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COMMERCIAL STRATEGY GROUP FOR THE SCOTTISH SCALLOP SECTOR

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Need for SWOT analysis of various legislative instruments currently in force to inform the legislation review as well as agreement on how to undertake an

FIRST MEETING OF THE COMMERCIAL STRATEGY GROUP FOR THE

    SCOTTISH SCALLOP SECTOR HELD ON 8th MAY 2008, NORTON HOUSE

    HOTEL, EDINBURGH

Attendees

    Mike Berthet (M & J Seafoods) Chair Mary McAllan (Marine Directorate, MD)

    Euan Beaton (McDuff Shellfish) John McAllister (Scallop Association, SA

    Hansen Black (Shetland Fishermen’s & Mallaig & North West Fishermen's

    Association, SFA) Association, MNWFA ) Owen Crane (Catcher, North East) Barry McCulloch (Marine Directorate, David Donnan (Scottish Natural Heritage, MD)

    SNH) Kenny McNab (Clyde Fishermen’s Philip Galbraith (Marine Directorate, MD) Association, CFA) Allan Gibb (Marine Directorate, MD) Anne Mosley (Seafood) Steven Girgan (Catcher, South West) Alessia Morris (Marine Directorate, MD)

    John Hermse (Scallop Association, SA & Jane Sandell (Scottish Fishermen’s Mallaig & North West Fishermen's Federation, SFF) Association, MNWFA) Alistair Stuart (Scottish Fisheries Dr Trevor Howell (Fisheries Research Protection Agency, SFPA) Services, FRS) Ian Thomson (Marine Directorate, MD)

    Bill Lart (Seafish Scotland) Laurie Watkins (Keltic Seafare) Duncan MacInnes (Western Isles Libby Woodhatch (Seafood) Fishermen's Association, WIFA) David Jarrad (Shellfish Association of Michael Mair (Fraserburgh Seafoods) Great Britain, SAGB) Elaine McLaughlin (Food Standards

    Agency, FSA)

Apologies: Dr. Tom Pickerell (Shellfish Association of Great Britain - SAGB);

    Ronnie Smith, (Iona Shellfish); Dr Bill Turrell (Fisheries Research Services-FRS);

    Stewart Adam (Gear manufacturer-Oban); Colin Chapman (Scientist); Helen

    McLaughlin (World Wildlife Federation-WWF); Dr Beth Leslie (North Atlantic

    Fisheries College-NAFC); Sidney Johnston (Catcher- Shetland); Robbie Hutchison

    (Catcher-Orkney); John King (West Coast Sea Products-WCSP); Doug McLeod

    (Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers-ASSG);

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS (ITEM 1) AND WORKING ARRANGEMENTS

    AND POLICY CONTEXT (ITEM 2)

1. Mike Berthet opened the meeting setting out its aims and objectives. It was

    stated that this group would deal with a number of issues including environmental, commercial and fisheries management affecting the scallop sector across a diverse

    range of stakeholders in a cooperative and consensual manner.

2. Mary McAllan outlined the working arrangements and the policy context of the

    group. This included:

    ? Draft Terms of References (Paper 1) which were unanimously agreed upon. It

    was emphasised that members attended the meetings on a personal basis and

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    were not representing their organisation. Members were expected, however, to

    act as a conduit to their respective organisation.

    ? Operational remit of the group, namely to set up a large group which would

    draw from a wide range of sectoral and geographic interests while taking work

    forward through sub-groups working in detail on specific issues.

    ? Relationship with the Scottish Fisheries Council, SeaFAR and The UK

    National Scallop Group and reporting arrangements to SFC (Papers 2, 3 and 4).

    It was explained that the group was expected to build on the work already done

    through the SeaFAR process and the outstanding scallop-related actions. It was

    also reported that there would not be any overlap between that remit of this group

    and that of the UK group which would be more focussed on environmental

    dimension of scallop operations.

