Next steps consultation on regulation of finfish aquaculture sector

date03 October 2019

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has today (3 October, 2019) launched an eight week public consultation to inform the next steps in regulation of the finfish aquaculture sector.

The technical consultation follows one of the agency’s largest consultation programmes in late 2018, the publication of its Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan and the introduction of its new, firm, evidence-based regulatory framework on 1 June, 2019.

The consultation explores methods for how we regulate the organic load from a fish farm.

David Harley, Head of Water & Planning at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said:

“As one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, SEPA is working with the finfish aquaculture sector to ensure protection of the environment is recognised as fundamental to the sector’s success.  Our vision is that the sector becomes a world-leading innovator in ways to minimise the environmental footprint of food production and supply; where it has a strong and positive relationship with neighbouring users of the environment and communities; and where it is valued nationally for its contribution to achieving global food security.

“Having done more science, more analysis and more listening than ever before over the last two years, including in our largest ever public consultation across Scotland, we launched our Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan and a new, firm, evidence-based regulatory framework in June this year.

“This further consultation is focused on how we ensure that the organic load does not negatively impact local environments.  We want to provide certainty and transparency to site operators, regulators and communities.  We’re committed to listening and to getting this right which is why we’re asking for responses to options for approaches from the broadest possible group of stakeholders with interests in our regulation of the sector.”

The consultation is open until Wednesday 27th November, 2019. 

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

CONSULTATION INFORMATION: 

SEPA’S AQUACULTURE HUB:

FINFISH AQUACULTURE CONSULTATION EVENTS:

  • Approximately 275 people attended across the nine community drop-in events.
  • A total of 28 one to one meetings were facilitated between SEPA specialists and stakeholder groups including, community groups, local fisheries, NGOs and industry representatives.
  • Specific round table discussions were also arranged for NGOs, fish farming environmental managers and partner public agencies in addition to the nine community events.
  • Approximately 120 responses to the consultation received.
  • A short summary of the consultation feedback has been published alongside the sector plan.



Official Statistics’ Publication for Scotland – Household waste summary, waste landfilled, waste incinerated (Jan-Dec 2018)

date17 September 2019

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) statisticians have published Official Statistics today (17 September 2019) which provide detail of Household Waste collected across all Local Authorities during 2018.

  • Carbon impact of Scottish waste decreasing
  • Total household waste generated in Scotland decreasing
  • More household waste recycled than landfilled for second year in a row
  • Plastic and glass recycling increase
  • Paper and cardboard continues downward trend
  • Total household recycling rate 44.7%
  • Energy recovery of residual waste replacing landfill

CARBON IMPACT OF SCOTTISH HOUSEHOLD WASTE DECREASING

Measuring the whole-life impact of resources is the role of the Scottish carbon metric.  The metric, a measure of national performance, takes a holistic view, from resource extraction and manufacturing emissions, through to resource management emissions. 

The 2018 metric shows a 15% decrease in Scotland’s household waste carbon impact from 2011 to 2018, following a decreasing trajectory since 2011. The longer trend is largely a result of increased recycling rates, particularly for high impact waste materials, as well as reduction in waste generated and reduced landfilling of biodegradable waste.

The carbon impact of household waste generated and managed in 2018 was 5.76 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – which is 1.06 TCO2e per person. This was a decrease of 104,228 TCO2e from 2017 and a decrease of 1,007,754 TCO2e from 2011.

TOTAL HOUSEHOLD WASTE GENERATED IN SCOTLAND DECREASING

The total volume of household waste generated in Scotland fell a further 2% in 2018, from 2.46 million tonnes in 2017 to 2.41 million tonnes in 2018, a decrease of 55,574 tonnes.

MORE HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLED THAN LANDFILLED FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

2018 saw a further decrease of household waste sent to landfill, 7% or 75,491 tonnes down from 2017. This is the seventh consecutive decrease in household waste landfilled since 2011 – and for the second consecutive year there was more Scottish waste recycled (1.07 million tonnes) than landfilled (1.03 million tonnes).

PLASTIC & GLASS RECYCLING INCREASE

Plastic recycling rose by 8,163 tonnes (5%) to 56,586 tonnes in 2018, continuing the trend of increasing each year for the last seven years.  Glass remains the second most recycled material, with the rate up by 832 tonnes (0.8%) to 107,380 tonnes, in line with the longer term trend.

PAPER & CARDBOARD CONTINUES DOWNWARD TREND

Paper and cardboard remains the largest volume of material recycled at 209,120 tonnes (19%).  However, there has been a general downward trend of paper and cardboard wastes recycled or reused since 2011. The reduction from 2017 was 16,374 tonnes (7%) – making a 31,226 tonnes (13%) reduction since 2011.

HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING RATE 44.7%

Scotland’s overall household waste recycling rate was 44.7%, a decrease of 0.9 percentage points from the 45.5% rate achieved in 2016. Data for every one of Scotland’s 32 local authorities are available on SEPA’s website along with additional commentary for the whole of Scotland.

ENERGY RECOVERY OF RESIDUAL WASTE REPLACING LANDFILL

All waste landfilled and incinerated summary

Separately from household waste statistics, data has also been published specifically for all Waste Landfilled and Waste Incinerated within Scotland during 2018. Official statistics for waste from all sources, which will include all waste generated and recycled in Scotland during 2018, are due to be published in March 2020.

The total amount of waste disposed of to landfill has decreased steadily since 2009, following large reductions between 2007 and 2009.

