The tables in this section reflect the output of the workshop (October 2019) when the pressures from human activities were assessed for the period 2014 to 2018 for the region. The summary text below the tables elaborates on some of the points that were made at the workshop.
This pressure assessment uses the FeAST classification which includes two abrasion pressures: surface abrasion & sub-surface abrasion. Some expert groups combined these as a single pressure "surface & sub-surface abrasion" whilst others focussed on using surface abrasion alone, hence there is a slight difference in handling for some regions.
The ranking of the pressures in terms of impact is a relative exercise within each region, and is not a statement of their absolute impact. Detailed comparison between regions on the basis of these relative pressure assessments is therefore not advisable.
Main pressures identified
|Priority ||Pressure (FeAST classification) ||Main healthy and biologically diverse components affected ||Main contributing FeAST activity /activities to pressure ||Associated productive assessments |
|1||Removal of target species (including lethal)||
|2||Removal of non-target species (including lethal)||
|4||Synthetic compound contamination (inc. pesticides, antifoulants, pharmaceuticals). Includes those priority substances listed in Annex II of Directive 2008/105/EC.||
Other pressures identified
Footnote: the ordering of entries is alphabetical and there is no prioritisation between the pressures.
Summary from workshop
This region has many similarities to the Argyll area with marine conditions ranging from ocean-influenced shelf seas to brackish sea lochs. Major military exercises occur at least annually, vessel movements and other activities are also likely to happen on a regular basis around Rasaay. Shipping/non-synthetic compound contamination: large commercial vessels pass through The Minch, particularly during foul weather, with potential for oil/fuel spills (acute, high intensity), as well as more chronic low-level oil contamination.
In identifying the top five pressures for the whole West Highland region the following activities were considered to be important.
1 Removal of target species (lethal): all species involved in recreational angling have been assumed to be ‘target’ species rather than ‘non-target’ bycatch. This activity is likely to be (mainly, though not exclusively) concentrated in inshore waters. Bottom otter trawling and pair trawls; creeling and potting; dive fisheries; line fishing (hand and mechanized longlining); pelagic trawling and purse seining; scallop dredging;
2 Removal of non-target species: mainly linked to impacts of bottom otter trawling and pair trawls; line fishing; scallop dredging; intertidal fishing e.g. bait digging; creeling and potting.
3 Surface abrasion: bottom otter trawling and pair trawls; creeling and potting; line fishing (hand and mechanized longlining); scallop dredging.
= 4 Synthetic compound contamination: large commercial vessels pass through The Minch, particularly during foul weather, with potential for oil/fuel spills (acute, high intensity), as well as more chronic low-level oil contamination. It is also assumed that wastes associated with tourism end up in coastal waters. It has been assumed here that the bulk of such wastes originate from yachts, which could conceivably result in local contamination in marinas and other places where many vessels lay at anchor.
= 4 Sub-surface abrasion: this is mainly linked to impacts associated with bottom otter trawling and pair trawls and scallop dredging, also to a lesser extent yachts and other vessels anchoring away from marinas etc.