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Updated: 37 min 34 sec ago

New Live Bivalve Molluscs and Scallop impact survey launches

Wed, 2021-03-24 16:06

A survey has been launched by the Scottish Government, to understand the impact of the barrier to trade in exporting Live Bivalve Molluscs (LBM’s) (including Scallops) to the European Union and/or Northern Ireland.

Live Bivalve Molluscs, such as scallops, cockles, mussels and oysters, which have been harvested from either unclassified, or non-class A waters which cannot be verified by certifying officers, as fit for human consumption at the point of export, cannot be exported to the EU or NI, as there is a permanent barrier to trade, and cannot be provided with an EHC*.

The survey, which runs until 16 April, goes through a series of questions to identify if your business could be affected by this barrier to trade. While we expect the impact to be small for the Scottish seafood industry there is a need to understand the scale of this issue.

The survey results will be used to provide Marine Scotland with a greater understanding of the scale this barrier to trade will have on Scottish businesses and inform any further considerations of appropriate mitigation.

For further information or if you are having difficulties accessing the survey please email: Louise.Pell-walpole@gov.scot and provide your company name and email address.

* This does not affect the export of part grown live bivalve molluscs to the EU for further ongrowing on aquaculture sites. The Fish Health Inspectorate will continue to issue certificates for this trade.

 

Background

Live Bivalve Molluscs – Survey

 

The post New Live Bivalve Molluscs and Scallop impact survey launches appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Additional quota opportunities for Scottish fleet

Wed, 2021-03-24 15:05

Scotland will use its share of additional fishing opportunities to deliver quota to active fishers, expand opportunities for the inshore fleet and help reduce business costs.

Following the outcome of a recent consultation which sought views on different ways of allocating quota for 2021, the Scottish Government has confirmed it will distribute additional quota in two different ways.

Additional quota will be allocated:

  • on the basis of historical activity of vessels – to reflect past catches
  • to non-sector vessels, who are mainly smaller inshore vessels that typically target shellfish – these inshore vessels have not had the same opportunity to develop a track record of activity

Future arrangements for the distribution of additional quota will be the subject of further consultation later this year. It is anticipated that Scottish quota will be allocated in April.

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“While the additional fishing opportunities arising from Brexit are significantly lower than what the UK Government promised the industry, we are determined that any opportunity we do have is targeted at the active fishing industry.

“Combined with the continuing difficulties UK vessels face in accessing European markets, alongside ongoing market disruption due to the Coronavirus, the overall effect of leaving the European Union has been profoundly negative for our coastal communities.

“This allocation will provide opportunities for inshore vessels to diversify, and therefore help to spread benefit in families and businesses in our coastal communities.”

Background

The outcome of the consultation is available to view. 

The additional quota is as a result of the UK leaving the EU, and receiving quota over and above the share it received as an EU member state under the Common Fisheries Policy.

The post Additional quota opportunities for Scottish fleet appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Sea lice reporting to be mandatory

Wed, 2021-03-24 13:06

Mandatory sea lice reporting for aquaculture production businesses will come into force on 29 March 2021.

The provisions of The Fish Farming Businesses (Reporting) (Scotland) Order 2020 will introduce a step change in sea lice reporting.

While previous arrangements required reporting only where specific levels were met or exceeded (i.e. a weekly average of two adult female sea lice per fish), sea lice numbers will now need to be reported weekly, one week in arrears, to Scottish Ministers irrespective of the count. Where no count is conducted the reason must be given.

The additional information reported will help the Fish Health Inspectorate monitor and enforce policy on sea lice management and help support the health and welfare of farmed fish. Reported data will be published to promote transparency.

The order has been developed through the Farmed Fish Health Framework and following a review of sea lice policy in Scotland.

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

New Marine Fund Scotland launches

Sat, 2021-03-20 10:00

Investments and jobs in seafood sectors, the marine environment and coastal communities will be supported through a new marine fund.

Marine Fund Scotland (MFS) replaces the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), following the UK’s exit from the EU. The EMFF supported the sustainable growth of the marine economy in coastal communities, in sectors such as fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing.

The EMFF has committed over £96 million to coastal communities across Scotland since it opened in 2016. It is now closed for new applications, but will continue paying grants until 2023.

The MFS has a one year budget of £14 million, meaning all projects must be completed by 31st March 2022.

Announcing the fund, Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“MFS will replace the outgoing EMFF and support growth in our Blue Economy, provide vital investment in the Scottish marine industries and seafood sectors and protect jobs and livelihoods in our coastal communities at a time when many are facing acute hardship due to Brexit and the pandemic.

“In setting up this fund we’ve been consistently clear that the funding provided by the UK Government must match the scale of Scotland’s marine responsibilities and the value of our marine industries. However, what has been provided so far for Marine Fund Scotland has been wholly inadequate and far more is needed. We’re also prevented from making long term strategic investments as the UK Government will only provide funding on a one year basis whereas the EMFF provided multi-year allocations.

