The cost of Scottish Marine Protected Areas, a year down the line

Phil Taylor is campaigns manager at Open Seas.

Following on from Stephen Brown’s article above, readers of the Voice may be interested to see the results of research conducted by Phil Taylor of Open Seas. The full article can be found here but the conclusion is that “across the majority of ports studied, the establishment of fisheries restrictions has not had a significant impact on the landed volume or value of either scallops or Nephrops. In some places (Campbeltown and Tobermory) scallop landings are nearly identical to all previous years; in others (Tarbert) scallop landings have actually increased significantly since the implementation of the MPA measures. Evidence, such as that presented here, should be used in future discussions about the impact of MPAs on fisheries and fishing ports to help inform future decisions about management of Scottish Inshore waters.”

“In general, despite the ‘mobile’ fishing sector (i.e. the part of the fishing industry most likely to be affected by these MPA) raising many concerns about the negative impact the restrictions could have on coastal communities, MPAs have not caused drastic differences in Nephrops and scallop landings at key Scottish ports.”