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The truths they don't want you to read....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Barra and Mingulay SAC proposals

The Scottish Government sneaked out the Economic Impact Report into the above without any announcement or linkage to any other documents.

Any guesses why that might be?

The value of catches in the proposed dSAC in the Sound of Barra is £787,000 and in East Mingulay is £86,000.

Para 3.5.8 summarises the restrictions likely to be placed on new developments:
In summary, any aquaculture development proposed in the Sound of Barra and East Mingulay is likely to be affected by SAC designation due to the potential impact on the integrity of the sites. However, harvesting of seaweed is unlikely to be affected.
Para 3.8.5 and 3.8.6 summarise the position for offshore renewables:
The precise nature of short and long term impacts of noise and vibration on some of these receptors (dolphins, whales, seals, otters) is poorly understood at present and would need to be factored in all applications using a precautionary approach as well ensuring adequate research into the topic.
In summary, while there are currently no proposed offshore renewable developments planned or proposed in the vicinity of the two dSAC, any proposals for future marine renewable development in or adjacent to the Sound of Barra and East Mingulay could require HRA but this is already likely to be required to satisfy protection requirements of existing Natura sites.
Which in plain English means that any offshore developments that might affect seals will need to operate on the precautionary principle, and subject to veto by SNH.  As I guessed.

And sub-sea cables will be forbidden, so say goodbye to broadband cables.

Overall the expected impact of the proposals are a loss of £2,180,000 to the fishing sector and a direct cost of £836,00 to the Government if both areas are closed.  That will result in the loss of 58 jobs.  And you can guess where these jobs will be lost.

Perhaps others can read this report and take something better out of it, but it is a bigger kick in the teeth than we thought.


Anonymous said...

Having read the report it is all about power and who has it, the islanders have always been forward looking and seeing the opportunity to develop our islands with wave and wind power, that the powers that be think that we are raising above our station and must be smacked down to our proper place.

Anonymous said...

I never realised so much value was taken in fisheries in the sound of barra. The report seems to say most of this is creel fishing which probably will not be affected in any way by a designation. Although I could be wrong as its all consultant speak.

Anonymous said...

How much a kilo for fresh caught consultant?

Eddie or Boyd would be sure to find a market for them, even if they would only be palatable to blind Spaniards.

Anonymous said...


You have obviously not been keeping up with the latest survey on the demise of the common consultant, better known on the west coast by its latin name Eyewateringus Spondulicii Foreffawl.

They have been sadly deprived of their natural habitat which was around the Northbay area, and occasionally around Stornoway; now only to be observed in a transitory feeding ground in the vicinity of 1 Bornish.

Unfortunately I have to report that even this rich pasture is becoming somewhat barren as the greenback sward has been somewhat overgrazed. More worryingly for the species, there are rumors that some may even be culled in the very near future. Perish the thought!

Anonymous said...

Can you provide the link to the report Angus please. Also a link to the map of the site.

Anonymous said...

A clear gaunlet thrown in the direction of AA who has already indicated he is concerned.
Throw this crap back to Europe and you get my vote.
Be humble and ask for help it could be an election winner.

Anonymous said...

AA went to Europe to be able to get the ammo to blame Europe. He came back empty-handed.

Cllr Manford asked AA and Roseanna for evidence that Europe were responsible for the designation. Nothing has been forthcoming.

The truth is that Holyrood and it's quangos are to blame for every stage of this decision.

Anonymous said...

The SNP and their representatives in the islands, Macneil, Manford and Allan, should be ashamed of themselves. It will be an unedifying sight as the SNP's three "yes men" try to justify this and seek to blame anyone but themselves. Just a pity that voters in the islands cannot see through them and continue to swallow their propaganda.

Anonymous said...

SNP cannot blame Perfidious Albion,they cannot blame Europe. They must take responsibility themselves.
Now that's novel.
Lying disingenuous Lochhead - Mr Deeply Superficial himself.

Anonymous said...

Having fished from Barra Head to Harris for over 20 years I have to say that, while this SAC measure might ruffle a few feathers, regulation is long overdue. The pity is that the initiative has never been taken by the so called leaders of the fishing community and that the initiative has instead been led by anonymous environmentalists.

Neither do I blame the politicians for not intervening more strongly on the behalf of fishermen.

Take two or three examples just to show how we are now in such a mess that it almost a case of having to save the fishermen from themselves.

1) The most destructive form of fishing for both bottom dwellers and the environment has been scallop dredging, yet it is allowed to take place right up the shore almost into the heather. The introduction of Maxsea has allowed the dredgers access into what was once the inaccessible nursery areas for juveniles and breeding stock. Not now, The old Sea League had it on the nail when they advocated restrictions on mobile gear close to the shore.

2) Industrial fishing for sandeels; if you remove the bottom of the food chain for fish then it does not take a fancy degree or a huge consultancy fee to work out that the top will eventually collapse. I hear the birdie people on the radio every so often bemoaning the collapse of the breeding cycle for Puffins, kittiwakes, etc. Sorry, but if the young don't get fed or the parent birds are in poor condition then the bird colonies will suffer. I have watched ovt the years the procession of pursers going up the Minch, heading to Norway and Denmark to the fishmeal plants, it will eventualy come to an end, when there is nothing left to catch. (Just why are the Barrachs now working off West Africa, and what it the local impact that they have there?)

3) Creels; Just how many creels do you now need to make a comfortable living? Unfortunately the day of working with a few dozen creels are well and truly gone. Inshore boats now fish up to 3000 creels in a mixture of prawn, crab, and lobster gear. The sooner a restriction comes on this the better for the fishermen who should be able to break the never ending cycle of increasing amounts of gear chasing dwindling stocks. Licences for the creels as well as the boats in the Canadian and Tasmanian style would soon see the stocks revive and a sensible return for all in the industry.

Enough for the moment, suffice to say that the fishing industry leaders have nothing to be proud of, having presided over the rape of the seabed without a thought for the next generation.

Anonymous said...

As a fisherman, I have to agree with 9.44. If only we fishermen had had the foresight to put our own restrictions in place, instead of constantly chasing the ££'s, then we might not be in the mess we're in today.
Your first 2 points, have seen the destruction of the rest of the fisheries.
The creels need limits quickly or we'll be the last genration of near viable fishermen.

If we don't take action to save our stocks, more faceless civil servants will take their pens to the chart and truely kill of our entire industry.

Change has to come, but we need to be at the fore front to save jobs not dismissing the reality of the situation. If not, no fish = no jobs in large swathes of the islands and more reliance on CNES, God forbid!