“Based on the EMFF budget for 2021-2027, and on our sea area alone, an equitable and evidence-based funding share would be £62 million per annum. We have not received that despite the UK Government promising to match EU funding . Rest assured, we will continue to press the UK Government to make good on those pledges as this reduced funding will inevitably limit what we are able to achieve for our fishers and coastal communities.

“Additionally, the UK Government must also deliver on its promise to provide £100 million to support fishing industry innovation and modernisation, with an equitable share for the Scottish catching and processing sectors.

“Anything less would effectively mean that Scottish businesses and coastal communities being short-changed; adding insult to the injury of new trade barriers arising from the Brexit deal.”

Background

Government Inspired Question on the funding.

Expressions of interest have now launched for Marine Fund Scotland with applications and further details expected to go live in April.

The post New Marine Fund Scotland launches appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Aquaculture health and welfare during Coronavirus

Fri, 2021-03-19 11:18

A new science publication has found no evidence of Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacting salmon welfare in Scotland.

The study, which has been published in the Veterinary and Animal Science journal, examined whether sea lice numbers and mortality rates in salmon farms had changed over the three-year period from 2018-2020.

The paper found that monthly sea lice counts and mortality in 2020 were comparable with monthly values in 2018-19 indicating that welfare standards were maintained in 2020, in spite of COVID-19. The report did not look at the economic or social impacts of COVID-19 on aquaculture.

The paper was written by Alexander Murray, Stephen Ives, Ron Smith and Meadhbh Moriarty from Marine Scotland Science.

Dr Murray said:

“It has been widely predicted that the impact of COVID-19 on human health and activity would result in indirect impacts on animal health and welfare, however this study shows no gross evidence of this being the case with salmon welfare in Scotland.

“This is an area we want to explore in more detail and we will be doing further analysis as we receive more data.”

Background

The paper ‘A preliminary assessment of indirect impacts on aquaculture species health and welfare in Scotland during COVID-19 lockdown’ is available to view.

The post Aquaculture health and welfare during Coronavirus appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Benthic Ecologist, Aberdeen, closing date 12 April

Fri, 2021-03-19 11:00

We are currently seeking applications for an Benthic ecologist within 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.

In this permanent position as a benthic ecologist you will be involved in all aspects of the scientific process from data collection, compilation and analysis to the production of reports and peer reviewed manuscripts.

You will be required to work in a multi-disciplinary manner, working closely with colleagues across Marine Scotland. This vacancy contributes towards the Scottish Government National Outcomes for Business and Environmental Impact. For information on Scottish Government National Outcomes visit http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/scotPerforms/outcomes.

The main role of this post is to support the monitoring and research needs of the Ecology and Conservation Group through taxonomic analysis of benthic samples, video analysis, field work and report and paper writing.

Marine Scotland is the lead marine management organisation in Scotland. It was established on 1 April 2009 as a Directorate of the Scottish Government, to integrate core marine functions involving scientific research, compliance monitoring, policy and management of Scotland’s seas. The Marine Laboratory is the main centre for Marine Scotland Science (MSS) staff. MSS supports Marine Scotland’s vision of having marine and coastal environments which are clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse.

This post will be within the Ecology and Conservation Group at Marine Scotland Science, in Aberdeen, currently made up of 10 people. The Ecology and Conservation Group provides ecological and conservation advice and underpinning science for the Environment Monitoring and Assessment, Planning and Environmental Advice and Coastal and Offshore Fisheries Programmes. The group provides advice on fishery closures, Good Environmental Status (GES) and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and carries out ecological studies of macro-benthos, zooplankton and fish in order to support the Scottish MPA Project and the UK Marine Strategy. The group also answers questions about climate change impacts, fish movements and dynamics, vulnerability of priority marine species and trophic interactions.

The post will also provide more general laboratory support.

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 interview application downloaded. This could be MS Teams or Webex for example. 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 Peter Wright at peter wright@gov.scot.

The post Vacancy: Benthic Ecologist, Aberdeen, closing date 12 April appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Marine Mammal Scientist, Aberdeen, closing date 9 April

Thu, 2021-03-18 13:00

We are currently seeking applications for an Marine Mammal Scientist within 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.

The successful candidate will join the Renewable Energy Environmental Advice (REEA) Group is part of the Renewables and Energy Programme (REP) of Marine Scotland Science (MSS). REEA performs a number of tasks concerned mainly with the offshore and onshore renewable energy industries. This involves work on renewable energy development in the marine environment, but also on infrastructure projects designed to support the marine renewables industry, such as port redevelopment.

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.

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. For this vacancy, please refer to the Competencies for Band B and the Specialist Competencies Framework.

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 Dr Ewan Edwards who can be reached at Ewan.Edwards@gov.scot

The post Vacancy: Marine Mammal Scientist, Aberdeen, closing date 9 April appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Spotlight on Fishermen’s Mission

Thu, 2021-03-18 09:58

‘Don’t struggle in silence’ is the message from the chief executive of a charity that has seen an influx in calls and requests from fishers impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the EU Exit over the last year.

