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									                            Loch Creran Management Plan Comments Sheet

          Collated Responses from 1st Draft Consultation Period (April-May 2004)

Signatures for plan              Inshore Fisheries Branch, Scottish Executive
endorsement                      The Executive Departments should not be listed as signatories to endorse the
                                 management plan, since this could potentially compromise Scottish Ministers’ position
                                 in fulfilling their responsibilities in regard to the Habitats Directive.

1.0 INTRODUCTION                                                      COMMENTS
1.1 The Habitats Directive
                                 Scottish Natural Heritage
                                 SNH suggest the following changes: The Firth of Lorn candidate Marine Special Area
                                 of Conservation (SAC) [it is still a cSAC but you might want to leave this so you don’t
                                 have to reprint] is part of a European wide network of sites known as Natura 2000.
                                 Natura 2000 is the title for the areas designated under the Habitats Directive (Council
                                 Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and
                                 flora) to conserve important natural habitats and species of wildlife that are rare,
                                 endangered or vulnerable in the European Community. The implementation of the
                                 Habitats Directive is transposed into domestic [GB legislation does not cover NI]
                                 legislation by the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994, referred to as
                                 the Habitats Regulations. Responsibility is placed on the government to ensure that
                                 for Natura 2000 sites, management is designed to protect the conservation interests
                                 and secure long-term sustainable development of the site. [We mostly refer to the
                                 Regulations as Habitats Regulations rather than Conservation Regulations, if this is
                                 changed it will have to be changed throughout].

                                 Hebridean Partnership
                                 The ethos of the Habitats Directive should be taken at face value and not as an
                                 attempt to seek “loop holes” within the phrasing. With so few areas being selected as
                                 Marine Sites compared with the total possible sea area in Scotland the “Precautionary
                                 Principle” MUST be applied in any situation of doubt! To venture in any other direction
                                 may be too late for species and habitats within this region to successfully recover from
                                 anthropogenic activity. Further more if the Precautionary Principle is not applied in the
                                 first instance then matters need to be referred to Europe for clarification. (Hebridean
                                 Partnership)

                                 SEPA
                                 Would it not be a good idea to use one of the many beautiful photos available of the
                                 actual serpulid reefs as a header for this action plan rather than the rather general
                                 picture of the loch?

1.2 Argyll Marine Special
Areas of Conservation            Crown Estate
Management Forum                 Might be worth explaining here the difference between competent and relevant
                                 authorities

                                 Hebridean Partnership
                                 Why has the Hebridean Partnership not been listed as a stakeholder? As we are a
                                 stakeholder group please can we be included.




                                                        1
1.3 Aims of the Management
    Plan                       Scottish Natural Heritage
                               SNH suggest the following changes: change ethos to requirements in last line of first
                                            th
                               paragraph; 4 bullet is not a requirement of the Directive; reporting every 6 yrs is (Art
                                                                                                th
                               17) and surveillance of all habitats and species is (Art 11); 5 bullet is required by
                                                                                                          nd
                               Article 2 and is delivered with respect to assessment of plans etc by the 2 part of the
                                rd
                               3 bullet.

                               Crown Estate
                               Possibly consider what would happen if a Management Plan was not produced – ie
                               imposition of restrictions from EU?

                               Hebridean Partnership
                               The SNH opinion viewed at the last Loch Creran meeting (concerning species
                               protection throughout the SAC) is what one would have expected from such an
                               agency, why is the same criteria not being applied to the Firth of Lorn? Why have the
                               Natura Officers not pick up on this issue?

2.0 SITE OVERVIEW                                                  COMMENTS
2.1 Site Description
                               Scottish Natural Heritage
                               Refers to an area of 13.3 sq km, SNH dataform says 1226.39 ha.

                               SEPA
                                                      2
                               Use of mixed terms “km “ (in 2.1) and “ha” (in 2.2) is confusing. Suggest the former is
                               more understandable to general reader.

2.2 Reasons for Designation:
Serpulid Reefs and Horse       Scottish Natural Heritage
Mussel Beds                    Refers to an area of 1197 ha, SNH dataform says 1226.39 ha.

                               SEPA
                               S.vermicularis is not a “calcareous tubeworm” but is a “calcareous-tube fanworm”. It
                               may be misleading to state only L.Creran has substantial serpulid reefs in Europe.
                               Others may be present on west coast of Ireland. Reference to these may be important
                               to understanding the conservation needs of serpulid reefs. Check with the Irish Marine
                               Institute for further information.

3.0 MANAGEMENT                                                     COMMENTS
OBJECTIVES
3.1 Conservation Objectives
                               SEPA
                               Should objectives include restoration of reefs to areas where they have been lost –
                               might apply to Barcaldine Bay. Perhaps investigation of restoration potential to other
                               areas such as Loch Sween should also be considered as a long term aim based on
                               research in L.Creran.

