JNCC and SNH Fisheries Management Guidance Documents



The fisheries guidance has been produced to provide advice on the impact various fishing activities may have on MPA features in Scotland’s seas. The advice is organised by features and gear types and is available from the list below. Fishing gears are grouped to combine those with broadly similar impacts, but where there is likely to be variation within a group of features (e.g. for high and low energy sand habitats), this has been taken into account. Where possible the guidance has been based on evidence from peer-reviewed scientific journals. The fisheries guidance documents have been reviewed by representatives from the fishing sector and Marine Scotland Science.


Format of the guidance

The advice on fisheries management falls into three broad categories:

  • Gear/feature combinations that are unlikely to cause unacceptable impacts (except possibly at very high levels of effort) and so no additional management is likely to be required;
  • Gear/feature combinations that are likely to cause unacceptable impacts and for which no possible mitigation measures could be identified at this stage other than closure to that gear;
  • Gear/feature combinations that are likely to cause some degree of impacts but for which management may be possible to mitigate the effects (e.g. modification or restriction of certain gears, partial or temporary area closures, effort limitation).  

In the last type of cases in particular, further site-specific evidence gathering and discussion with stakeholders will be required to determine the appropriate management measures.


How the guidance has been used

The fisheries management guidance has been used, along with the FEatures Activities Sensitivities Tool (FEAST), to inform the development of management options papers for each MPA. These papers can be viewed on each of the MPA pages on the Scottish MPA page of the JNCC website.


Fisheries guidance by feature



A full list of references supporting the fisheries guidance is available here.