The Fishermen’s Mission, which provides emergency support as well as practical, financial, spiritual and emotional care to active or retired fishermen and their families, received around 50% more calls in the first months of 2021 than in the same period in 2020.

In recognition of the hardship faced by people working in the sector at this time, the Scottish Government awarded up to £300,000 to the Fishermen’s Mission in February, making it the first Government in the UK to provide this type of welfare support to specifically mitigate the effects of both COVID-19 and the end of the post-EU Exit transition period.

Chief executive David Dickens said:

“At the first lockdown last year when there was the collapse of markets which affected everyone from the crab and lobster guys, to the mussel growers and prawn fishermen, we had a big peak in demand, well in excess of what we’d normally expect in the March to May timeframe.

“As restrictions lifted, people were able to get back out and fish a bit and the markets opened up a bit but then there was the run of poor weather in the autumn, and of course we went straight back down to another lockdown followed by EU Exit, and months on we’re finding the markets are still suppressed.

“In Scotland we are seeing fishermen going to sea to make enough money to keep the boat running so that they have a job when prices go up, and all the while they are trying to get by, by using up savings and acquiring debts. We’re seeing clients with significant levels of debt which they are taking on just to keep the lights on and put food on the table. In fact one of our partner charities, is running at 300% of their normal loading, while we’re pushing out around £20,000 a week in terms of general living expenses.

“The Scottish Government funding has been great as it’s been supporting our general work rather than being specified for a particular service. It recognises that welfare need is burgeoning and people’s needs are different at this time.”

Operating across the UK, the charity has 13 representatives working in fishing communities in Scotland. Individuals can contact the charity through the website, via the freephone telephone number 0800 6341020 or can get in touch with local reps to discuss their issues and they will then be signposted to the most relevant types of support for them.

In 2020 the Fishermen’s Mission dealt with 9,500 people and had 21,000 interactions with individuals, which included keeping in touch with retired fishers, as well as paying out £1.4 million in support to fishing communities across the UK.

Are you in need of a chat with someone who understands fishing & the stresses you face?

You can send us a direct message here, visit our website, or call our freephone 0800 634 1020https://t.co/DRPdOOdG67

Image: @JoanneRCoates, Cumbria 2012 pic.twitter.com/AUPoNbH1Ta

— Fishermen's Mission (@thefishmish) February 16, 2021

David said:

“Looking back at the last year what really strikes me is just how resilient and uncomplaining our fishing communities are. Our message is don’t struggle in silence, get in touch with us sooner rather than later and before you are in dire financial need.

“Over the last year we’ve helped with school uniforms, access to priority medical treatment, helped with utilities and general living expenses and provided mental health support.

“We’re now in our 140th year and because we’ve been at this for so long we have lots of friends and supporters who can help you and we won’t know how to help unless you get in touch.”

The post Spotlight on Fishermen’s Mission appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Assistant Fishery Officer Modern Apprenticeship, Eyemouth, closing 25 March

Wed, 2021-03-17 13:00

The recruitment of Modern Apprentices is a fair, open and merit based process (16+) and with permanence from the start of the apprenticeship. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the interview.

Overview

Marine Scotland was created in April 2009 when the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) and Fisheries Research Services(FRS), 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 Compliances 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 Scottish coast, and at the Registration of Buyers and Sellers Unit which is based in Aberdeen.

The Assistant Fishery Officer is the first point of contact for the public and other government departments, stakeholders. As such, they must have knowledge of Marine Scotland’s, Aims and Objectives and have the knowledge and ability to be able to put the caller in touch with the correct person. This vacancy offers an opportunity to join a small team and provide admin support to the fishery officers with the prospect of being able to advance to the role of fishery officer through dedicated on the job training, as such the Assistant Fishery Officer will also be required to assist the Senior Fishery Officer/Fishery Officer with inspection duties both on the pier and on board fishing vessels and accompany Warranted Officers in other inspection tasks including visits to premises and landing creeks.

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 interview application downloaded. This could be MS Teams or Webex for example. 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. 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, please complete the online application form. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact James Legge who can be reached at james.legge@gov.scot or Ashley Shepherd who can be reached at Ashley.Shepherd@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: Assistant Fishery Officer Modern Apprenticeship, Eyemouth, closing 25 March appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Outcome of UK/EU/Norway negotiations

Tue, 2021-03-16 15:10

The trilateral fisheries negotiations between UK, the EU and Norway have concluded with quotas agreed for a number of shared stocks.

The record which was agreed on 16 March 2021 sets out Total Allowable Catch (TAC) positions and management measures for the North Sea stocks of: Whiting, Plaice, Saithe, Cod, Haddock and Herring. There are increases in Haddock and Whiting which are welcomed in light of the decreases in Saithe and Cod.  The National Cod Avoidance Plan, implemented in 2020 will continue throughout this year making a valuable contribution to the stock’s recovery.