3.2 Sustainable Economic
Development Objectives         Scottish Natural Heritage
                               SNH would like to see these when they are produced.

                               SEPA
                               SEPA may wish to comment here once Objectives have been included.

4.0 ACTIVITIES          AND                                        COMMENTS
MANAGEMENT
MEASURES




                                                      2
4.1 Management of Fishing
Activities                  Roger Thwaites, Shian Fisheries
                            I believe that the only way of regulating fishing activity of any type in the Loch would be
                            by statutory controls, but these are probably unacceptable.

                            Scottish Sea Farms
                            For all fishing activities consider voluntary approach should be thoroughly tried before
                            resorting to legislation. Suggest simply setting 15m CD contour as activity cut off point
                            to avoid confusion

                            Inshore Fisheries Branch, Scottish Executive
                            FRS and SFPA shouldn’t really be listed as relevant or competent authorities for sea
                            fisheries activities. FRS provide the Executive with advice and the SFPA enforces the
                            restrictions we introduce through Parliament following that advice. So neither agency
                            in itself has statutory responsibilities in ensuring that fishing activities do not harm the
                            designation.

                            We see that the reference to SIFAG providing information to fishermen about the
                            designations has been removed from 4.1.1 (benthic dredging), 4.1.2 (benthic trawling),
                            4.1.3 (creel fishing) and 4.1.4 (bottom set tangle nets). I don’t think this is a problem
                            given the Secretaries of Fishermen’s Associations will be actively involved in this
                            function – but you need to make sure that you are aware of all the relevant
                            associations. The use of vessel lists was suggested only as an illustration of the way
                            in which we ensure that we can reach all fishermen in pursuit of our licensing etc
                            responsibilities. SEERAD can’t commit to permitting the use of the system in this way,
                            as it could be the thin end of a wedge of information descending on licence holders.

                            Foster Yeoman
                            Given the range of activities to be covered it is perhaps inevitable that the plan
                            becomes a fairly bulky document. However, there would appear to be some potential to
                            merge some of the more repetitive text thus reducing the overall volume. In particular
                            sections 4.1.2 to 4.1.5 could be perhaps?

                            Scottish Natural Heritage
                            Need to be consistent horse mussel “beds” or “reefs”?

4.1.1 Benthic Dredging      Preferred Option – 1        2   3    (please circle if you have an opinion) outline other options or
                            comments below:


                            Scottish Natural Heritage
                            Section 4.1.3 Option 3 should read “Loch Creran should be closed to static gear”.
                            Section 4.1.4 Option 3 should read “Loch Creran should be closed to static gear”.
                            Section 4.1.5 Option 3 should read “Loch Creran should be closed to static gear”.
                            OR all Option 3 should read “Loch Creran should be closed to mobile and static gear”.

                            In the Management Action SNH suggest: “This homogeneous distribution…” should
                            read “This distribution around the margin of the loch lends itself…”

                            4.1.1 to 4.1.5 refers to “statutory agreement” suggest this is changed to “statutory
                            solution”

                            SNH feel that the wording in the Potential Impact sections of 4.1.1 and 4.1.2 is a little
                            strong. Instead of “devastating” SNH suggest “Horse mussel beds and Serpulid reefs
                            are highly sensitive to physical disturbance and therefore can be damaged by the
                            passage of mobile fishing gear”. Also, it should be clear from the plan that the
                            overriding management issue for the Serpulids and Modiolus is the avoidance of
                            physical impact and it is this aim that leads to the comments on the relevance of
                            fishing operations and other activities.

                            SNH recommend that a statutory instrument should be sought to restrict the use of
                            mobile and static gear to depths of greater than 15m in Loch Creran. If fishing is
                            reported to be continuing illegally in the restricted zone and therefore sufficient concern
                            is raised about the impact of fishing activities on the conservation interest of the site
                            then SNH will recommend statutory closure of Loch Creran to all mobile and static gear
                            fishing.




                                                    3
                         SEPA
                         Option 3
                         If the risk of reef devastation from dredging is high and scallop fishery is unviable and
                         limited to occasional prospecting then closure to mobile gear (Option 3) would seem to
                         be best option on risk/cost/benefit basis.

                         Helen & John Anderson
                         We think dredging should be banned in the whole loch. Any alternative is impossible to
                         police.

                         West Highland Anchoring and Mooring Association
                         Option 3

                         Hebridean Partnership
                         Loch Creran should be closed to all commercial fishing utilising dredges.

                         MRC Ltd.
                         While option 3 offers the greatest protection, option 2 is likely to be the most effective
                         although notification and policing will be the greatest issue to overcome.

