Description

Shellfish (e.g. oysters, mussels) commercially grown and harvested in intertidal or sub-tidal areas.

Key locations

Fenham Flats at Lindisfarne is currently the only aquaculture operation within Northumberland.

Frequency

Continuous

Potential issues

  • Establishment of non-native species, such as Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas, within inshore MPAs
  • The waters off Northumberland are currently too cold for natural establishment of Pacific oyster but natural settlement is now confirmed in the Solway and Firth of Forth.
  • Introduction of disease with stock
  • Impact on mussel beds from access to trestles
  • Potential hydrodynamics changes to the local area
  • Disturbance to birds caused by operations

 

Features of Marine Protected Areas which might be affected

  • Sand and mudflats
  • Inlets and Bays
  • Birds (wintering)

Legal Responsibilities or Duties (England)

A number of legal powers, duties or regulatory tools exist which are relevant to this activity and its management. These are summarised in the table below:

Legal Power, Duty or Regulatory Tool Relevant Legislation Lead Organisation
Requirement for an Aquaculture Production Business Licence

 

Aquatic Animal Health (England & Wales) Regulations 2009 CEFAS
Requirement for Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)

 

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (Regulation 63) All Competent or Responsible Authorities as defined by the Regulation.
Requirement for Marine Licences Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Section 65) Marine Management Organisation
Requirement for SSSI Consent, Assent or Advice

 

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (Section 28) Natural England
Duty on Public Authorities to consider the effect of proposed activities
on MCZs before authorising them
Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Section 126) All Public Authorities
Requirement for Planning Permission Town and Country Planning Act 1990

 

Northumberland County Council

North Tyneside Council

Requirements for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017

 

Northumberland County Council

North Tyneside Council

Details of Current Management (England)

Fenham Flats at Lindisfarne is currently the only aquaculture operation within Northumberland, although others may be proposed in future. A summary of the regularly controls on aquaculture operations is given below:

Land Use Planning:

Developments above low water will require planning permission from the Local Planning Authority. On land designated as a European site (SAC or SPA) permission from the Local Planning Authority will still be needed for activities which would normally be considered under a General Development Order (Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, Regulation 77).

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be needed for activities which fall within the scope of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017. Screening and scoping opinions on the need for an EIA are provided by the Local Planning Authority.

Habitats Regulations Assessment:

Before deciding to undertake, or give any consent, permission or other authorisation for activities which might impact on a SAC or SPA, Competent Authorities are required by law to undertake an assessment that there will be no significant impact on the features for which the site has been notified. This assessment comprises several distinct stages which are collectively described as a ‘Habitats Regulations Assessment’ (or HRA). This will include formal screening for any Likely Significant Effects (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects). Where these effects cannot be excluded they are then assessed in more detail through an Appropriate Assessment (AA) to determine if an adverse effect on the integrity of the site can be ruled out. If an adverse effect on the site cannot be ruled out then the project can only go ahead if there are imperative reasons of over-riding public interest and if the necessary compensatory measures can be secured.

Consents and Licences:

Before setting up a fish, shellfish or crustacean farm, an aquaculture production business must apply to the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) for authorisation https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fish-shellfish-or-crustacean-farm-authorisation

Activities between mean high water spring tide and the territorial limit (including estuaries, rivers and channels where water flows at mean high water spring tide) are subject to requirements for a Marine Licence from the MMO. Activities which require a marine licence include removal or deposition of materials in the intertidal or sub-tidal area. Further information about Marine Licences can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/do-i-need-a-marine-licence

In certain circumstances the deposit of any shellfish, trestle, raft, cage, pole, rope, marker or line in the course of shellfish propagation or cultivation may be exempt from requiring a licence. Situations when shellfish are exempted under the Marine Licencing (Exempted Activities) Order 2011 are:

(a) To the deposit of any shellfish, trestle, raft, cage, pole, marker or line in the course of the propagation or cultivation of shellfish.

(b) To a removal activity or dredging activity carried on for the purpose of moving shellfish within the sea in the course of its propagation or cultivation

The exemption does not apply to:

  • construction activities related to shellfish propagation, for example digging a trench or building a jetty to access shellfish beds
  • the use of artificial reefs in shellfish propagation and cultivation

No licence is required to remove or dredge shellfish (e.g. mussels) to re-lay them elsewhere.

Although these activities are exempt notice of intention to carry out the activity must be given to the Marine Management Organisation before the activity is carried out.

