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Updated: 17 min ago

What lies beneath

Tue, 2021-01-26 11:00

Scotland’s seas cover an area approximately six times the land area of Scotland and they can provide us with a largely untapped, sustainable and renewable energy source.

Tidal energy is an abundant, predictable and clean source of power that can be extracted from deep water, shallow water, estuaries and large rivers.

In Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020, our recently published web portal looking at the state of our seas, one of the case studies – Case study: Nova Innovation – Shetland Tidal Array highlights the role tidal energy can play in reaching our net zero ambitions and showing just how much power can be generated by one tidal turbine.

In May 2014, Nova Innovation installed the first community owned tidal turbine in Bluemull Sound in the Shetland Islands. This trial deployment was a tremendous success, delivering Nova’s first tidal turbine, exporting enough power to the grid for 30 homes and providing vital information and data essential for scaling up this area of renewable energy.

With information gained from the trial, Nova Innovation deployed the world’s first offshore tidal array in 2016 at Bluemull Sound, and it has been supplying electricity to the grid ever since. The first three Nova M100 turbines with a combined capacity of 300kW were deployed in 2016 and 2017, and in 2018 Nova was granted permission to extend the array to six turbines.

In August 2020, the fourth 100kW next generation turbine with direct drive capabilities was added to the array. As part of continued research,  the turbines in the array will be moved around to gain information on optimal performance that will  inform the design of future arrays.

The turbines in the Shetland Tidal Array sit fully submerged on the seabed at a depth of 30-40m, so are not visible from the surface. Nova also carries out a comprehensive programme of monitoring to understand the effects of the turbines on the marine environment. To date, no negative effects have been detected.

Offshore renewable developments, such as tidal energy generation from Nova Innovation, play a vital role in helping to tackle climate change and contribute to the Scottish Government’s ambitious emissions reduction and energy strategy.

 Further Information:

Picture information:

Main image: Fourth turbine in the Shetland Tidal Array, ‘Eunice’ with the Northern Lights in the background.

Second image: Eunice sitting at Belmont Pier in Shetland prior to deployment and commissioning in October 2020. Eunice is the first direct-drive tidal turbine in the Shetland Tidal Array, which is helping to drive down the cost of tidal energy.

Both pictures provided courtesy of Nova Innovation

The post What lies beneath appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Software Developer, Edinburgh, closing date 2 February

Mon, 2021-01-25 15:16
We are currently seeking applications for a Software Developer 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. Overview

Marine Scotland is the lead marine management organization in Scotland. It was established on 1 April 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.

Marine Scotland Compliance Information Technology Unit is responsible for much of its own IT capability. This includes capturing all data associated with fishing activity in Scottish and UK waters and exchanging data with the rest of the UK and the EU. The Branch has recently developed an open source system using Java on a Postgres/EnterpriseDB Database. This system has entered into service and is being continually improved. Future work will include adaptations to meet the outcomes of the UK’s EU exit.

The Software Developer works as part of the delivery team to progress development aspects of user stories. They will interface with Business Analysts to understand requirements and acceptance criteria and testers to ensure quality standards are maintained. They will also provide support for the live system as it expands with further functional releases.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview as well as a personal device of choice with an account registered to the ‘Webex’ app by which you can undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds to undertake the interview. This will then ensure that there are no issues incurred during the interview.

Further Information for this job

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 for this post, you will need to provide the information requested below via the online application process. These must be combined into one document as the system can only accept a single document upload per application.

A CV (no longer than two pages) setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Add to your CV your personal statement (no longer than 750 words) explaining why you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience suitable for this role, with particular reference to the criteria in the person specification. Failure to submit a single combined document (CV and personal statement) will mean the panel only have limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the person specification.

When considering how your experience relates to the role, please tailor your CV and personal statement to reflect the role and the essential skills/criteria as described in the job description/person specification.

For further information on this vacancy please contact Allan Hildreth by email at allan.hildreth@gov.scot . If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team on 01312441234 or via recruitment@gov.scot 

The post Vacancy: Software Developer, Edinburgh, closing date 2 February appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Rural Economy Secretary letter to UK Government on crab claw exports to the EU

Fri, 2021-01-22 18:56

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on issues relating to crab claw exports to the EU.

A copy of the letter is below:

I wrote last week to highlight the grave situation that Scotland’s food and drink exporters find themselves in after the Brexit deal imposed a swathe of new bureaucracy and highlighted the economic impacts from prohibited and restricted goods, of which Crab claws were listed.

You will be aware that Defra communicated to the industry on the 31st of December 2020 in an industry newsletter that “You will no longer be able to export crab claws to the EU once the transition period is over from 1 January 2021. Under EU regulation, only whole crabs can be placed on the market if the export falls under the 03-tariff heading”.

This announcement came as yet another unexpected Brexit impact that neither businesses or I were aware of prior to that announcement. This differs from the live bivalve mollusc issues that we have worked with Defra on for some time.  Scottish exporters immediately stopped exporting Crab claws and raised this issue with me and my officials, as to why this prohibition was in place, as the statement communicated by Defra failed to give any specific detail of the legislation that prevented this export.  Could I ask you to confirm what was the legal basis for providing this advice?