Whiting fish shoal

As they do every year, the Scottish Government negotiating team prepares for a range of scenarios and deploys all of their knowledge and expertise in the actual negotiations. This year, they did so, not just as part of the UK negotiating team but with Scotland taking up the position of Joint Head of Delegation.

The value to Scotland of the negotiating success is £101.6 million, which is an increase of £9.5 million from last year.  The TAC changes are as follows:

  • Whiting + 19.1%
  • Plaice – 2.3%
  • Saithe – 25%
  • North Sea Cod – 10%
  • Haddock + 20%
  • North Sea Herring -7.4%

Negotiations continue, with bilaterals with EU and Norway in the coming weeks.

Background

  • The UK has set a three-month catch limit for all UK vessels whilst negotiations with coastal states conclude (see determination document).
  • As those are concluded, the UK will amend this document and set its annual Total Allowable Catch. There are two stocks where the UK has set six-month limits – mackerel and northern blue whiting – due to the seasonal nature of these fisheries.
  • UK National North Sea Cod Avoidance Plan

 

The post Outcome of UK/EU/Norway negotiations appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Engaging the fishing industry in marine environmental survey and monitoring

Tue, 2021-03-16 12:00

Surveys using local information from fishers have been used to better understand marine life in and around Scotland’s network of Marine Protected Areas.

The main purpose of the Marine Scotland led work, which was funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, was to record seabed habitats with a Drop-Down Video camera (DDV). The project also supported work to monitor juvenile fish abundance in relation to habitat types using fish traps and underwater cameras and ongoing research to track the movement of flapper skate using acoustic tags.

Eight DDV surveys were completed throughout 2018/19. The equipment was deployed from a fishing vessel and this sampling effort resulted in 130 hours of video footage, and 16,676 photographs.

A huge diversity of marine life was observed during the project. A highlight of this was filming herring spawn that had settled onto a bed of maerl just north of Loch Torridon.

Footage from all the surveys has been processed to identify habitats, and produce detailed maps of where they occur.

The research also sought to find out which habitats juvenile fish preferred and focused on fish like cod, haddock and whiting on the west coast of Scotland. Juvenile fish use Scotland’s sea lochs as ‘nursery areas’ to shelter from predators and find food while they grow.

Through the use of baited fish traps and DDV for monitoring juvenile fish, it was revealed that poor cod and whiting were generally the most abundant species captured, and cod, haddock, pollack and saithe were recorded in far lower numbers.

A number of flapper skate (Dipturus intermedius), once common around the coast but now extinct in many areas, were also found in the Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura MPA (designated for their protection in 2014). The project looked to track their movements and get a better understanding of how they use different habitats and also to see if the MPA is an important breeding ground.

Through the use of acoustic tags and acoustic receiver units deployed at locations within the MPA, it was possible to track the movement of skate within the MPA and to log the presence of the skate as they swam past.

The setup of acoustic transmitters and receivers is capable of gathering data on skate locations within the MPA for up to ten years, and will contribute to long-term monitoring of the species.

Data from DDV surveys will be used to help determine whether conservation objectives are being met within MPAs, and if management measures are proving effective. It will also improve our knowledge on the distribution of Priority Marine Features (PMFs) in Scottish waters, and will contribute towards the PMF review.

The project was led by Marine Scotland, and supported by NatureScot.

Background 

More information about the EMFF project: survey reports and newsletters is on the Scottish Government website.

The full report is available here.

The post Engaging the fishing industry in marine environmental survey and monitoring appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Cook Steward, closing date 1 April

Tue, 2021-03-16 11:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Cook Steward within Marine Scotland based anywhere across Scotland. 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.

There is currently one permanent vacancy for the post of Cook Steward within Marine Scotland. This posts is based on board either our Marine Protection vessels or Marine Research Vessels. The Marine Protection Vessels are MPV Minna,  MPV Jura and MPV Hirta. These vessels carry out patrols which normally last 21 days. The Research Vessels MRV Alba Na Mara and MRV Scotia carry out research cruises that vary in length, but generally are no more than 22 days. All vessels are double crewed, permitting trip on/trip off crew rostering. The catering department consists of two posts except for the Alba Na Mara which carries one Cook Steward.

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 interview application downloaded. This could be MS Teams or Webex for example. 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 Alexis Lee at alexis.lee@gov.scot.

The post Vacancy: Cook Steward, closing date 1 April appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: Casework Manager, closing date 7 April

Tue, 2021-03-16 11:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Casework Manager within  Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen/Edinburgh/Glasgow. 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 post qualifies for the MS-LOT pay supplement, currently £5,000 per annum. Pay supplements are temporary payments designed to address recruitment and retention issues caused by the market. For staff not currently in receipt of the allowance, it is payable after successful completion of the qualifying period, normally 9 months. Pay supplements are subject to regular review.

