS) interests in terms of providing an improved knowledge on how effective systematic conservation planning can achieve various social, economic and environmental objectives in the North Atlantic.

The final EU ATLAS General Assembly opened with a welcome message from Edinburgh University’s Sir Peter Mathieson and also the ATLAS outline video, which can still be viewed here.

Professor Colin Moffat, Chief Scientific Advisor Marine for Scottish Government

Professor Colin Moffat, Chief Scientific Advisor Marine for Scottish Government

Several keynote talks opened proceedings, including the dynamic and effervescent Professor Colin Moffat, Chief Scientific Advisor Marine for Scottish Government. Professor Moffat gave an interesting, in-depth talk about how continued work within ATLAS can help to:

  • shape policy,
  • increase science and
  • bolster discussions between stakeholders.

Completing the keynote talks was Hermione Cockburn from Dynamic Earth who talked to us about the legacy that ATLAS will have on society, particularly focussing on how understanding deep Atlantic Ecosystems could help influence education and outreach both now and in the future.

Four Key ATLAS Objectives

Talks over the first two days were centred around the four key ATLAS objectives, which are:

  • Advance our understanding of deep Atlantic marine ecosystems and populations
  • Improve the capacity to monitor, model and predict shifts in deep water ecosystems and populations
  • Transform new data, tools and understanding into robust ocean governance
  • Scenario test and develop science-led cost effective adaptive management strategies that stipulate Blue Growth.
Advancing our understanding of deep Atlantic marine ecosystems and populations

Our first objective of the conference was ‘Advancing our understanding of deep Atlantic marine ecosystems and populations’. This was chaired by Stuart Cunningham (SAMS) and hosted varied discussions on themes such as: fluxes with subpolar transatlantic circulation measurements, Atlantic Palaeo-Circulation, and societal values for deep Atlantic ecosystem services.

Improve the capacity to monitor, model and predict shifts in deep water ecosystems and populations habitat suitability modelling (HSM)

Habitat Suitability Modelling (HSM)

We then moved onto talks centred around the second objective to ‘Improve the capacity to monitor, model and predict shifts in deep water ecosystems and populations’. Chaired by David Thornalley (UCL), talks in the sessions comprised of discussions such as: changes in biodiversity distribution under IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scenarios and a talk from my colleague, David Stirling, where he presented the habitat suitability modelling (HSM) work developed from existing data and new ATLAS data for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems indicator taxa and key deep-sea fish species under current environmental conditions, by each case study area.

The day ended with a poster session in Edinburgh University’s Playfair Library Hall where events also took place the following day and attendees discussed the third objective ‘Transform new data, tools and understanding into robust ocean governance’.

Transform new data, tools and understanding into robust ocean governance

Presentations covered ATLAS GeoNode (a central hub that enables project stakeholders the opportunity to discover, visualise and download ATLAS geospatial data) to the publics views based on an ocean literacy survey in the Azores and policy implications of ATLAS research and recommendations for ocean governance under changing deep-sea dynamics.

The second half of the day comprised of work connected to the final objective on ‘Scenario test and develop science-led cost effective adaptive management strategies that stipulate Blue Growth’.

Scenario test and develop science-led cost effective adaptive management strategies that stipulate Blue Growth

Dr Grant Campbell – Spatial Ecologist for Marine Scotland Science

Talks in this session varied from marine spatial planning activity in the Flemish Cap, valuing deep sea ecosystems across Europe and North America and scenario based simulations in Rockall (which was presented by yours truly!)

My talk at the ATLAS GA discussed how we can utilise scenario based simulations to improve the Systematic Conservation Planning at Rockall Bank. For around 200 years, Rockall Bank has been used as a fishery and has recently been identified as an attractive area for oil and gas exploitation. This new research will aim to examine the environmental and economic effects activities like fishing and oil and gas exploitation would have on marine ecology and the economic value at Rockall, long and short term.

The day ended with a discussion on Horizon Europe, a planned 7-year European Union scientific research initiative to succeed the current Horizon 2020 programme, and a perspective from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on ATLAS and a look ahead to the UN Ocean Decade.

The second half of the week involved many of the conference participants taking part in a communications hub to write papers for the project and to continue discussions between others on many ATLAS related topics.

Further Information:
  • Led by the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) ATLAS brings together 25 partners (and one linked third party) from 10 European countries, the USA and Canada. For more information on the ATLAS project, please visit www.eu-atlas.org or follow the project on Twitter @eu_atlas| Facebook @EuATLAS | LinkedIn ATLAS – Deep Discoveries| YouTube: EU_ATLAS
  • EU ATLAS Brochure
  • Thanks and acknowledgement to Alex Ingle and Murray Roberts for their work on the ATLAS outline video.

The post Research Partners Collaborate One Last Time appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Recent Marine Scotland Science Programme Publications

Wed, 2020-05-06 12:15

Marine Scotland Science, as a core Scottish Government (SG) Division, is working to support SG’s overall COVID-19 response. It also continues to sustain critical marine science delivery and has over the last month produced the following notable publications:

  • Auer, S.K., Bassar, R.D., Turek, D., Anderson, G.J., McKelvey, S., Armstrong, J.D., Nislow, K.H., Downie, H.K., Morgan, T.A., McLennan, D. & Metcalfe, N.B. (2020). Metabolic rate interacts with resource availability to determine individual variation in microhabitat use in the wild. The American Naturalist (pre-print on-line).
    https://doi.org/10.1086/709479
  • Burton, T., Rollinson, N., McKelvey, S., Stewart, D.C., Armstrong, J.D. & Metcalfe, N.B. (2020). Adaptive maternal investment in the wild? Links between maternal growth trajectory and offspring size, growth, and survival in contrasting environments. The American Naturalist, 195(4), pp.678-690.
    https://doi.org/10.1086/707518
  • Gallagher, M.D., Karlsen, M., Petterson, E., Haugland, Ø., Matejusova, I. &  Macqueen, D.J. (2020). Genome sequencing of SAV3 reveals repeated seeding events of viral strains in Norwegian aquaculture. Front. Microbiol., 11:740.
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.00740
  • Gibb, F.M., Régnier, T., & Wright, P.J. (2020). Inferring early larval traits from otolith microstructure in the sandeel. Journal of Sea Research, 158, 101872.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/J.SEARES.2020.101872
  • Moriarty, M., Murray, A.G., Berx, B., Christie, A.J., Munro, L.A. & Wallace, I.S. (2020). Modelling temperature and fish biomass data to predict annual Scottish farmed salmon, Salmo salar, losses: Development of an early warning tool. Preventative Veterinary Medicine, 178, 104985.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167587719308530?via%3Dihub
  • Murray, A.G., Munro, L.A. & Matejusova, I. (2020). The network of farmed Pacific oyster movements in Scotland and routes for introduction and spread of invasive species and pathogens. Aquaculture, 520, 734747.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0044848619321659
  • Rijnsdorp, A.D., Hiddink, J.G., van Denderen, P.D., Hintzen, N.T., Eigaard, O.R., Valanko, S., Bastardie, F., Bolam, S.G., Boulcott, P., Egekvist, J., Garcia, C., van Hoey, G., Jonsson, P., Laffargue, P., Nielsen, J.R., Piet, G.J., Sköld, M. & van Kooten, T. (2020). Different bottom trawl fisheries have a differential impact on the status of the North Sea seafloor habitats. ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsaa050.
    https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsaa050.

 

Additional Information

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