SARF031: Scoping study of appropriate EIA trigger thresholds for shellfish farms and other non-fish farm aquaculture

Start Date: 15/01/2007
End Date: 30/09/2007
Main Contractor(s): Haskoning
 

Other Sponsor(s): HIE

Objectives

The primary objective of this research is to: 1) produce a scoping report based on consultation with the relevant literature, regulators and stakeholders. In order to do this a series of secondary objectives must be realised: 1.1 to identify the key environmental and associated issues through literature review 1.2 to evaluate the key issues and describe a range of threshold levels through consultation; 1.3 to outline the likely effects at each threshold level; 1.4 to produce a matrix of potential effects based on the range of thresholds identified; and 1.5 to produce recommendations for the most appropriate thresholds that would be likely to have a significant effect and trigger the requirement for EIA. These will enable the limited understanding of the range of effects on environmental receptors that currently exists to be improved to a level where the decision for the production of new policy or formal guidelines on EIA trigger thresholds specific to the commercial cultivation of non-fish species can be made.

Summary

This research project will undertake a study and provide a scoping report of the potential environmental thresholds that are considered likely to trigger the requirement for Envionmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for shellfish and non-fish farm aquaculture. Although not currently included, it is possible that shellfish farms and other non-fish farm aquaculture such as production of algae etc., could fall within EIA regulations. At present there are no guidelines as to the size of farm (tonnage or area) that may require EIA. The scoping study will consider available data and suggest appropriate criteria, including thresholds, which could be used in making such judgements. The project will take into account the combined impacts of neighbouring aquaculture operations, and the cost of implementation to the industry of the suggested thresholds will also be estimated. The results will be used to provide guidance to regulators and operators on the requirement of EIA when considering new plans or projects.