The successful post holder will be responsible for processing applications for consents and licences, managing the approval process for decommissioning programmes, assisting in the team’s compliance and enforcement activity and ensuring that procedures are followed. The role provides high quality service to Scottish Ministers, applicants and stakeholders, in a dynamic, fast paced environment.

The job holder will ensure that applications for marine licences (under the Marine Acts) and Section 36 consents (under the Electricity Act 1989), and decommissioning programmes (under the Energy Act 2004), are dealt with correctly and within agreed timescales, providing guidance to licensing casework officers where required. The job holder may also be required to advise on, policy and legislative requirements in relation to Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA), Marine Protected Area (MPAs) assessments and Environmental Impact Assessment, in line within-house guidelines.

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 interview application downloaded. This could be MS Teams or Webex for example. 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. This will then ensure that there are no issues incurred during the interview.

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 Mike Bland at Michael.Bland@gov.scot.

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

Further information for this job

The post Vacancy: Casework Manager, closing date 7 April appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Scottish Anglers Wanted for Sea Angling Diary

Mon, 2021-03-15 11:55

A new call is being made for sea anglers to contribute to a project that will help the management of marine fisheries.

The Sea Angling Diary Project which is funded by the Scottish Government, UK Government and devolved governments of Wales and Northern Ireland, is encouraging 2,000 sea anglers to sign up to a free mobile app to record their fishing activity and catches.

Data collected on activity, catches and spending helps inform decision making on the sustainable management of marine stocks and the development of sea angling.

The project provides significant benefits to those that take part. Sea anglers get a free Sea Angling Diary Mobile App and online tool that allows easy recording of fishing trips, locations, methods and catches. They also get a catch recording kit including a fish ID booklet, tape measure and waterproof notebook to help accurate recording of catches.

Available on both Android and iOS devices the free app is available to everyone that takes part in the project and allows them to record catches on the go, identify target species, upload photos and see summaries of what they have done in the year.

The Sea Angling Diary Project is run by research company and angling experts Substance with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). It is supported by the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers, Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers, Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers and the Angling Trades Association.

Anglers can find out more and sign up at the Sea Angling Diary Project website.

They can download the app by searching for “Sea Angling Diary” in the app store, or from these links:

The post Scottish Anglers Wanted for Sea Angling Diary appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Choose to challenge – Equity at sea

Thu, 2021-03-11 10:00

This week we not only celebrate British Science Week but International Women’s Day too, so this is a great opportunity to point you to an interesting article co-authored by our colleague, physical oceanographer and Scientist-in-Charge, Dr Berit Rabe.

Dr Rabe was one of 19 co-authors (led by Katharine Hendry) from all over the UK who investigated “Equity at Sea – Gender and inclusivity in UK sea-going marine science”.

The article investigates gender equity and equality in participation and leadership in sea-going marine science in the UK, including the historical context and recent successes. Marine Scotland’s  Scientist-in-Charge (SIC) Pathway Scheme (an action point from our Athena-SWAN work) features in the article as a good example.

Statistics on the male/female split of SICs on Marine Scotland Science (MSS) research surveys has not followed a shift that has happened at other institutions, towards a more even gender representation, but MSS is progressive in trying to tackle this issue and make SIC opportunities open and fair to change the split in the future.

The Equity at Sea article coincidentally got published just before two back-to-back MRV Scotia surveys (referenced survey 1920S and 0121S) with female SICs and female co-SICs on both cruises (which had never happened before). It should be noted that strong representation of women in sea-going science can provide positive role models for early-career female marine scientists.

Scotia at work with waves crashing

Published in ‘Ocean Challenge’, by The Challenger Society of Marine Science, the article can be found on pages 19 – 30 at this link. However, if you’re short on time here are some of our highlights:

  • Historical context of UK women in ocean science, including mention of an ‘ancient taboo’, which considered allowing women on ships to be bad luck – this has lasted until surprisingly recently.
  • Jeanne Baret (1740–1807) was the first known female sea-going woman scientist on an expedition in 1766 when she dressed as a teenage boy to join an expedition.
The present-day situation and recent successes include:
  • There has been a growing appreciation of the benefits of gender diversity in field-based research.
  • Long-term observations in the Faroe-Shetland-Channel, conducted by MSS, had its first female SIC (Dr Berit Rabe) in 2014.
  • For the first time the three main UK research vessels had concurrent expeditions led by female SICs in 2017.
  • The appointment of the first female Officer in Charge, Alexis Lee, on the MPV Minna in 2019.
  • A combination of mentorship, championing of new talent and providing opportunities for interaction with the wider science community led to recent changes.
  • Our pioneering new Scientist-in-Charge (SIC) Pathway Scheme training, including appointing a co-SIC for each cruise.
  • Improved work environments and networking opportunities will help improve the current situation but continuing challenges exist for under-represented groups in sea-going research.
Areas that are still in need of improvement and key recommendations include:

An introduction of UK-based schemes for under-represented groups in marine science, improved visibility of role models (another Athena-SWAN action), better training for sea-going scientists (including for example mental health), and an inclusive environment on ships (examples include the co-SIC scheme, more flexible approach with regard to change-overs, etc.).