                         Inshore Fisheries Branch, Scottish Executive
                         The horse mussel bed has expanded from “a small portion of the upper basin” in the
                         draft circulated in March to “a relatively large area of the upper basin”. Is there a
                         scientific explanation for this or is it just the use of words? I see there is now a new
                         option of closure to mobile gear, and closures are included as new options for other
                         fishing activities (i.e. trawling, creeling, tangle nets, whelk fishing). Is it envisaged
                         these options, if implemented, would be statutory closures?

4.1.2 Benthic Trawling   Preferred Option – 1        2   3   (please circle if you have an opinion) outline other options or
                         comments below:


                         West Highland Anchoring and Mooring Association
                         Option 3

                         Hebridean Partnership
                         Loch Creran should be closed to all commercial fishing using mobile gear, an
                         experimental exception might be granted for local users who are aware of the SAC and
                         the vulnerability and location of the species involved. Although a complete ban on
                         mobile gear might be an opportune time to conduct scientific surveys on seabed
                         community recovery. This could be funded externally and become a fantastic
                         opportunity, accompanied by free media coverage.

                         MRC Ltd.
                         Same as above, however policing difficulties may mean that option 3 could be the only
                         effective control.

                         Inshore Fisheries Branch, Scottish Executive
                         I note the new option of closure to mobile gear. This could be a bit draconian if only
                         one trawler regularly works within the SAC.

                         SEPA
                         Option 3
                         If the risk of reef devastation from trawling is high and only occasional/nomadic
                         trawling occurs (rather than regular fishing) then closure to mobile gear (Option 3)
                         would seem to be best option on risk/cost/benefit basis.

4.1.3 Creel Fishing      Preferred Option – 1        2   3   (please circle if you have an opinion) outline other options or
                         comments below:


                         West Highland Anchoring and Mooring Association
                         Option 2

                         Hebridean Partnership
                         Loch Creran should be closed to all commercial fishing using static gear, an exception
                         should be granted for local users who are aware of the SAC and the vulnerability and
                         location of the species involved.



                                                4
                                 Inshore Fisheries Branch, Scottish Executive
                                 Should the new closure option be for “static fishing gear” only rather than “mobile and
                                 static”?

                                 SEPA
                                 Option2
                                 If creelers are regulars with local knowledge then Statutory agreement restricting
                                 activity to depths > 15m (Option 2) would be appropriate. However if monitoring
                                 indicated significant damage from creeling there may be need to revert to closure to
                                 static gear (Option 3). Note typo errors in Option 2 refer to “prawn trawling” and “no
                                 dredging zone” rather than creeling activities.

4.1.4 Bottom Set Gill & Tangle   Preferred Option – 1        2       3   (please circle if you have an opinion) outline other options or
Nets                             comments below:


                                 West Highland Anchoring and Mooring Association
                                 Option 3

                                 Hebridean Partnership
                                 All such nets should be banned from the area and Loch Creran, visiting cetaceans and
                                 selkies are known to frequent the Loch.

                                 SEPA
                                 Option 3
                                 If the risk of reef damage from tangle nets is high and there is no fishery at present and
                                 development of such a fishery would have significant impact then closure to tangle
                                 netting (Option 3) would seem to be best option on risk/cost/benefit basis.

4.1.5 Whelk Fishing              Preferred Option – 1        2       3   (please circle if you have an opinion) outline other options or
                                 comments below:


                                 Scottish Natural Heritage
                                 Suggest this is included in the creel fishing section.

                                 West Highland Anchoring and Mooring Association
                                 Option 3

                                 Hebridean Partnership
                                 Loch Creran should be closed to all commercial fishing using mobile gear.

                                 MRC Ltd.
                                 If it were not taking place it is not likely to be missed therefore exclusion would be an
                                 effective and easy option.

                                 SEPA
                                 Option 3
                                 If the risk of reef devastation from whelk fishing is high and fishery is unviable and
                                 limited to occasional prospecting then closure to static gear (Option 3) would seem to
                                 be best option on risk/cost/benefit basis.

4.1.6 Shellfish Diving           Preferred Option – 1            2   (please circle if you have an opinion) outline other options or
                                 comments below:

                                 Scottish Natural Heritage
                                 Options should refer to all beds. Remove “identified” so that the sentence reads “A
                                 statutory instrument should be sought to prohibit harvesting from horse mussel beds in
                                 Loch Creran “ a map of these should be provided.

                                 West Highland Anchoring and Mooring Association
                                 Option 2

                                 Hebridean Partnership
                                 Although commercial divers are able to deplete an area; this would only concern target
                                 species and would result in minimal habitat damage. However this needs to be
                                 addressed to prevent an influx of such divers and companies from out with the area



                                                         5
                            destroying local arrangements and practices. Damage could occur by anchoring. An
                            exception should be granted for local users who are aware of the SAC and the
                            vulnerability and location of the species involved.

