The first Aquaculture Work Group Meeting took place in Glasgow on the 14 May. The group agreed the format of the Aquaculture Position Statement which will be made available from June. The Work Group has agreed to meet again in July.
The Position Statement - Subsea Cables, has been reviewed after being redrafted for the WCRIFG management committee meeting and the updated version can be seen here.
The Management Committee met in Glasgow on the 27 March. A well attended event was joined by video links from three coastal locations. Members received updates by means of presentations on the following topics:
- SIFIDS Project
- Offshore Wind/Renewables/Licensing
- Proposed MPA Management Plans
- WCRIFG Scallops Investigation Report
- Second Socio-economics Report, MPAs
One outcome of the meeting was to establish a Work Group to explore opportunities to improve collaboration and consultation with the aquaculture industry given ongoing concerns from inshore fishermen of potential impacts on historic fishing grounds of increased fish farm developments.
The first phase of the Mull pilot project ended on 31 January after four months. Early indications are that the pilot has been very successful. A review meeting will take place in the spring to fully assess the trial which is scheduled to be repeated again in October 2019.
A well attended meeting of the West Highlands & Skye Subcommittee took place in Kyleakin on the evening of 19 February. The agenda provided for discussions on a variety of topics pertinent to the geographic area of the meeting. A report on actions recorded in the Draft Note of the Meeting will be made to the next management committee meeting in March.
An online survey by means of a questionnaire in connection with the WCRIFG King Scallop Management Conservation Strategy Outreach Project was circulated by MRAG consultants. The aim was for WCRIFG members to complete the questionnaire and to facilitate this, the deadline for its completion was extended to 11 February.
MRAG consultants are expected to report their findings at the next WCRIFG Management Committee meeting on the 27 March.
SSQC consultants are completing work in relation to the Solway Cockle Outreach Project which is exploring processes for enabling potential commercial harvesting trials to take place. The consultants are expected to produce a preliminary report in March 2019.
The first tag has been returned in relation to the crab tagging exercise that began in west coast waters in October 2018. Tagging has taken place in relation to the Mull pilot project as well as in other west coast waters north of Mull. Tagging will complement work underway in Orkney and will help to provide details of brown crab migration patterns.