A key outcome from the article is the following:

The marine science community urgently needs to diversify their discipline through proactive mentorship, and by promoting and implementing positive change. We need to lead initiatives to increase visibility of past and present under-represented groups in sea-going marine science. Further encouragement of the community to take up opportunities to appoint co-SICs for every cruise, as implemented recently (with very positive feedback) by MSS and just recently approved by NERC for National Marine Facility and British Antarctic Survey cruises.

Further reading:

 

 

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Vacancy: Seaman 1A – closing date 21 March

Tue, 2021-03-09 08:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Seaman 1A within Marine Scotland 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.

There are currently vacancies available for the post of Seaman 1A based on board our vessels. The posts are primarily based on our Research Vessels MRV Alba Na Mara and MRV Scotia, although it is expected that the successful candidate will also be prepared to work on the protection vessels if required. MRV Alba Na Mara and MRV Scotia 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 no more than 21 days.

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

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 Mari Valli or Lewis Mitchell at mscompliancebsu@gov.scot.

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

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Celebrating our Marine Scotland Women on International Women’s Day

Mon, 2021-03-08 10:00

Today is International Women’s Day – a global day to celebrate the achievements of women, and we are thrilled to highlight some of the achievements of the women that lead and play an important part in Marine Scotland’s success.

Our women command ships, manage projects, lead scientific research and represent us internationally at meetings and negotiations.  From colleagues going to sea, engineers, master mariners, scientists, fisheries officers and more beyond our women head up teams, departments and divisions and develop policy across marine and freshwater areas.Mixed Scotia Crew for survey 0119S

Echoed in our recent publications (Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 and Future Fisheries Management Strategy) our women are integral to everything we do and represent key areas in Marine Scotland that are crucial to how we manage Scotland’s seas.

Choose to Challenge  Dr Carey Fraser - Athena SWAN Lead at Marine Scotland

Dr Carey Fraser, Head of Professional Development for Science in SG and Athena SWAN Lead

This year’s theme is ‘Choose To Challenge’ and that is exactly what Dr Carey Fraser, the first Head of Professional Development for Science in the Scottish Government (SG), has been doing. Active in promoting diversity, inclusion and equality, specifically, within the science and engineering areas of the SG, Dr Fraser’s work has also included leading our successful application for the Athena SWAN Bronze gender equality award, the first area of SG to achieve this.

Dr Fraser will be taking part in a guest webinar for Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) later this week, discussing her career and on how she promotes diversity and equality within the SG.  Spaces are limited but some are still available –  sign up here.

She said: “International Women’s Day reminds us that by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias, and taking action for equality we can encourage the positive growth and diversification in not only our workforce but throughout our communities.

“We have made some really good progress with our Athena SWAN work in Marine Scotland so I’m really pleased that I’ll be able to share my experiences with women who are doing great work to promote the aquaculture industry.”MS colleague sampling

The WiSA network aims to promote diversity within aquaculture, supporting career development, and encouraging new talent into the burgeoning sector.

Evidence from the Scottish Government suggests that women still face barriers when returning to work after an extended absence, with many experiencing a ‘motherhood penalty’ following maternity leave.

MS colleague out on fieldwork

Backed by the Scottish Government the Women Returners Fund was established to help to address some of these issues, with a focus on rebuilding skills, knowledge and confidence. Through this fund WiSA will support up to 50 women with career coaching, confidence training and mentoring, empowering them to step back into employment. March will see a month-long series of free workshops and events being offered, some developed specifically for participants who may not have worked in the sector before.

WiSA was set up in 2019 to encourage more women into all levels of aquaculture and support them throughout their careers. Read more about their work during the pandemic in a recent Q&A with the group’s co-chairs.

Further celebration of (just some of) our Women in Marine Scotland:

All pictures Crown Copyright.

The post Celebrating our Marine Scotland Women on International Women’s Day appeared first on Marine Scotland.

British Science Week 2021

Fri, 2021-03-05 10:36

To celebrate British Science Week 2021 Marine Scotland has produced some new videos to put the spotlight on the importance of our seas, oceans and freshwaters. So join us to learn more about the seas and climate change and to find out what it’s like working in the lab. These talks are suitable for Secondary 2 to 6 pupils.

The programme includes:

We’ll also be highlighting some of our online resources throughout the week, including the Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 portal which provides an up to date view on the health of Scotland’s seas.

Leaping Dolphins

Read our Topic Sheets which include subjects ranging from aquaculture to marine mammals and many more.

Find out about the People who make science happen, find out how they do it here. And check out our Marine Scotland blog which has a range of updates on our science including Sharks, skates and raysProtecting and researching our seasNew Coral Species on Rockall among many others.