                            MRC Ltd.
                            This may be extremely difficult to implement and a great deal of consideration will need
                            to be given to how to get this message to all divers.

                            SEPA
                            Option 2
                            If risk of damage to horse mussel beds is high then statutory prohibition on horse
                            mussel collection (Option 2) would be required do ensure conservation objectives are
                            met. It may be appropriate to apply this to the whole loch to allow mussel bed to
                            establish at other suitable locales.

4.2 Management of
Gathering and Harvesting
from Foreshore
4.2.1 Shellfish and Bait
Collection from Foreshore   Crown Estate
                            There are no licences for commercial collection of mussels or oysters within the SAC.

                            Hebridean Partnership
                            Semi-commercial collection does occur within the site from time to time by visiting
                            “travellers”. These groups have been known to discard undersized winkles in skips
                            rather than return them to the location from which they were extracted.

                            Inshore Fisheries Branch, Scottish Executive
                            Sea Fisheries Division (SFD) has been now assigned “Regulator of most shellfish
                            rights under the Inshore Fisheries Act”. I think I know what is meant but putting it this
                            way is misleading. Please delete - the fact that we say SFD has “inshore fisheries
                            management, policy and regulation” responsibilities I think is probably sufficient.
                            Please delete “Regulator of most shellfish gathering rights.” and “Consultee for
                            commercial seaweed harvesting plans”.

4.3 Management of
Aquaculture Activities

4.3.1 Finfish Farming       Scottish Natural Heritage
                            SNH have some concerns about water quality deterioration in Loch Creran, we suggest
                            the Management Forum ask SEPA if they have investigated long term assimilative
                            capacity of the loch. This would be helpful in assessing any future applications and
                            advising on appropriate assessment. Existing discharges will be reviewed by SEPA
                            when the site becomes a full SAC and other assessments of water quality are likely to
                            satisfy the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. SNH suggest the
                            Management Forum request information from SEPA on these plans and the results for
                            the DEPOMOD modelling of the Creran A and B sites to ensure no overlap of effects in
                            the footprint under the farms with reef areas. There is potential for the import of non-
                            native species with fin fish farming, SAMS Esmee Fairbairn project on caprellids.

                            Hebridean Partnership
                            Whilst relevant authorities are un-willing to take full responsibility for these activities
                            and fish farms themselves monitor pollution levels the situation is open to abuse. If the
                            relevant/competent authorities carried out their duties to the full there would be no
                            need for further concern. However this is not the case and this situation needs careful
                            monitoring by an independent source.

                            Scottish Sea Farms
                            Placement of heavy moorings by diver in water greater than 15m not practical or safe
                            (nor necessary as unlikely to be serpulid reefs in >15m).

4.3.2 Shellfish Farming     Hebridean Partnership
                            Location of such farming should fall under local guidelines and not be influenced by the
                            Scottish Executive or its officials from Edinburgh.




                                                    6
                          Roger Thwaites, Shian Fisheries
                          It will be impossible to expand mussel farming activities in this Loch if the “>15m” rule
                          is effected as almost the whole Loch is less than 15m. The only substantial deep part
                          is occupied by SSF’s salmon farm. As a rule the local authority prefer shellfish sites
                          that hug the shoreline, which conflicts head on with the >15m rule, which is therefore
                          unreasonable. The reefs shown on the zone plan appear to be much more extensive
                          than the earlier research showed. Is this real, or is it contrived to make the reefs
                          appear more extensive than they actually are? The mooring of shellfish farms advice
                          (>15m) conflicts with the advice to fishermen (>11m in places) There are 4 oyster
                          farms and two mussel farms in the Loch, (not 2 and 2) (p58)

                          SEPA
                          May be beneficial to further assess the risk/potential impact of alien species such as
                          bivalve endoparasites or japweed (Sargassum muticum) through the activities of
                          shellfish farmers.
                              nd
                          In 2 paragraph of “Potential Impacts”, suggest removing reference to “…waste food
                          …” and reword to “Benthic organic enrichment, through faeces and pseudofaeces, ….”.

4.4 Management of         Helen & John Anderson
Recreation and Tourism    No mention is made of economic benefits.
Activities
4.4.1 Mooring Placement   Scottish Natural Heritage
                          SNH monitoring could be directed to existing moorings, if they are found to be causing
                          damage then the Forum could consider requesting these be relocated on a voluntary
                          basis.

                          Helen & John Anderson
                          States that "damage from mooring placement has already occurred and removal is
                          therefore unnecessary". However, my understanding of 4.5.1 is that there has been
                          some recovery and therefore this section could be hardened up a good bit.