Scottish officials have worked to understand this problem and fed back their findings to Defra in order to inform questions going to the European Commission on this issue, and they continued to develop their understanding of it.  Having concluded investigations, which involved agreeing the legal understanding with Defra’s own advisers, it appears that there should not be a barrier to trade where whole edible crabs of species Cancer pagurus are landed in Great Britain and on first sale in Great Britain are sold whole, then the claws are removed after first sale for export to and subsequent sale in the European Union. This is based on our understanding of the relevant regulatory framework viewed as a whole, with the crab claws being marketed under the CMO Regulation (Regulation 1379/2013).

On the basis of our analysis, it would appear that the UK Government have misinformed Scottish exporters, indeed exporters of crab claws from across Great Britain causing a significant loss of income, coming on top of issues last year with crab exports to China.  This shows the incredible recklessness with which the UK Government has administered the Brexit process and a complete disregard for an important part of the Scottish shellfish sector, worth £3 million a year to one Scottish business alone.

This error has meant that, for the past four weeks, some businesses which export crab claws to the EU have been processing and freezing the product which is now clogging up the  freezers of Scottish businesses. Customer relationships have been damaged and orders have gone unfulfilled, causing reputational damage to the high quality and, before Brexit, reliability of Scottish Seafood exports.  A sudden release of frozen product threatens to crash prices all of which puts pressure on business already reeling from the impacts of Covid and post Brexit operational change.  You must take responsibility for this error, and I hope that you will add this issue to the qualifying criteria for the recently announced compensation scheme, as business have suffered these impacts through no fault of their own.

It is essential that this matter is resolved as quickly as possible and it is my intention to release communications to the Scottish sector today advising them that we do not believe that this restriction should be in place, citing clearly the detail behind this decision.  We will of course advise that they check with their importer in the EU to safeguard their exports. I have included a copy of communications in the Annex.

It is disappointing that this issue was not highlighted to me and officials here in Scotland before the prohibition was announced. Had you done so, we could have avoided this mess.  We know our industry and the laws that govern fisheries here in Scotland and, as you have said yourself on many occasions, when you work with us the outcome is usually better for everyone. It is fortunate that this has been investigated quickly so industry can get back to business.

This issue just emphasises why it is essential that we work together to address the post Brexit chaos.

Fergus Ewing

ANNEX

Dear Stakeholder,

On the 31 of December 2020 the UK Government informed Scottish seafood representatives and shellfish exporters that “businesses will no longer be able to export crab claws to the EU once the transition period is over from 1 January 2021. Under EU regulation, only whole crabs can be placed on the market if the export falls under the 03-tariff heading”.

It is the Scottish Government’s view that if whole edible crabs (Cancer pagurus) are landed in Great Britain and on first sale in Great Britain are sold whole, but then the claws are removed after first sale for export to and subsequent sale in the EU, there is no prohibition under EU law preventing this subsequent sale of edible crab claws in the EU. In addition, the Scottish Government’s understanding is that these crab claws should be classed as ‘prepared product’, with CN Tariff code 1605 being the most appropriate to use for exports to the EU in this instance. Therefore the prohibition relating to CN Tariff code 0306, as outlined in the UK Government communications, would not apply to edible crab claws sold and prepared in this way. The Scottish Government understands that the export of edible crab claws under CN Tariff code 1605 is permissible.

If your business is involved in exporting non whole edible crabs to the EU, which are sold and prepared as outlined above, we recommend that you:

  • The position outlined in this letter doesn’t constitute legal advice. As such you may wish to seek legal advice regarding your consignments of non-whole edible crabs to the EU.
  • Contact your European Union importer, and the Border Control Point (BCP) that your consignment will enter through to ensure that they will accept your product on arrival.

The UK Government continues to hold discussions with the European Commission over the most appropriate tariff code to apply to prepared non whole edible crabs and we will continue to work with the UK Government to seek agreement with the European Union on this matter.

The post Rural Economy Secretary letter to UK Government on crab claw exports to the EU appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Protecting Scotland’s seas

Wed, 2021-01-13 09:42

Marine Scotland is the directorate of the Scottish Government responsible for the management of Scotland’s seas. It has operational responsibility for monitoring and ensuring compliance with marine regulations within the British Fishery Limits, where Scotland has devolved powers.

This includes work to deter and detect illegal fisheries activities, illegal discarding of catch, protection of territorial waters and vulnerable marine habitats, up to 200 nautical miles offshore of Scotland.

Scotland’s waters cover 62% of the UK’s domestic exclusive economic zone with Marine Scotland operating three marine protection vessels, two aircraft and a network of fishery offices to ensure effective monitoring and enforcement.

The MarRIB and Juraine Protection Vessels Jura, Minna and Hirta, and two Reims Cessna Caravan II F-406 aircraft (Watchdog Alpha and Watchdog Bravo), are tasked and deployed according to risk assessed operational requirements. During their patrols they gather information and monitor activity, as well as routinely board and inspect the catches and fishing gear of the fishing fleet at sea to ensure compliance with licence conditions and regulatory provisions. Any non-compliance is reported as appropriate to the prosecuting authorities.