You can also visit our education zone for a range of fun and informative materials

Get involved in British Science Week  #BSW21. The Year of Coasts and Waters 2020/21 is an opportunity to showcase Scotland’s coasts, rivers, canals, lochs and inland waters and the work we are doing to protect our marine environment and wildlife. Join the conversation #YCW2021

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Supporting a new approach to fisheries management

Thu, 2021-02-18 14:00

A three-year project involving industry, academia and government aimed at improving fisheries management has published its conclusions.Scottish Inshore Fisheries Integrated Data System logo

The Scottish Inshore Fisheries Integrated Data System (SIFIDS) project, funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and administered by the Scottish Government saw more than 130 vessel skippers in 43 ports around Scotland host research trips, have tracking and/or scanning devices installed, take part in surveys and contribute significantly to equipment and software development.

The aim of the SIFIDS project, coordinated by Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), was to deliver a package of processes and systems designed to radically improve the way data is collected from the inshore fleet. Much of the work was assessing the feasibility – both technical and economic – of the processes and systems being developed. The ultimate goal being to use data gathered from fishermen to aid decision-making in fisheries management and marine planning.

The partnership approach to the project helped ensure that industry led solutions to inshore fisheries data collection and management were workable and could meet the requirements of government and the fishing industry. Significant world-first  prototypes, including a crab and lobster scanner capable of determining the sex and size of live animals at-sea, and a phone App to provide a daily record of landings and catch were just some of the key features to come out of the project.

Dr Mark James, SIFIDS Project Leader from University of St Andrews, said: “From the outset the project was a real team effort involving project partners: Seascope Fisheries Research, Imani Development, SAMS Research Services Limited (SRSL), and the North Atlantic Fisheries College (NAFC). Our three Facilitators were instrumental in positively engaging with industry throughout the project.

 SeaScope Fisheries Research.

A 3D image of a lobster produced by the AS3ID Scanner. Copyright: SeaScope Fisheries Research.

“So far the SIFIDS project has produced real practical outputs that can, and have, been taken forward, including the Outer Hebrides Inshore Fisheries Pilot that is currently trialling the SIFIDS low-cost tracking system to assist with fisheries management decision making. We have also, through the Seafood Innovation Fund, started to develop the prototypic scanning system (AS3ID) into an operational device.”

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This work has helped inform the inshore elements of our Future Fisheries Management Strategy. The benefits of Government working in partnership with the industry and academia are clear to see.

“This project has not only highlighted the importance of an evidence based, co-management approach, but has also offered up practical recommendations, that will assist in implementation of our new Strategy. A good example of this is the work on vessel tracking solutions”.

St Andrews vessels during SIFIDS project

St Andrews vessels during SIFIDS project

The SIFIDS ‘Integrated Data System’ Model

The combined results of all the SIFIDS work strands enabled the team to identify these significant areas where an integrated model could offer a low-maintenance system of data collection and reporting.

  1. Install simple GPS tracking systems on under-12 metre inshore fishing vessels to provide better information on fishing location and effort, in conjunction with the current statutory records of landings and gear deployed.
  2. Use gear-sensors to demonstrate when and where gear is being deployed or recovered, for example on some vessels using specific gear types, and/or operating in a sensitive area.
  3. Establish a small ‘reference fleet’ to collect data that could assist stock assessments.
  4. Develop low-cost, non-invasive methods to identify scallop grounds, that could be deployed from an inshore fishing vessel.
  5. Create a secure database to allow different user groups to access data in different ways e.g. fishers would see only their own data, MS Compliance could see data required for statutory purposes.
Final reports for each work strand: Further information:

Main image: Fishing boats, Tarbert harbour. Argyll. © George Logan / NatureScot

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Guidance for interacting with seals

Tue, 2021-02-09 11:00

Scotland is well known for our diverse flora and fauna, both on land and in the sea. Some of the most iconic species seen around our coasts are seals. Scotland is home to a population of approximately 122,000 grey seals and 27,000 harbour (common) seals.

Haul out sites are where the seals come out of the water to rest, moult, breed and to have pups. Seals that are hauled out may be particularly sensitive to approach by humans whether from the land, sea or air and therefore caution is required in such circumstances.

Grey seal cow and pup. ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Grey seal cow and pup. ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Section 117 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 provides Scottish Ministers with the power to designate seal haul out sites. The sites were identified following work between Marine Scotland and the Sea Mammal Research unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews.  A link to a map of all 195 locations can be found here.

Under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly harass a seal at a designated haul out site. Marine Scotland has produced guidance which includes examples of actions that might constitute harassment and information on behaving responsibly around seal haul outs.