                          MRC Ltd.
                          The management plan does not take into account the absence of reefs in the area
                          adjacent to the MRC at Barcaldine. This area should be identified as an area for
                          mooring placement. This would be additional to the existing MRC moorings, which
                          have Crown Estate permissions.

                          SEPA
                          It is not clear why it is acceptable to leave moorings in serpulid reef areas when they
                          appear to have already caused damage. Is adjustment of riser chains sufficient to
                          prevent further damage and allow reef recovery? Intuitively it might be better to re-
                          locate such moorings away from reef areas to ensure full reef regeneration.         The
                          mooring symbol shown near the Sea Life Centre appears to impinge on reef area.
                          Should this symbol (and actual mooring) be moved? No mooring symbol is shown for
                          Barcaldine Bay although moorings are present in this area.

4.4.2 Anchoring           Scottish Natural Heritage
                          If SNH monitoring reveals significant anchor damage byelaws could be applied to
                          prevent anchoring.

                          Helen & John Anderson
                          In certain circumstances, mariners do have a right to anchor in safe areas. However,
                          the proposal that "a strategy of emergency only anchoring within areas of serpulid reef
                          or horse mussel bed" is not grasping the nettle as there are areas in the loch where
                          boats can anchor without disturbing the serpulid reef or the horse mussel beds. The
                          organisations to be informed about the preferred anchorages should include yacht
                          charter companies and sailing and yacht clubs on the whole of the west coast, ie Oban
                          Sailing Club, Royal Highland Yacht Club, Lochaber Sailing Club, Alba Sailing (Yacht
                          Charter) at Dunstaffnage Marina etc. All west coast marinas should be given posters.

                          Hebridean Partnership
                          Problems related to anchoring may be solved by placing visitor moorings and have
                          them marked on charts etc.

                          Roger Thwaites, Shian Fisheries
                          I do not think you will be able to regulate the anchoring of yachts in the Loch at all.
                          10m depth is about the max that yachters like to anchor in, which by definition is within



                                                 7
                                the serpulid belt. Do not expect other users to try and influence where anchoring is
                                done (p28). (a) Yachters resent being instructed by someone they do not know about
                                where they may and may not go and will ignore such advice, and (b) they only go
                                ashore and meet the locals once they have already anchored. Anchoring is not to be
                                encouraged at South Shian Bay because the seabed has many old and new moorings
                                both in use and discarded that make anchoring hazardous. The anchor shown on the
                                zone plan is directly over the mussel farm.

                                SEPA
                                Anchorage options lack clarity. Only 3 preferred anchorages are shown on map. Are
                                these sufficient and in right location for boat usage? Are boat users to be directed to
                                these anchorages or is it acceptable (and practicable) to anchor anywhere in water
                                over 20m deep as recommended for dive boat operators?

4.4.3 SCUBA Diving              Hebridean Partnership
                                Diving codes adhered to.

                                Dr. Elvira Poloczanska, SAMS
                                I would consider Loch Creran a prime site for visiting and local divers. Although
                                numbers are few compared to those visiting the Sound of Mull, there a still high diving
                                activity within Creran. However, this does tend to be concentrated at sites where there
                                is easy access from the road - in particular, just by the bridge and at 'Queenie Reef'.

4.4.4 Charter Boat Operations   Hebridean Partnership
                                Charter boat codes adhered to.

                                SEPA
                                Sea angling could be potentially damaging to the reefs.      Should a specific
                                management option be adopted to discourage angling in the reef area even if this
                                activity is currently considered unviable?
4.5 Management of Effluent
Discharges and Marine
Dumping
4.5.1 Trade Effluent
                                SEPA
                                Benthic fauna around the South Shian fish processing plant discharge was surveyed in
                                August 2001. No significant impact was observed.
                                Although the area around the former Kelco discharge at Barcaldine has shown some
                                improvement since discharge cessation in 1997, (monitored in 1997, 1999 and 2001) it
                                is not clear how far recovery will proceed. Further monitoring is planned for 2004.
                                Consideration should be given to options of remediation at this site and establishment
                                (re-establishment?) of serpulid reefs or designation of this area for mooring or
                                anchorage?

                                Scottish Natural Heritage
                                See comments for fin fish farming. Potential impacts, eutrophicating rather than
                                eutrophying. “The current level of discharge of commercial effluent is not thought to be
                                having a significant detrimental effect on the conservation interests.” This statement
                                implies that some assessment of the current level of discharge has been made, SNH
                                suggest the Forum request information from SEPA on this issue.

                                Crown Estate
                                The Crown Estate only grant consent for discharge equipment providing that all other
                                necessary consents and licences have first been obtained.

                                Hebridean Partnership
                                Monitoring should be conducted by an independent body and enforced. It is not
                                acceptable for SEPA to simply state “dilution” and that is the end of the matter,
                                residence times, adsorption etc. must be included.