? It was announced that Duncan MacInnes would act as a rapporteur to the SFC

    on the work of the scallop group and that John Hermse would act as a

    rapporteur to the UK National Scallop Group whose first meeting had been

    confirmed for 28 May 2008.

SCOTTISH SCALLOP SECTOR SWOT ANALYSIS (ITEM 3)

3. Mike Berthet explained that the group required an evidence base to define the

    most appropriate commercial strategy and that this would enable decisions to be

    made by the group on the resources and measures required to pursue this strategy.

    This is why Seafood Scotland had been commissioned to conduct a SWOT analysis

    of the scallop sector.

    4. Libby Woodhatch (Paper 6) outlined the objective of this analysis which was

    to review Scottish competitiveness in scallops, crabs and lobsters. A brief overview

    of their general findings was also presented.

    5. It was reported that the results of this analysis would be collated in the next

    few weeks and at the next meeting an in-depth presentation could be given to the

    group. Both the draft and final analysis would be discussed with the group.

SCALLOP STOCK LEVELS (ITEM 4)

6. Mike Berthet stated that the Fisheries Research Services (FRS) were due to

    publish their bi-annual scallop assessment this summer.

    7. Trevor Howell presented a paper (7A and 7B) on FRS interim scallop stock

    assessment providing an overview of Scottish scallop fisheries, the distribution of the

    major stocks and the methods used to asses the stocks.

    8. FRS had also focussed on four major geographical areas using provisional

    landing data:

    ? West Kintyre: landings fell (although provisional 2007 landings have increased) ,

    fishing mortality decreased as did spawning stock biomass, and the catch rate of

    recruit and larger scallops declined.

    ? North West: landings fell (although provisional 2007 landings have increased),

    fishing mortality declined, recruitment and spawning stock biomass have

    decreased, and the survey rates of scallops both above and below 100mm

    declined between 2006 and 2007

    ? Shetland: landings have continued to increase since 2005, fishing mortality has

    remained constant since the last assessment, recruitment and spawning stock

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    biomass have increased, and there was an increase in the overall catch rates

    and catch rates of adult scallops greater than 100mm.

    ? North East: landings rose in 2005 but since then declined, fishing mortality has

    increased while spawning stock biomass has declined, recruitment has fell, and

    the catch rate of small and large scallops since 2004 has improved although the

    latter group fell in 2007.

    .

    9. In the ensuing discussion, the group sought clarifications on the following

    issues:

    ? Technical language and sampling methodology

    ? Number of samples taken and their location

    ? Presence of fishermen on board of the vessels carrying out the sampling

    ? Effect of the reopening of closed areas on stock levels

    ? Whether the healthy stock levels in Shetland reflected the relatively little effort

    in Shetland waters

10. It was explained that the changes in stock levels were determined by a

    number of factors which needed to be further explored. It was also reported that

    Scotland’s geography was a significant issue to overcome when obtaining data as

    well as difficulties in identifying the areas where the scallop fleet was currently fishing for sampling purposes. It was confirmed that FRS had fishermen on board their

    vessels when carrying out sampling activities. It was acknowledged, however, that

    there was a greater scope for a partnership approach between FRS and industry and

    for the involvement of fishermen who were more familiar with new techniques.

SCALLOP TECHNICAL/CONSERSATION MEASURES AROUND THE UK (ITEM

    5)

11. Philip Galbraith presented a paper on the scallop technical/conservation

    legislation currently in force in the UK, explaining the need for a rationalisation of

    these rules -

12. It was explained that they were many different legislative measures currently

    in force in the UK with more complex measures operating in England. There was a

    need to review the measures currently in force in Scotland and consider whether

    additional and/or new measures were required for the management of scallop stocks.

    13. Members were informed that a legislation sub-group (see below) would be

    set up to deal with the legislation review and the subsequent consultation process.

14. In the ensuing discussion, the group considered the following issues:

    ? Legislation applying to divers for hand-caught scallops and in particular the

    issue of unqualified divers and those without licenses.