 

Marine Scotland Compliance monitors the activity of Scottish fishing vessels in any waters and monitors all non-Scottish fishing vessels in Scotland’s waters, in near real-time, for regulatory compliance purposes.

The Fisheries Agreement negotiated between the EU and the UK Government following EU Exit means that EU vessels require a licence to fish in Scottish waters.

Following the end of the transition period and entering into the Fisheries Agreement with the EU, the UK must conduct its fisheries management and relations, as regards matters provided for in that Agreement, with the EU rather than directly with individual member states. This means that if EU vessels wish to fish in our territorial waters it would be for the EU as the coastal state to make that request during forthcoming annual negotiations on behalf of all its member states.

Marine Scotland is monitoring any breaches of licence conditions and is engaging constructively with EU partners to ensure the sustainable management of fish stocks is at the heart of this partnership working.

As part of planning for the end of the EU Exit transition period, Marine Scotland deployed two additional inshore patrol craft, increased aerial capabilities and advanced detection and imaging assets.

Background

Marine Scotland Compliance fleet and aircraft information

The post Protecting Scotland’s seas appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Aquatic Animal Health Technical Manager, closing date 14 January

Tue, 2021-01-12 12:45

We are currently seeking applications for two Aquatic Animal Health Technical Managers within the Aquaculture and Fish Health Programme based in Aberdeen. 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 Aquaculture and Fish Health Programme supports a healthy, sustainable aquaculture industry and safeguards the health of wild fish stocks, through regulation, surveillance and scientific advice backed by high quality research. The Programme contributes towards the Scottish Government National Outcome: ‘We value and enjoy our built and natural environment and protect and enhance it for future generations’. For information on Scottish Government National Outcomes visit www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/outcomes. The Programme covers 35 staff including the Fish Health Inspectorate, disease diagnostics and research aquarium and relies on close working relationships with statisticians and epidemiologists within Marine Scotland Science.

The post involves coordinating and presenting scientific evidence and analysis of the operation of National and International controls for the spread of listed diseases within aquatic animals. The duties contribute to Scotland’s participation in the management of the UK Framework for Animal Health and Welfare and the operation of biosecurity and border controls that arise as a result of leaving the European Union.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview. In addition, a personal device of choice, which has the Skype for Business application downloaded. This will allow candidates to undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds.

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

Further information for this job

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 Robert Raynard at rob.raynard@gov.scot.

The post Vacancy: Aquatic Animal Health Technical Manager, closing date 14 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Guidance for anglers during Coronavirus

Tue, 2021-01-05 16:47

The First Minister has announced further action to stem the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Following the announcement the Scottish Government introduced, from midnight on 5 January, and for the duration of January, a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes. This is similar to the lockdown of March 2020.

The First Minister acknowledged that it is important for physical and mental well-being that we can get outdoors for fresh air and exercise as much as possible.  Given this, local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise is to be considered an appropriate reason for leaving home.  Unlike the lockdown last year, the frequency of outdoor exercise is not being limited.

Outdoor non-contact activities such as walking, cycling and golf are permitted for all age groups.

Angling is also permissible provided this is within a single household group, or the group contains no more than 2 people from 2 different households.  Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.

You can travel for local outdoor sport or exercise such as angling but must stay within the more general requirements with regard to travel and ensure that you abide by the rules on meeting other households.  In general, stay as close to home as possible – within your local authority, or no more than 5 miles from the boundary – and stay away from crowded places.

Individuals should continue to follow the five principles behind the Scottish Government’s FACTS campaign:

  • F – wear a Face covering
  • A – Avoid crowded places
  • C – Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • T – stay Two metre distance away from other people
  • S – Self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)

Detailed guidance on safe conduct while angling is available on the Angling Scotland website and from Fisheries Management Scotland.

Club competitions, outings etc

Angling activity should be restricted to individuals, household groups or no more than 2 people from 2 households, suitably distanced.

Fishing competitions, club outings or group meetings, etc are not permitted under the current restrictions.

Sea angling

 Sea angling from the shore is allowed, provided that anglers comply with the more general requirements with regard to travel and the rules on meeting other households.

Sea angling from private boats with members of your own household is also allowed.

Again, sea angling should be practised as close to home as possible and no more than 5 miles beyond your local authority boundary.

Angling from charter boats is not currently permitted.

Travelling from other parts of the UK to fish in Scotland

This is not allowed under current rules in Scotland.

In addition, all holiday accommodation is closed to tourism. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only.

The post Guidance for anglers during Coronavirus appeared first on Marine Scotland.

New website for Regional Inshore Fisheries Group Network

Tue, 2021-01-05 12:59

A new website to provide fishers with a source of up to date information has been launched by Scotland’s Regional Inshore Fisheries Group (RIFG) network.

The website, will be regularly updated with input from the five nationwide groups – North and East Coast RIFG, West Coast RIFG, Outer Hebrides RIFG, Orkney Sustainable Fisheries and Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation. By accessing the site fishers will be able to view project documentation, access minutes of meetings and feed directly into agendas – all specific to their area.

Map of Scotland highlighting the website areas in various colours

Map of Scotland highlighting the website areas in various colours

The launch of the website is the latest part of Marine Scotland’s drive to support the evolution of the RIFGs, enabling them to become the main vehicle for evidence-based management in inshore waters.