The Marine Management Organisation should be consulted to give a definitive judgement on whether any activity is exempt for the need for a marine licence.

A permit from EA is required to discharge liquid effluent or waste water (poisonous, noxious or polluting matter, waste matter, or trade or sewage effluent) into surface waters, such as rivers, streams, estuaries, or coastal waters.

Consent or Assent from Natural England may be needed for certain activities on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) if these are not already included within any planning permission or statutory licence. Natural England should be consulted for their formal advice on impacts to SSSIs as part of the consultation progress for planning permission or granting of a statutory licence.

Statutory Duty to consider impacts on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs):

Public authorities have a statutory duty to consider the effect of proposed activities on MCZs before authorising them and to impose restrictions on the authorisation of activities that may have a significant risk of hindering the conservation objectives of the site.

Gaps in Management (England)

No monitoring in place to project when temperatures might reach a point that can support natural establishment of the non-native Pacific oyster; More information is needed on the environmental impacts of current aquaculture activity on the coast.

Legal Responsibilities or Duties (Scotland)

A number of legal powers, duties or regulatory tools exist which are relevant to this activity and its management. These are summarised in the table below:

Legal Power, Duty or Regulatory Tool Relevant Legislation Lead Organisations
Requirement for an Aquaculture Production Business Licence

 

The Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009 Fish Health Inspectorate
Requirement for Marine Licences

 

Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 (Section 20) Marine Scotland
Requirements for Planning Permission:

 

Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 Scottish Borders Council
Requirements for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA):

 

The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 Scottish Borders Council
Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) of impacts

 

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (Regulation 48) All Competent or Responsible Authorities as defined by the Regulation.
Requirement for SSSI Consent or Advice

 

Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (Sections 13-17) Scottish Natural Heritage

Biodiversity Duty on Public Bodies Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004) (Section 1) All public bodies

Relevant Guidance, Plans or Codes (Scotland)

The following guidance, codes, plans or strategies are also relevant to the management of this activity:

Name Description Responsible Organisation Statutory or Non-Statutory
Scotland’s National Marine Plan The plan covers the management of both Scottish inshore waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and offshore waters (12 to 200 nautical miles). Chapter 7 deals with aquaculture. The Scottish Government Statutory

[Marine (Scotland) Act 2010]

Details of Current Management (Scotland)

No existing or planned aquaculture operations are known from the Berwickshire coast and the summary below is given for guidance. Further information can be found at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Fish-Shellfish/18716

A summary of the regularly controls on aquaculture operations is given below:

Land Use Planning:

Since 1 April 2007 all new fish and shellfish farm development in Scotland has required planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act from the relevant Planning Authority (Scottish Borders Council).

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be needed for activities which fall within the scope of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017. Screening and scoping opinions on the need for an EIA are provided by the Local Planning Authority.

Habitats Regulations Assessment:

Before deciding to undertake, or give any consent, permission or other authorisation for activities which might impact on a SAC or SPA, Competent Authorities are required by law to undertake an assessment that there will be no significant impact on the features for which the site has been notified. This assessment comprises several distinct stages which are collectively described as a ‘Habitats Regulations Appraisal’ (or HRA). This will include formal screening for any Likely Significant Effects (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects). Where these effects cannot be excluded they are then assessed in more detail through an Appropriate Assessment (AA) to determine if an adverse effect on the integrity of the site can be ruled out. If an adverse effect on the site cannot be ruled out then the project can only go ahead if there are imperative reasons of over-riding public interest and if the necessary compensatory measures can be secured.

Consents and Licences:

Before setting up a fish, shellfish or crustacean farm, an aquaculture production business must apply to the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) for authorisation https://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Fish-Shellfish/FHI/authorisation/apb

Activities between mean high-water spring tide and the territorial limit (including estuaries, rivers and channels where water flows at mean high water spring tide) are subject to requirements for a Marine Licence from Marine Scotland.  https://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Licensing/marine

Consent from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) may be needed for certain activities on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) if these are not already included within any planning permission or statutory licence. SNH should be consulted for their formal advice on impacts to SSSIs as part of the consultation progress for planning permission or granting of a statutory licence.

Biodiversity Duty:

Under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004), all public bodies in Scotland are required to further the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their responsibilities. This includes coastal and marine biodiversity where relevant to the functions of the public body. The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act (2011) requires public bodies in Scotland to provide a publicly available report, every three years, on the actions which they have taken to meet this biodiversity duty.