    ? Legislation governing the testing for Scallop toxins and the landing of

    undersize scallops

    ? Maximum number of scallops that could be catched by an unlicensed vessel

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    ? Need to review the Prohibition of Fishing for Scallops (Scotland) Order 2003

    ? Need for SWOT analysis of various legislative instruments currently in force to

    inform the legislation review as well as agreement on how to undertake an

    initial scoping phase by consulting with key stakeholders, i.e. site visits or

    questionnaires

    ? Need to look at the development of eco-friendly gear.

    WORKSHOP SESSIONS (ITEM 6)

15. Mike Berthet explained that this session was an opportunity for members to

    get to know each other while identifying the main issues of concern and mapping

    issues that the group may consider for the Action Plan.

    16. It was explained that the group would be split into four themed discussion

    sub-groups which included:

    16.1 Group 1- Environmental impact of scallop fishing practises led by

    David Donnan

    16.2 Group 2 - Science, stock sustainability and viability led by Trevor

    Howell

    16.3 Group 3- Marketing and promotion of scallops within the UK &

    Overseas led by Ian Thomson

    16.4 Group 4 - Fisheries Management, influence of recent policy

    developments and external issues led by Alessia Morris

17. The sub-groups identified the following key priorities:

    ? Group 1 Strong read-across between the environmental dimension and

    other aspects of scallop strategy; there is potential for win: win solutions, e.g.

    fishery and environment benefits from strategy; need for effective

    communication about the environmental aspects of scallop fishery

    ? Group 2 - Need for further scallop scientific knowledge; more collaborative

    with industry representatives/fishermen.

    ? Group 3 Exploring markets and products; accreditation/quality assurance

    schemes; diet and education.

    ? Group 4 Coordination between local, regional and national rules/measures;

    streamlining the regulatory framework to enable improved management of

    scallop fisheries; and fleet strategy/decommissioning of the scallop fleet to

    make the sector more viable.

Next Steps Item 8

18. The group agreed to take forward work through thematic sub-groups working

    in detail on specific issues as follows:

    18.1 Marketing & Environment

    ? Anne Mosesley Seafood Scotland (Team Leader)

    ? Laurie Watkins Keltic Seafare (Scotland) Ltd

    ? David Donnan SNH

    ? Mike Mair Fraserburgh Seafoods Ltd

    ? Euan Beaton MacDuff Shellfish

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    18.2 Science, Sustainability & Viability

    ? David Donnan SNH (Team Leader)

    ? Bill Lart Seafish

    ? John Hermse Scallop Association & MNWFA

    ? Trevor Howell FRS

    ? Kenneth McKab CFA

    ? Dr Beth Lesley NAFC

    ? David Jarrad SAGB

    ? Tom Nicholson NT Trawlers

    18.3 Scallop Technical/Conservation Legislation Review

    ? Phil Galbraith Marine Directorate (Team Leader)

    ? Jane Sandell SFF

    ? Duncan McInnes WIFA

    ? Owen Crane Catcher

    ? Hansen Black SFA

    ? John McAllister Scallop Association & MNWFA

    ? John Hermse - Scallop Association & MNWFA

    ? Alistair Stewart SFPA

    ? Kenny McKnab CFA

    ? Tom Nicholson NT Trawlers

A.O.C.B Item 9

19. Clarifications were sought on what outputs the Scottish Government expected

    from the group. It was stated that the group would produce high level strategic

    document accompanied by an Action Plan.

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING (ITEM 10)

20. It was agreed that the next meeting of the group would be held in mid-late

    September. The Marine Directorate would liaise with individual members and inform

    the group of the exact date and venue of the meeting nearer the time

21. It was agreed that sub-groups would meet over the summer to scope out

    further the issues emerged from the meeting and workshop sessions and report the

    full group in September

Marine Directorate

    June 2008

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