The RIFG network was established in 2016 with the aim of improving the management of inshore fisheries and giving inshore commercial fishermen a strong voice in fisheries and wider marine management developments.

Jennifer Mouat, Chair, North and East Coast Regional Inshore Fisheries Group said: “As we move forward into a new era of fisheries management the Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups will be an integral part of connecting fisheries management and fishers.

“The new RIFG platform will allow a one stop shop for all RIFG information across the network of inshore fisheries groups making key information more accessible to all stakeholders. “

Background

The post New website for Regional Inshore Fisheries Group Network appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Brexit deal means drop in key fishing stocks

Tue, 2020-12-29 11:30

The Brexit fisheries deal negotiated by the UK Government will mean a fall in the quantity of key fishing stocks landed by the Scottish fleet, according to Scottish Government analysis.

Scotland’s valuable staple fish stocks include Cod, Haddock, Whiting and Saithe. Far from having substantial increased opportunities in the future, the Scottish industry will have access to fewer of these fish than under the existing Common Fisheries Policy arrangements – even at the end of the five and half year phase-in period, according to the analysis.

These are the white fish stocks that a significant part of Scotland’s family-owned fishing fleet is dependent upon for their livelihoods and the shares even in five and a half years’ time, will still be less than their equivalents now. This also has a potential knock on effect for harbours, fish markets and processors – fewer fish caught means fewer being landed and sold on for processing in facilities all around Scotland.

Cod and Saithe landings will be hit particularly hard.

Pelagic landings (such as mackerel and herring) and some other stocks will see a modest gain.

At present Scottish boats land fish by a variety of means:

  • by catching quota that has been allocated to the Scottish industry
  • by leasing extra quota from other producers  that cannot or do not want to fish as much as they have been allocated for a particular stock
  • by swapping quotas of fish that we have and still need but other countries want more of

Leasing and swapping quota is required to allow vessels to operate legally in very complex mixed fisheries in the northern waters of the Scottish fishing zone.

Under the Brexit deal, the swapping of quotas with individual member states will no longer be allowed and leasing will be prohibitively expensive, reducing the quantity of fish in key stocks available for the Scottish industry to land.

stock Current situation (Average UK landing percentage of total EU and UK quota combined (using ref period 2015-19) Maximum percentage of total EU and UK quota available to UK under the deal Increased fishing opportunities North Sea Cod 63.5 57 no Rockall Cod 75 75 no West of Scotland Cod 81.2 81.2 no North Sea Haddock 92.5 84.2 no Irish Sea Haddock 54.2 56 yes West of Scotland Haddock 77.3 80.6 yes Rockall Haddock 88.4 85 no Celtic Sea Haddock 8.8 20 yes West of Scotland Saithe 47.1 51 yes North Sea Saithe 31.6 26 no North Sea Whiting 82.7 73.5 no West of Scotland Whiting 58.7 65.9 yes North Sea Hake 55.6 53.6 no

The amount of fish caught by the Scottish industry will also fall because a special scheme (called the Hague Preference) which gave Scottish boats extra quota has also been lost under the Brexit deal. An entitlement that was used every year and is a further loss of fishing quotas valued at over £9 million.

The UK Government also appears to have agreed to measures by the EU which will make no difference to Scottish fishing interests.  It has been suggested  that the EU will give up 25 per cent of its fish quota (in terms of value not tonnes) in UK waters, but as much of this quota was not actually caught by the EU, there is no potential gain here for our fishing industry in terms of getting access to stocks that were previously unavailable.

In the stocks where there has been a nominal increase in UK quota share, in the majority of cases the UK has only secured access to stocks where the EU was not currently fishing its full allocation.

For the UK side, some of the extra quota  negotiated will not be able to be landed – and will be so-called “paper fish”.  North Sea Sole is a stand-out example where the increase in share generates over £12 million in value for one species alone with a very high average price per tonne, but according to our analysis there is no ability to catch this additional fish in this particular fishery.

Worst of all, this new transitional arrangement may prove difficult to avoid becoming permanent.

A key UK Government objective was to avoid a permanent link between access to waters and access to markets. But according to the analysis that is exactly what has resulted in the agreement, since reductions in access to waters give the other party the right to impose tariff measures on fisheries products.  That could impact adversely on our aquaculture industry which is included in the international definition of fisheries products.

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, said:

“The analysis we are publishing today of what the UK withdrawal agreement means for Scotland’s fishing interests is deeply troubling. Carried out by our internationally renowned fisheries specialists, it shows how Scotland’s interests are adversely impacted by the deal reached by the UK and the EU.

“Scottish coastal communities were told that any Brexit deal would mean a very large rise in fishing opportunities. In fact for the key stocks that the Scottish industry depends on, far from seeing a big increase,  there will actually be a fall in the quantity of fish they can land.

“We were assured that getting our own seat at the table as a coastal state in annual negotiations would result in gains for our fishing interests. Through this agreement, our ability to do that has been removed with the loss of leasing and swapping quota.