                                MRC Ltd.
                                It is almost certain that the lack of reef close to the site at MRC is as a result of the
                                type of trade effluent discharged by Kelco ltd. However there is no evidence that there
                                were ever reefs in the area and therefore the statement that there are “ signs of
                                recovery” is difficult to justify. It would be useful to know more about this as it could be
                                used as an impediment to discharging anything into the loch. The current level of




                                                        8
                                 discharge is considered to be acceptable but there is no indication whether any more
                                 would be acceptable.

4.5.2 Sewage Effluent
                                 SEPA
                                 The main basin of Loch Creran (west of the Creagan Bridge) is a shellfish growing
                                 water and shellfish production area, as designated in European Commission (EC)
                                 Directives 79/923EEC and 91/492EEC respectively. In addition, SEPA has designated
                                 the whole loch as Recreational Waters, with a requirement to meet the mandatory
                                 water quality standards set out in the EC Bathing Waters Directive, 76/160EEC.
                                 To satisfy the requirements of these Directives, current SEPA Policy seeks to direct all
                                 new discharges of sewage effluent into soakaway arrangements, avoiding direct
                                 discharges to Loch Creran wherever possible and practicable. Where such discharges
                                 are unavoidable, consent conditions will be set to ensure the discharge is subject to
                                 treatment by any process and/or disposal system which after discharge allows the
                                 receiving waters to meet the relevant quality objectives and the relevant provisions of
                                 these Directives.
                                 SEPA intends to review any existing discharges in the period 2004-2006 to seek
                                 appropriate treatment to meet these Directives’ standards. Individual STs discharging
                                 to the area may have their consents reviewed to require appropriate treatment by
                                 2006.

                                 Crown Estate
                                 The Crown Estate only grant consent for discharge equipment providing that all other
                                 necessary consents and licences have first been obtained.

                                 Hebridean Partnership
                                 Monitoring should be conducted by an independent body and enforced. Existing, older
                                 individual properties should be excluded or assisted to conform to new guidelines. It is
                                 not acceptable for SEPA to simply state “dilution” and that be the end of the matter.
4.5.3 Marine   Littering   and   Hebridean Partnership
Dumping                          The majority of users are responsible, legislation needs to be in force and used if and
                                 when required to deal with offenders contravening laws and guidelines.

                                 MRC Ltd.
                                 Provide Grant and physical assistance to comply with ISO14001 or EMAS
                                 environmental management systems. A lot of local businesses are likely to want to be
                                 accredited but may not have the financial or physical resources to do so. It may be
                                 necessary to assist in order to ensure that businesses are operating to the same
                                 standard.
4.6 Management of
Shipping/Boating Related
Activities
4.6.1 Oil Tankers, Cargo
Vessels, Ferries, Fishing        SEPA
Vessels and Cruise Ships         Reword “Collect samples …” to “May collect samples …”

                                 Scottish Sea Farms
                                 SSF bring live fish into South Shian by well boat.

                                 MRC Ltd.
                                 The existing Pier and slipway at the MRC site are considered to be useful assets to the
                                 site and the area. Development is taking place to increase the use of these facilities for
                                 cargo vessels. This will undoubtedly result in increased use of Loch Creran. In addition
                                 to Fish food and aggregate cargoes timber is also being transported through the Loch
                                 Creran system. Other commodities could also be transported in the future.

4.6.2 Boat Maintenance and
Antifoulant Use                  SEPA
                                 Run-off from hull-cleaning operations at marinas is a trade effluent. It may contain
                                 residual pesticides and detergents and, as such, could be classified as special waste.
                                 Information on current activity is sparse, but SEPA would expect to identify and if
                                 necessary regulate these activities as soon as practicable. SEPA should be added to
                                 the Competent/Relevant Authority table, with the first two lines of this paragraph
                                 inserted under “Responsibilities”.




                                                        9
                             Helen & John Anderson
                             Potential Impacts: A spring visit to any boatyard will lead to the conclusion that this is
                             far too soft.

                             Scottish Sea Farms
                             SSF nets are antifouled at our net station in LochAline & returned there for cleaning.

                             MRC Ltd.
                             Would increased use of Loch Creran by leisure craft be considered a problem? Again
                             this is an area that is being developed at the MRC site. Fusion Marine does not use
                             anti-foulants on their fish cages. Boat maintenance is done at MRC, Creran Moorings
                             and Barcaldine Home Farm but may also be done at Rubha Garbh (Foster Yeoman’s
                             shore base on Loch Creran.

4.7 Management of Land-
Use and Coastal
Development Activities
4.7.1 Coastal Construction
                             SEPA
                             SEPA is a statutory consultee on Planning applications. Reword “Possibly issue
                             Waste Management Licence …” to “Consider implications under Waste Management
                             Licensing regime if waste materials are used …”.