Seal behaviour

Seals rest on land to conserve energy or for females to nurse their young. This is also time when the seals can regulate their temperature while they moult, either due to pups growing in their adult fur, or the annual moult of adults. Regulating temperature in water and swimming all expends energy and when forced to enter the water to avoid a perceived threat seals are stressed and use additional energy. It is also a danger to new pups that may be injured or killed by adults in large groups that rush into the water.

Colony of harbour seals in Millport Bay - Picture courtesy of Jack Lucas. Crown Copyright

Colony of harbour seals in Millport Bay – Picture courtesy of Jack Lucas. Crown Copyright

There are some body language cues that can let you know if you are at risk of disturbing seals. They have a three stage response to a perceived threat:

  1. Heads-up” response – The clue is in the name and is when the seals raise their heads and watch your location and approach. If you see this behaviour, you should back away and/or change your method and speed of approach.
  2. Movement – The seals will start to shift around and appear agitated, if they were laying on their sides they may move to position on their stomachs to allow them to retreat further if they think they need to. If you notice this behaviour you need to back off from the seals so you do not cause the third stage of the response.
  3. Stampede – The seals will quickly retreat from land to the water to escape. This puts the seals at risk of injury as well as any pups that are amongst them.

The Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code (SMWWC) provides recommendations and advice on responsible wildlife watching in three sections: on the coast, on the sea and in the sea. Advice specific to watching seals from the coast:

  • Look up the site you are thinking of visiting to see if there are any local wildlife management schemes or initiatives that provide information on the population. Follow any of their guidance and be aware of the local pupping seasons and avoid visiting breeding sites during these periods.
  • On land, and especially at breeding sites, keep your distance. Keep dogs away as they can become over excited and cause a stampede response. Do not try to touch or feed seals. Seals can move surprisingly fast even on land and as cute as they may appear, they are predators and are known to bite.
  • Do not try to touch or feed seals. Seals can move surprisingly fast even on land, and as cute as they may appear, they are predators and are known to bite.
  • Never separate pups from mothers, this again leads to stress for both mother and pup and risks the pup being abandoned by its mother.
  • If you see any lone pups, leave them alone – the mother may only be foraging for food. There are signs that a pup may have been abandoned which can be found on the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) website.
  • Don’t stay too long as other people may be nearby waiting to see them and you should not crowd or encircle seals. If there are a number of you, keep to one side of the seals and do not stand between them and an escape route to the water.
  • Keep the noise down and avoid sudden movements. Much like you wouldn’t want a loud group of people jumping out and blocking you from leaving your peaceful resting spot.

The world is going through so much right now and mental health is so important. Going for a walk on the beach gives you that dose of fresh air and daily exercise, we just want to ask that you remember to do so safely for the animals that know those beaches as safe places.

Female Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)_©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Female Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)_©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is a designated seal haul out site?

A designated haul-out site is any place, which Scottish Ministers designate as such by Order, after consulting with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). These are identified by survey as areas of consistent high density (hotspots) for harbour and grey seals.

  • What are the 195 sites designated for?

Of a total of 149 haul-out sites:

  • 62 are used mainly by harbour seals (Phoca vitulina)
  • 20 are used mainly by grey seals (Halichoerus grypus)
  • 67 are shared by both these species.

An additional 45 sites are grey seal breeding colonies, used by this species specifically during their pupping season.

All of these sites provide protection all year round.

  • Are there any times of year that are particularly sensitive?

Harbour seals usually give birth in early summer (June – July) and spend time ashore in August for their annual moult.

Grey seals give birth in the autumn (September – December) and stay on land for several weeks. Adults and pups leave in the spring once they have finished their moult and the pups have been weaned.

  • What constitutes harassment?

Details on intentional and reckless harassment can be found in the Marine Scotland document guidance on the offence of harassment at seal haul out sites.

  • What should I do if a group of seals reacts to me watching them?

This is an early sign that the seals could be scared from their resting place. If you notice either steps one or two detailed above in the seal behaviour section, you should back away and review your approach.

  • What should I do if I see a seal that doesn’t look healthy?

You can contact Scottish SPCA or BDMLR if you are concerned for the welfare of a seal.

  • What should I do if I suspect someone of committing an offence by harassing seals?

If you are concerned that you have seen someone to commit a wildlife offence, you can contact Marine Scotland Compliance on 0131 244 2286 or via our website.  Alternatively you can contact Police Scotland on 101 or using their website.

  • What about other wildlife?

NatureScot’s guide to best practice for watching marine wildlife provides advice on wildlife watching on land and at sea.

  • What do I do if I find a dead seal?

If you come across a seal carcass, you should contact the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS). To report a stranding: phone/text: 07979 245893 or 01463 243030 or Email: strandings@sruc.ac.uk

When you report a stranding, please try to provide the following information:

  • Date found
  • Location (grid reference if possible)
  • Photographs of the carcase
  • Species or description (see species guide)
  • Overall length (estimation)
  • Condition of the animal
  • Your contact details
Further Information:

Main picture: Harbour seal and pup. Picture provided by Jack Lucas/Crown copyright.

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