SARF046: Socio-economic assessment of potential impacts of new and amended legislation on the cultivation of fish and shellfish species of current commercial importance

Start Date: 8/02/2008
End Date: 8/12/2008
Main Contractor(s): Hambrey Consulting
Other Sponsor(s):  


1. To assess the degree to which commercial aquaculture is currently constrained, in terms of location, management or both, by existing legislation and designation; and to assess the probable social and economic effects of any such constraints

2. To gain an informed insight into the scope and nature of any spatial or management restrictions on commercial aquaculture likely to arise in future, under existing or new legislation

3. To gain an informed insight into the likely development of commercial aquaculture over the next 10 years, in the absence of any change to the regulatory status quo - in terms of type, location, production, income and employment

4. To generate a set of alternative scenarios which take account of likely future trends in aquaculture development; likely changes in the regulatory environment; and likely responses of the industry.

5. To assess the social and economic characteristics of each scenario generated under 4, and compare with the base scenarios generated under 3, to gain an overall assessment of likely impact.

6. To identify areas of possible negative/positive impact that might be mitigated/promoted through guidance/protocols for the implementation of existing legislation, or through the design of future legislation.


The objective of the research is to: " assess the socio-economic impact on commercial aquaculture of new, amended, and anticipated legislation relating to the planning and management of the marine environment. Socio-economic impact is taken to mean impact on: " Profitability; competitive and comparative advantage " Employment (direct and indirect) " Income (direct and indirect) " Viability, and social and cultural vibrancy of communities The research will examine the effects in these terms of further implementation of existing legislation, any new legislation, and the possible designation of further marine protected areas (MPAs), or "nationally important marine areas" in order to meet obligations under, for example, the OSPAR convention. The research will be based on desk based literature review, interviews with key informants in the industry and government/regulatory agencies, scenario development through research and workshop processes, and economic modelling. The research will be of significant value to the aquaculture industry itself, allowing it to take a more informed role in discussions about the implications of emerging alternative strategies for marine planning and management. It will also be invaluable to those promoting, refining, developing and implementing any new legislation.