“We were also told that a red line for the UK Government was that the fisheries deal would not be tied to the overall trade deal. In fact fisheries is hardwired into the overall deal meaning any attempt to reduce EU access in future will lead to trade sanctions – hitting key Scottish industries like salmon producers.

“The Hague preference mechanism is another tool which we have now lost which helped increase available quota in key stocks in any given year – the UK Government did not even try to keep it available to us in the future.

“And the quota either being given up by the EU or negotiated as a win by the UK Government is of no worth nor value to Scottish fishing interests.

“This is a terrible outcome for Scotland’s coastal communities.  The small gains in quota for mackerel and herring are far outweighed by the impact of losses of haddock, cod and saithe – and that threatens to harm on shore jobs and businesses too linked to harbours, fish markets and processing facilities.  As our analysis shows, there is very little here to celebrate, and plenty to be worried about for the future of Scotland’s fishing interests.”

Mike Park, Chief Executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, said:

“Setting politics aside, the members of SWFPA  are deeply aggrieved at the very challenging situation they now face for 2021.

“Whereas we have gained modest uplifts in  shares for some stocks the stark reality is that the demersal sector enter 2021 facing significant shortfalls across a range of key species, which is down to the fact that we can no longer enter into direct swaps with colleagues in Europe.

“In addition,  the issue of sovereignty and our future ability to negotiate additional shares after the five and a half year window would seem clouded by so much complexity that it is difficult at this time to see how the UK government can use its newly recovered sovereignty to improve the situation of my members.”

Background

There are three levels of cross-retaliation specifically in fisheries:

(1) If access is not granted in the post 2025 annual negotiations, compensation by removal of preferential tariffs in respect of “fishery products”. Our understanding is that “fishery products” includes aquaculture, and this would be consistent with the system of  WTO definitions, used elsewhere in the agreement  Aquaculture is an important and valuable Scottish industry. If any attempt was made therefore to reduce EU access, this industry would be hit, making it very unlikely that access arrangements will change once the phase-in period is over.

There is wording making this proportionate to the economic and societal impact, and with binding independent arbitration:

‘Following a notification by a Party (“host Party”) under Article FISH.8(5)[Access to waters], the other Party (“fishing Party”) may take compensatory measures commensurate to the economic and societal impact of the change in the level and conditions of access to waters. Such impact shall be measured on the basis of reliable evidence and not merely on conjecture and remote possibility. Giving priority to those compensatory measures which will least disturb the functioning of this Agreement, the fishing Party may suspend, in whole or in part, access to its waters and the preferential tariff treatment granted to fishery products under Article GOODS.5[Prohibition and customs duties].’

(2) Remedial measures in the event of alleged failure to comply with obligations under the Fisheries  Heading, also subject to proportionality and independent arbitration, but with scope to take tariff measures on any goods, and to suspend the whole trade heading of the agreement.

(3) Either side can terminate the Fisheries Part of the agreement, automatically also terminating the trade, aviation and road transport headings (though not all aviation).

The post Brexit deal means drop in key fishing stocks appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scientist in Charge Pathway in Action

Tue, 2020-12-29 09:40

The SIC (Scientist-In-Charge) Pathway is a new initiative at Marine Scotland Science to provide a structured approach to training new SICs and hopefully, in the long-term, achieve a more gender balanced SIC pool (or at least representative of the sea-going staff pool). This initiative is a direct result of our Athena-SWAN work and includes co-SICs shadowing more experienced SICs, and, in the future, training and scientific logbooks and support networks.

The oceanography group has just concluded its December hydro cruise on MRV Scotia to the Faroe-Shetland-Channel (cruise 1920S), investigating the hydrography in this important region where cold Arctic-origin water is flowing south-west and warm Atlantic water is flowing north-east towards the Arctic. The SIC Pathway component of co-SIC was implemented on this trip where the SIC included the co-SIC in its meetings with the captain, pre- and post-cruise planning and general tasks as SIC. This kind of on the job learning and seeing how decisions (and back-up plans) are made is valuable experience for scientists interested in becoming a SIC themselves in the future.

View of the sun setting in clouds. Taken from Scotia deck

View of the sun setting in clouds from Scotia deck

December cruises generally head to the Northern North Sea and the Faroe-Shetland-Channel. On the recent cruise we included a side trip to Loch Ewe to deploy a met-ocean data buoy as part of the Scottish Coastal Observatory (SCObs) and the COMPASS project. We successfully deployed the new, large, shiny buoy at our long-term monitoring site, where it immediately started transmitting meteorological and oceanographic data. Mission data buoy deployment successfully accomplished.

We unfortunately had some mechanical issues on the ship which cost us some time for repairs and waiting for a new part. Challenges on a research trip in December include bad weather and also mechanical issues and so flexibility, calm nerves and lots of back-up plans are required. A good experience for a co-SIC…

Berit Rabe, Inshore Physical Oceanographer

 

The post Scientist in Charge Pathway in Action appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Fisheries Data Manager, Aberdeen, closing date 14 January

Tue, 2020-12-22 16:30

We are currently seeking applications for a Fisheries Data Manager within the Marine Scotland Science based in Aberdeen. 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.

