Appendix 11                      Commercial Fisheries – Baseline Environment

11.1            Desktop Study

  1. An initial desk-based review of literature and data sources to support this Offshore EIA Scoping Report has identified a number of baseline datasets. These are summarised below:
  • fisheries datasets available from Marine Scotland’s MAPS NMPi (National Marine Plan interactive);
  • up to date publicly available fisheries landings and effort from Marine Scotland and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO);
  • fisheries surveillance sightings;
  • fishing activity data for UK vessels over 15 m and over available from the MMO (Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data combined with logbook data).
    1.             Site-specific Survey Data
      1. No site-specific surveys have been undertaken to inform the Offshore EIA Scoping Report for commercial fisheries. However, extensive consultation with fisheries stakeholders is planned to be undertaken to help inform the commercial fisheries baseline within the Offshore EIAR. In addition, where relevant, the findings of site-specific surveys which may be undertaken for other topics (e.g. benthic subtidal and intertidal ecology (Appendix 7  Open ) and shipping and navigation (Appendix 12  Open )) will be reviewed and integrated in the characterisation of the commercial fisheries baseline, as appropriate.
    2.             Baseline Characterisation
      1. This section provides an overview of the baseline for commercial fisheries, established through analysis of landings values (£) by species and fishing method (annual average 2015 to 2019).
      2. Scallop dredging makes up the majority of the landings in ICES rectangle 41E8 (where the Berwick Bank Wind Farm Proposed Development Array Area and a section of the ECC are located). Other activities of importance in this rectangle include potting for lobster and crab, and to a much lesser extent, demersal trawling for Nephrops (Apx. Figure 11. 1  Open ▸ and Apx. Figure 11. 2  Open ▸ ).
      3. In inshore rectangles 41E7 and 40E7 (where the inshore section of the offshore ECC is located) demersal trawling for Nephrops represents the main fishing activity, followed by potting for lobster and crabs and, to a lesser extent, scallop dredging. In addition, in rectangle 41E7, razor clams contribute significantly to landings values (Apx. Figure 11. 1  Open ▸ and Apx. Figure 11. 2  Open ▸ ).
      4. As it is apparent from Apx. Figure 11. 1  Open ▸ and Apx. Figure 11. 2  Open ▸ , overall, within the commercial fisheries study area, landings values are considerably higher in rectangle 41E7 than in the rest of rectangles.
Apx. Figure 11. 1:
 Landings (£) by Species (Annual Average 2015 – 2019)

Apx. Figure 11. 2:
 Landings (£) by Method (Annual Average 2015 – 2019)

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