                             Hebridean Partnership
                             Requires careful consideration and monitoring.

                             MRC Ltd.
                             This should only be an issue in areas where serpulid reefs are evident.
4.7.2 Agriculture
                             SEPA
                             There is some extensive livestock agriculture on the north and far western shores.
                             Current regulation requires adherence to the Prevention of Pollution From Agricultural
                             Activity (PEPFAA) code of good practice and compliance with the Four Point Plan. I
                             would suggest “SEPA’s’” should be removed when referring to the Four Point Plan – it
                             is really a multi-Agency document.

                             Changes to the regulatory regime are expected with implementation of the Water
                             Framework Directive (WFD) via the Water Environment Water Services Act 2003. It is
                             expected that adherence to current voluntary Codes of Practice will become a statutory
                             requirement with enforceable legislation. In addition, controls over pollution from non-
                             point (i.e. diffuse) sources are also anticipated under the new regime. In the
                             meantime, localised point-source pollution will be regulated under the Control of
                             Pollution Act 1974.

                             Hebridean Partnership
                             Requires careful consideration and monitoring especially due to the narrow entrance
                             and build up of chemicals, which affect water quality.

4.7.3 Forestry               SEPA
                             The predominant land use around Loch Creran is coniferous forestry. Current
                             regulation requires adherence to the Forests and Water Guidelines. Localised point-
                             source pollution will be regulated under the Control of Pollution Act 1974. However,
                             additional controls over pollution from non-point (i.e. diffuse) sources are also
                             anticipated under the new WFD regulatory regime.
                             SEPA would also expect to be consulted under the Woodland Grant Scheme for new
                             plant/restocking proposals.

                             Hebridean Partnership
                             Requires careful consideration and monitoring especially due to the narrow entrance
                             and build up of sediments, which affect water quality made worst during times of
                             extraction.

                             MRC Ltd.
                             The existing MRC/Forestry Commission catchment management plan may be a useful
                             model for other areas of forestry around the Loch as it limits the scale of felling
                             operations and potential the use of chemicals.




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4.8 Management of Scientific    Scottish Natural Heritage
Research                        Researchers will have to be licensed if their activities involve a species protected under
                                the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 or European Protected Species under the
                                Habitats Regulations. Byelaws could also be considered here.

                                Hebridean Partnership
                                Should be open and made available to the public.

                                MRC Ltd.
                                All future enquiries relating to marine research should be considered by the
                                Management forum, not just those that are considered by scientists to be damaging.
                                Statutory consultation on all scientific marine research.
5.0 MONITORING                                                      COMMENTS

5.1 Site Condition Monitoring   Scottish Natural Heritage
                                SNH suggest a change of tone here to reflect that it has been agreed that SNH will
                                consult the Management Forum on the monitoring methodology (this was certainly the
                                case in Lochs Duich Long and Alsh). Site Condition Monitoring is not a requirement of
                                the Directive, there has to be surveillance of the resource and Member States have to
                                report to Europe every 6 years. Perhaps SEPA can also advise on what monitoring will
                                be carried out for the Water Framework Directive here?

                                MRC Ltd.
                                Will monitoring take place before the management plan is approved? Could the
                                findings significantly affect the management plan?

5.2 Compliance Monitoring       Scottish Natural Heritage
                                SNH welcome the fact that the Management Forum will be used for trouble shooting
                                but some activities will be in breach of the law and prosecutions might be sought. In
                                these cases (e.g. SEPA investigating an unlicensed discharge) the appropriate legal
                                steps will need to be taken immediately. Perhaps the relevant regulatory authority can
                                be informed first so that they can decide if they will act (and then report to the Forum)
                                or in less serious cases allow the Marine Officer to carry out the Damage Investigation
                                and inform the Forum so that they can discuss and agree action.

                                Roger Thwaites, Shian Fisheries
                                It will probably be impossible to rely on the local participants to act as Stewards of the
                                voluntary code, it is more realistic to ask them to act to report breaches.
5.3 Review of Existing          Scottish Natural Heritage
Consents                        Amend last line to “… possible after the site becomes a European site as defined by
                                Regulation 10 of the Habitats Regulations”. There is currently a race to see if they
                                become European sites by amending the Regulations or adoption by Europe.

                                Hebridean Partnership
                                Full and accurate consultation MUST take place between all relevant and competent
                                authorities. This has not always been the case to date. One lead body should take
                                overall responsibility.