This is a key post in the Sampling Design & Analysis Group of the Fisheries Data Programme. The post has arisen due to the increased need for robust scientific fisheries data for Scotland, to support fisheries management and policy decision making as a result of Brexit, and the corresponding requirement for increased expertise within these areas. The duties include the extraction, processing and analysis of biological sampling data to provide input data to fisheries stock assessments.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview as well as a personal device of choice with an account registered to the ‘Zoom’ app by which you can undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds to undertake the interview. This will then ensure that there are no issues incurred during the interview.

Further Information for this Job

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 Liz Clarke who can be reached at Liz.clarke@gov.scot

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

The post Vacancy: Fisheries Data Manager, Aberdeen, closing date 14 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Otolith Technician, Aberdeen, closing date 7 January

Mon, 2020-12-21 15:30

We are currently seeking applications for a Otolith Technician (0.5 FTE) within the Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen. 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.

This is a key post in the Data Collection Group of the Fisheries Data Programme. The duties reflect the need to develop essential skills in age determination of fish using microscopy techniques and thereby maintain Marine Scotland Science’s capacity and reputation to provide data for the use in stock assessments for quota species important to the Scottish fleet. No experience of otolith reading is required as training will be provided. Marine Scotland is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce and we value the contribution which those returning to work following a career break may be able to offer.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview as well as a personal device of choice with an account registered to the ‘Zoom’ app by which you can undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds to undertake the interview. This will then ensure that there are no issues incurred during the interview.

Further Information for this Job

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 Adrian Tait who can be reached at Adrian.tait@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: Otolith Technician, Aberdeen, closing date 7 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Sea lice reporting to be mandatory

Mon, 2020-12-21 15:00

A new Order was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 21 December which supports the Scottish Government’s implementation of sea lice policy and management of sea lice on fish farms.

Its provisions introduce a step change in sea lice reporting. It requires average weekly female sea lice numbers per fish to be reported to Scottish Government one week in arrears, in place of current arrangements which require reporting only where specific levels are met or exceeded.

The additional information will help the Fish Health Inspectorate to monitor and enforce policy on sea lice management. The data will be published to promote transparency.

As well as making the reporting of average sea lice numbers mandatory, the Order will require a reason for no count to be given and will refer to the penalties for not doing so.

The policy was developed through the Farmed Fish Health Working Group and a six week consultation on the new Order was held with relevant parties including the farmed fish sector, regulators, wild salmon interests, environmental interests and professional veterinarians.

Further Information

 

The post Sea lice reporting to be mandatory appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Fisheries Observer/Data Collector, Ullapool, closing date 7 January

Mon, 2020-12-21 14:15

We are currently seeking applications for an Fisheries observer/data collector within Marine Scotland in Ullapool or Kinlochbervie. 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 Data Collection (DC) Group consists of 20 full-time scientists and is one of the three constituent groups within the Fisheries Data Programme of Marine Scotland Science. The responsibilities of the DC group is to primarily focus on the collection of a wide-range of fishery data from various stock areas and sources, which includes market sampling, sea going commercial observer data collection, fish age determination and scientific cruise survey participation.

This is a key post in the Data Collection Group of the Fisheries Data Programme. The duties reflect the need to develop essential skills in fish and shellfish sampling and age determination (where relevant) and thereby maintain Marine Scotland Science’s capacity to collect data and perform stock assessments for quota and non-quota species important to the Scottish fleet. Applicants must be capable of and willing to work at sea on board commercial fishing and research vessels. The post-holder will be required to drive to remote locations around Scotland and, on occasion, to work unsociable hours.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview. In addition, a personal device of choice, which has the Skype for Business application downloaded.  This will allow candidates to undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds.

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

Further information for this job

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 Nabeil Salama at Nabeil.Salama@gov.scot

The post Vacancy: Fisheries Observer/Data Collector, Ullapool, closing date 7 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Fisheries Observer/Data Collector, Aberdeen, closing date 6 January

Mon, 2020-12-21 12:30

We are currently seeking applications for a Fisheries observer/data collector within Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen. This is a 12 month fixed term 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.

This is a fixed term appointment associated with funding until March 2021. Extension of the post is dependent on funding continuation. This post is in the Data Collection Group of the Fisheries Data Programme. The duties reflect the need to develop essential skills in fish and shellfish sampling and age determination (where relevant) and thereby maintain Marine Scotland Science’s capacity to collect data and perform stock assessments for quota and non-quota species important to the Scottish fleet. Applicants must be capable of and willing to work at sea on board commercial fishing and research vessels. The post-holder will be required to drive to remote locations around Scotland and, on occasion, to work unsociable hours.

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview. In addition, a personal device of choice, which has the Skype for Business application downloaded.  This will allow candidates to undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds.

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

Further Information for this Job

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 Nabeil Salama at Nabeil.Salama@gov.scot.

The post Vacancy: Fisheries Observer/Data Collector, Aberdeen, closing date 6 January appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 launched

Mon, 2020-12-21 11:25

A new online platform which assesses the condition of Scotland’s marine environment and the human activity it supports has been launched.

More than 250 scientists have contributed to Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 which brings together data from 183 studies to provide an up-to-date review of Scotland’s seas.

