Habitats Regulations Assessment of impacts of shrimp fishery on Wash & North Norfolk Coast Special Area of Conservation
IFCAs have a duty to manage all commercial fisheries in marine protected areas in line with the conservation targets of those areas. We have been assessing fisheries throughout the many protected areas in the Eastern IFCA district over the past four years, under a Defra process referred to as the “Revised Approach to Fisheries Management in Marine Protected Areas” Revised Approach to fisheries management.
We completed our assessment of the shrimp fishery in the Wash and North Norfolk Coast in spring 2018. We used new conservation advice for the site (March 2017), information on the spatial distribution of shrimp fishing effort (from electronic vessel monitoring (VMS) and shrimp returns data), and new information on feature distribution and condition. It has been particularly useful to include fishing effort data so that spatial patterns in the fishery could be considered.
We examined evidence for impacts across site features at the broad (site-wide) scale, as well as considering pressures from the fishery on individual species and groups of species typically found in the protected habitats. There was very little published scientific evidence relating to impacts of shrimp beam trawling, but we were able to incorporate expert judgement into the assessment, based on available survey data, information on species sensitivity, and local knowledge of the site and the shrimp fishery.
The assessment used best available evidence, but as there were some gaps in that evidence, we needed to take a precautionary approach in our conclusions about the impacts of the fishery. Whilst we are confident that most of the protected habitats and species can withstand the disturbance caused by shrimp beam trawling at current levels, the assessment found that there are some more sensitive areas where damage cannot be ruled out.
Therefore, Eastern IFCA need to apply management to the shrimp fishery to protect the more sensitive areas, to ensure the fishery does not prevent conservation targets being met. It is important that measures meet the conservation requirements (as set out in the Habitats Regulations 2017), but they must also be proportionate to the risk of damage. This means that so long as the conservation needs are met, we aim to minimise the level of restriction on the fishery.
We have developed management measures designed to protect the more sensitive features of the site, and to ensure that levels of shrimp fishing do not increase in the remainder of the site beyond acceptable levels. These mitigation measures were developed through engagement with stakeholders and are presented in the “mitigation” section of the assessment. With the proposed mitigation, we concluded that the shrimp fishery will not have an adverse effect on site integrity.
Natural England is the statutory nature conservation body for England. We have engaged with Natural England throughout the assessment process. Natural England have agreed that with mitigation in place, the shrimp fishery will not have an adverse effect on site integrity.
The Eastern IFCA Authority approved the proposed mitigation on 18th July 2018. The formal consultation period will run from 2nd August to 3rd September 2018. More information on the measures, and details on how to take part in the formal consultation, are set out on our website.
Eastern IFCA’s Shrimp fishery assessment: key points
The assessment of shrimp fishing activity impacts on the Wash and North Norfolk Coast is set out in the assessment document and supporting appendices below.
|Assessment of Shrimp fishery in the Wash and North Norfolk Coast marine protected area||click here to download|
|Table of appendices||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 1 – Conservation objectives||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 2 – Feature condition||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 3 – Initial screening process||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 3a – Addendum||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 4 – Natural England Correspondence||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 5 – Low-risk pressures||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 6 – MedHigh risk pressures||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 7 – Consideration of Species Sensitivity data||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 7a – Details of data processing||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8 – Abundance and diversity assessment||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8a – Number of Taxa||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8b – Abundance ratio||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8c – Abra alba||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8d – Bathyporeia elegans||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8e – Flustra foliacea||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8f – Hydrallmania falcata||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8g – Lanice conchilega||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8h – Mediomastus fragilis||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8i – Mytilidae||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8j – Ophiuroidea||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8k – Recover Maintain objectives||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 8l – Number of samples||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 9 – Natural_Disturbance_WNNCSAC||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 10 -Consideration of IQI Indicators||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 11 – Consideration of seabed sediment type, depth and fishing effort||click here to download|
|APPENDIX 12 – Biotopes cf Abrasion-disturbance and Removal of non-target species||click here to download|