6.0 IMPLEMENTATION &                                                  COMMENTS
REVIEW
6.1 Implementation of the       Scottish Natural Heritage
Argyll Marine SAC               Change Firth of Lorn to Loch Creran.
Management Plans
                                Hebridean Partnership
                                Relevant legislation is required (even if not used) for efficient implementation.
6.2 Management Action           SEPA
Implementation Timetable        Sewage Effluent: - SEPA’s national Improvement Plans include actions relating to
                                discharges of sewage effluent into Loch Creran. SEPA will continue to pursue a policy
                                of no new discharges of sewage effluent to designated (i.e. Shellfish and Recreational)
                                waters, to avoid incremental increase in microbiological loading. In the event that
                                discharges to the designated waters cannot be avoided, they will be subject to
                                appropriate treatment to ensure compliance with the Directive’s standards. Any
                                existing discharges to be reviewed in period 2004-2006 to seek appropriate treatment
                                to meet Directive standards. Individual STs discharging to the area may have their
                                consents reviewed to require appropriate treatment by 2006.




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                                  Hebridean Partnership
                                  Management MUST be prepared to take action when necessary if this project is to
                                  succeed.
9.0 APPENDICES                                                        COMMENTS
Appendix I – Management           Hebridean Partnership
Forum Structure and Members       Hebridean Partnership to be included as a stakeholder.
List
                                  Roger Thwaites, Shian Fisheries
                                  Shian Fisheries Ltd has been omitted from the members and “stakeholders” list. Also,
                                  you could add “South Shian Moorings Association” to the list.

Appendix II - Draft Zoning Plan   Colin Moore, Heriot Watt
for Loch Creran                   The anchor alongside Sgeir Caillich is over the mussel farm. It should be moved west
                                  to the middle of the bay.

                                  What is meant by mooring sites? Are these sites for free visitor moorings? If not, the
                                  chief moorings in the loch are not marked (e.g. Barcaldine, Eriska).

                                  There appears to be a potential problem with the marking of anchorage sites where no
                                  mobile or static fishing gear is allowed. This could cause a problem with fishermen
                                  (e.g. if posh yachts can anchor here, why can't I put some pots here?). This need not
                                  be a problem as it pertains to sites where present knowledge indicates that no reefs
                                  are present. Perhaps it would be better to remove the purple from these small areas.
                                  Incidentally the upper basin anchorage symbol is probably placed on the shore! I fear
                                  that too much reliance is being placed on the results of AGDS, which of course only
                                  predicts the presence of a biotope based on its acoustic signature. This might be a
                                  particular problem in the upper basin, where no reefs are predicted along the entire
                                  southern coast, except for a very small patch off Dallachulish. The map clearly shows
                                  no reefs to be present and punters might ask - why can't we do things here as there
                                  are no reefs present? But we know from direct published observations that there are
                                  reefs along this coast. Similarly, the SNH Modiolus report (Mair, Moore et al, 2000)
                                  shows the fringing Modiolus bed to extend perhaps a couple of hundred metres to the
                                  east of the AGDS polygon.
Appendix III – Appropriate        Scottish Natural Heritage
Assessment Procedure              SNH suggest amending the first sentence of last paragraph to “…within the site if there
                                  are no alternatives and there are imperative…”
Appendix IV – Competent and       Inshore Fisheries Branch, Scottish Executive
Relevant Authority                SFD responsibilities In second column revise to read “Responsible for inshore fisheries
Responsibilities Relating to      management, policy and regulation”. In third column please delete “Regulator of most
Loch Creran Marine SAC            shellfish gathering rights etc.” and “Consultee for commercial seaweed harvesting
Activities                        plans”.

                                  Scottish Natural Heritage
                                  Argyll and Bute Council is not responsible for managing commercial bait collection.
                                  Permission must be gained from the land owner to carry out commercial bait collection
                                  (of non sea fish species), however there is no responsibility for the landowner to
                                  manage the resource. Where A&BC are the landowner they might decide to introduce
                                  measures on amenity grounds to prevent bait collection (byelaws for prevention of
                                  nuisance or danger to prevent, for example, trench digging or hole digging on the
                                  shore in order to protect beach users) but they do not have responsibility to manage or
                                  protect the bait itself.

                                  The Crown Estate are the sole authority for subtidal seaweed (direct harvesting), on
                                  shore (for cast seaweed) the landowner or the Crown Estate is the authority depending
                                  on who owns the shore.

                                  SEPA
                                  SEPA responsibility w.r.t. Shipping/Boating - sampling polluting discharges within 3
                                  mile limit – qualify this by “May sample …”.
Appendix V – Scottish Natural     Scottish Natural Heritage
Heritage Conservation Advice      SNH suggest this is removed and we provide a final (if it’s ready in time) or edited
                                  version to be included with the published Management Strategy.

Appendix VI - Diving Code of      Scottish Natural Heritage
Conduct                           Looks fine but needs editing as it seems repetitive, is this a choice of 2 Codes to be
                                  included?




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