The assessments found that progress is being made to improve the health of Scotland’s seas. It also found that:

  • progress is being made to reduce the levels of nutrients and contaminants in our seas
  • the marine economy is providing significant economic and social benefits to coastal communities while the growth of industries like offshore wind, wave and tidal energy are of increasing importance to the Scottish economy
  • Marine Protected Areas and measures to tackle marine litter need more time to be fully effective.
  • climate change is the most critical factor affecting our seas and impacts on coastal flooding, erosion and marine species
  • collaboration with coastal communities, industries, public authorities and international partners is essential to improve the state of Scotland’s seas

The findings will be used to inform the forthcoming review of Scotland’s National Marine Plan and the development of the Blue Economy Action Plan. They will also help inform future management of the Marine Protected Area network.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 places Scotland at the forefront of international work in this field and provides a comprehensive review of the health of our seas. It brings together data on our marine plants, animals and industries setting out where we can better support our marine environment and to informing how we manage the sustainable shared use of the sea by a range of marine industries.

“The Assessment finds progress is being made as we balance the sustainable development of emerging and established industries with protections for our marine environment. It also highlights the very real impact climate change is having on our seas.

“Last week we published our Climate Change Plan update setting out over 100 new policies to set us on track to a just transition to net zero, as well as our Future Fisheries Management Strategy, which sets out our vision for Scotland to be a world class fishing nation, delivering responsible and sustainable fisheries management

“Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 will be an essential resource as we continue to deepen our understanding of the marine environment, together with our international partners, to deliver clean, healthy and biologically diverse seas which can help to sustainably grow our Blue Economy and continue to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.”

Background

 Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 can be accessed via the Marine Scotland information portal. It is a Programme for Government commitment 2019/2020.

This peer-reviewed scientific assessment has been produced by the Scottish Government, NatureScot, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland. It builds on the data first collected in Scotland’s Marine Atlas 2011.

The Future Fisheries Management Strategy and updated Climate Change Plan 2018-2032 are available to view on the Scottish Government website.

 

The post Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 launched appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Uncovering secrets of marine life using automated image identification

Wed, 2020-12-02 13:00
Pennatula phosphorea, phosphorescent sea pens. Crown copyight

Pennatula phosphorea, phosphorescent sea pens. Crown copyright

It’s not easy to learn about what is going on under the surface of the ocean, but a new study is exploring how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help Marine Scotland uncover the secrets under our seas.

Published as part of the Scottish Marine Research Energy (ScotMER) Programme the new report considers how Marine Scotland could harness AI technology to get better datasets and information that complement the wider research around offshore renewable energy and support decision-making.

The use of underwater video as a method of monitoring salmon in rivers and at sea is becoming widely used as a non-invasive method of data collection.

Salmon in trap inside a trawl. Crown copyright

Salmon in trap inside a trawl. Crown copyright

Video is already used for numerous other purposes in relation to offshore renewables, such as characterising the habitats and species on the seabed before a development takes place, and monitoring the collision risk with a tidal device.

This report assesses the current state of the technology, the most appropriate software platforms to develop automated image analysis and demonstrates that application of such technology is possible with underwater video used at Marine Scotland Science (MSS).

Further development of this technology in the future will mean a large element of detection and identification will be automated and there will be fast and accurate methods of identifying features of conservation interest.

If you would like to know more please come to the Automated Imaging workshop at the ScotMER symposium at 2pm today (Wednesday 2 December).

 

Further Information

Automated Identification of Fish and Other Aquatic Life in Underwater Video

Main picture details: Nephrops norwegicus, Nephrops. Crown copyright

 

 

The post Uncovering secrets of marine life using automated image identification appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Identification of Sabellaria spinulosa reef on the Scottish east coast

Wed, 2020-12-02 09:45

The Scottish Marine Energy Research (ScotMER) Programme has commissioned research to confirm the existence of Sabellaria spinulosa (Sabellaria) in reef form off the Scottish east coast. Sabellaria has been known to exist in Scotland for a while, but the significance of classifying it as a ‘reef’ is that it gains protection under the Habitats Directive and under OSPAR. As well as confirming the presence of Sabellaria reef habitats, the study uncovered a new subtype of Sabellaria reef off the east coast of Aberdeenshire.

Sabellaria spinulosa is a tube-dwelling marine polychaete, which can form extensive biogenic reef habitats. The species favours turbid waters with a good supply of sand and has a tendency to co-occur with areas proposed for the development of offshore wind. Indeed, benthic surveys by developers to inform the location of offshore wind farms off the Scottish east coast first revealed the occurrence of Sabellaria habitats, with reef-like qualities. This study assessed video and digital stills data from five sites off the Aberdeenshire coast against existing ‘reefiness’ criteria.

New sub-type of Sabellaria spinulosa habitat discovered off Aberdeenshire. Picture courtesy of Oceana

New sub-type of Sabellaria spinulosa habitat discovered off Aberdeenshire. Picture (and main picture) courtesy of Oceana.

Four of the five sites were found to support significant areas of reef, with the best examples in the Southern Trench and off Rattray Head. A new and unique S. spinulosa reef habitat sub-type was identified  in and around the Southern Trench. The new sub-type was termed a Sabellaria ‘bommie’, due to its tendency for the species to aggregate in isolated clumps on cobbles and boulders, and act as a diverse, well-developed reef community in an otherwise fairly featureless soft bottom habitat.

Recommendations regarding the conservation and management of Sabellaria reefs in Scotland are proposed to ensure it is protected while facilitating the development of the offshore energy sector.

Be sure to join us for the benthic session of the ScotMER symposium at 10:30 today to find out more.

 

Further information

Pearce, B. and Kimber, J. (2020). The Status of Sabellaria spinulosa Reef off the Moray Firth and Aberdeenshire Coasts and Guidance for Conservation of the Species off the Scottish East Coast. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 11 No 17, 100pp. DOI: 10.7489/12336-1

 

The post Identification of Sabellaria spinulosa reef on the Scottish east coast appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Senior Policy Officer, Marine Planning – closing date 10 December

Wed, 2020-12-02 09:00

We are currently seeking applications for Senior Policy Officer – Marine Planning within the Marine Scotland department based in 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.

Marine Scotland is responsible for managing Scotland’s seas ensuring prosperity and environmental sustainability. Effective marine planning is at the heart of this, ensuring that the marine and coastal environment is managed in an integrated and holistic way. In 2015 Scotland published its first National Marine Plan – a single framework for managing our seas.

The primary focus of the role will be to facilitate and manage marine planning and related strategic environmental and socio-economic projects in relation to the development of offshore renewables in Scottish Waters. These initiatives aim to support and inform the development and location of commercial scale offshore renewable energy developments in Scottish Waters. The Scottish Government is published a Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind on 28 October 2020. This post will play a key role in both the co-ordination and strategic direction of the programme board established to drive forward the important process of Iterative Plan Review (IPR).

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview as well as a personal device of choice by which you can undertake the interview/assessment if selected. The Remote Interviews will be conducted by WebEx. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds to undertake the interview. This will then ensure that there are no issues incurred during the interview.

Further Information for this job

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 Damon Hewlett who can be reached at damon.hewlett@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: Senior Policy Officer, Marine Planning – closing date 10 December appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Controls for wild wrasse fisheries

Tue, 2020-12-01 12:35

Mandatory controls over the harvesting of wild wrasse for managing sea lice in the salmon farming industry have been announced by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing.

The new measures are to be introduced following a recent consultation with the industry and will be brought into effect from 1 May 2021. Fishers will have to meet certain criteria, show they have an appropriate relationship with an aquaculture business and have a proven track record to obtain a permit for harvesting wild wrasse.

The move is expected to improve management of the fishery, provide clear instructions to all those involved, and secure better reporting of activity and data from fishers to Marine Scotland.

Mr Ewing said:

“These measures will support the sustainable growth of our valuable aquaculture industry while also maintaining the right balance across our economic, environmental and social responsibilities.

“Mandatory measures for wild wrasse harvesting will help to maintain healthy stocks of this fish which is so important for treating and controlling lice in our salmon farms while improvements to the way we consider regulation of fish farms will ensure the impact from interactions with iconic wild salmon and sea trout is reduced.

“We will work with fishers to help ensure reasonable fishing opportunities remain, that there is access for new entrants to wrasse fishing and that there is a fair recruitment system that takes into account sustainability and the aspirations of fishermen who may wish to diversify. This is an area we will continue to develop. Measures will be kept under review and we will look to refine them as more evidence, data and technology becomes available.

“As we look ahead to economic recovery and the development of the Blue Economy, sustainability must be at the heart of what we do to ensure future generations can enjoy all of the beauty and nature that Scotland has to offer whilst safeguarding jobs in some of our most rural and fragile communities.”

Background

The Analysis of responses to the consultation on Proposed New Mandatory Fishing Measures for Wild Wrasse Harvesting will be published in due course.

The post Controls for wild wrasse fisheries appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Senior Policy Officer, Regional Marine Planning – closing date 10 December

Tue, 2020-12-01 09:00

We are currently seeking applications for Senior Policy Officer – Regional Marine Planning within the Marine Scotland department based in 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.

Marine Scotland is responsible for managing Scotland’s seas ensuring prosperity and environmental sustainability. Effective marine planning is at the heart of this, ensuring that the marine and coastal environment is managed in an integrated and holistic way. In 2015 Scotland published its first National Marine Plan – a single framework for managing our seas.

The primary focus of the role will be to facilitate and manage marine planning and related strategic environmental and socio-economic projects in relation to the development of offshore renewables in Scottish Waters. These initiatives aim to support and inform the development and location of commercial scale offshore renewable energy developments in Scottish Waters. The Scottish Government is published a Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind on 28 October 2020. This post will play a key role in both the co-ordination and strategic direction of the programme board established to drive forward the important process of Iterative Plan Review (IPR).

Important Information Regarding Interviews

In recognition of the Scottish Government’s ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview as well as a personal device of choice by which you can undertake the interview/assessment if selected. The Remote Interviews will be conducted by WebEx. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds to undertake the interview. This will then ensure that there are no issues incurred during the interview.

Further Information for this job

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 Damon Hewlett who can be reached at damon.hewlett@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: Senior Policy Officer, Regional Marine Planning – closing date 10 December appeared first on Marine Scotland.

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