  • 2018 saw a 2.2% reduction of waste from all sources landfilled in Scotland, down 84,876 tonnes to 3.74 million tonnes.
  • This included a 6.1% decrease in the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) disposed to landfill (a decrease of 67,040 tonnes to 1.02 million tonnes).
  • 711,504 tonnes of waste was incinerated in 2018, an increase of 3,340 tonnes (5%) from 2017.
  • The top three categories of waste landfilled in Scotland in 2018 were:
  • soils (42 million tonnes – 38%);
  • household and similar wastes (19 million tonnes – 32%);
  • sorting residues (745,403 tonnes – 20%).

Disposal of sorting residues (what is left when recyclable materials have been removed) to landfill fell by 68,166 (8%) between 2017 and 2018. This is against the longer term trend and is consistent with more of these wastes being diverted from landfill to incineration, and an increase of infrastructure of waste sorting facilities in Scotland, such as Material Recovery Facilities. 

WASTE DATA COLLECTION

Data on waste are collected to monitor policy effectiveness, and to support policy development, particularly commitments in the Scottish Government’s Making Things Last – A Circular Economy Strategy for Scotland. Further details on the methodology used to produce the figures are provided in the “Household waste” section of the annual Waste Data Quality Reports.

The figures are accurate at the time of publication, however data may be updated if further revisions are necessary. Normally these revisions will be published concurrent with the next official release. 

ENDS

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:




Pupils hope to encourage a flood of volunteers to sign up with SEPA to measure rainfall

date16 September 2019

SEPA is looking for volunteer rainfall observers to collect data daily at around 9am and submit the information online. There are currently 134 rainfall observers across Scotland who play an important part in collecting this valuable data for SEPA.

The information helps SEPA and the Met Office capture Scotland’s complex rainfall patterns in addition to the figures collated from SEPA’s 300 automated gauges. This data helps SEPA make informed decisions on water management, flood risk management, long term climate research as well as informing industry, agriculture and infrastructure development.

Grant Kennedy, Senior Specialist Scientist in Hydrology, at SEPA said: “Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and this is a great opportunity for any budding citizen scientists to get involved and make a valued contribution to our data research.

“We help Scotland prepare more powerfully for future increased flooding and the impacts of climate change. The data collected from rainfall observing contributes to our work around flood risk management so volunteers are playing an important role in that process.

“We would welcome new observers from anywhere across Scotland. We are particularly keen to get gauges located in area such as Dumfries and Galloway, The Western Isles, and all across the Highlands particularly in Lochaber and Caithness. Having two gauges close to each other is useful to verify unusual events and as our rainfall is so fickle, there can never be enough gauges to capture the patterns.

“Being a rainfall observer is a rewarding and interesting hobby for people of all ages with an interest in environmental science and there is a great potential for teachers to engage their students in maths, geography and science in a practical way.”

Pupils in Primary 6 at Bridge of Allan Primary School, near Stirling, have signed up to join in the data collection and are excited to start their role as citizen scientists.

Lyndsay Macnair, Headteacher at Bridge of Allan Primary School, said: “We are delighted to be supporting SEPA with this project. It is an excellent opportunity for our pupils to develop skills in STEM whilst supporting SEPA. Primary 6 are looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People, Cllr Susan McGill said: “It’s fantastic that our children and young people at Bridge of Allan Primary School are participating in this important project with SEPA. Not only will it help pupils develop key skills for the future, they will have the opportunity to learn about protecting and improving their local environment.”

Vice Convener of the Committee, Margaret Brisley said: “This is a really fun and interesting way to engage pupils at the school in an important area of the curriculum and to learn about the environment and sustainability.

“I’m sure the work of our budding scientists at Bridge of Allan PS will encourage others across Scotland to get involved in this vital initiative.”

For further information on how to become a rainfall observer visit www.envscot-csportal.org.uk/rainfallobs/about/ or to sign up please visit www.envscot-csportal.org.uk/rainfallobs/  

ENDS

Notes to editor

Pictured left to right: Bridge of Allan Primary School P6 pupils Freya Huntly, Broden Daly, Lewis Wilson and Isla McKay with SEPA Hydrologist Grant Kennedy.

Rainfall Observing

  • Rainfall observers took extra sampling to monitor valuable data of the volcanic ash fallout after Icelandic eruptions in 2011 and 2014.
  • A number of rainfall observers have received awards for providing over 30 years of service with one clocking in their data since 1963. One observer at Doonholm in Ayrshire is continuing a family hobby that started in 1898.
  • The most northern rainfall gauge is in Shetland and the highest (279 metres) is at Gladhouse Reservoir in Mid Lothian.

Some examples of the ways the rainfall data is used includes:

  • Allows river flow modelling so SEPA can assess flood risk and inform development. River flow modelling helps informs the licensing of water abstraction for industry such as whisky distilling, crop irrigation, public supply and hydro-electric generation.
  • Helps detect changing trends from climate change.
  • Feeds into weather forecasting by calibrating weather prediction models and ground proofing rainfall radar.



SEPA publishes strategic vision for environmental regulation of the finfish aquaculture sector

date03 September 2019

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has today (3 September 2019) published its strategic vision for environmental regulation of the Finfish Aquaculture sector.

The focus of a seven week consultation in November 2018, including SEPA’s most extensive public engagement programme across Scotland, The Finfish Aquaculture Sector Plan has been informed by feedback from local communities, NGOs, industry and partner agencies with an interest in shaping SEPA’s new regulatory approach.

The sector plan is ambitious in its aspirations for an industry where in the future:

  • The Scottish finfish aquaculture sector recognises that protecting the environment is fundamental to its success and is foremost in all its plans and operations.
  • The sector is a world-leading innovator of ways to minimise the environmental footprint of food production and supply.
  • The sector has a strong and positive relationship with neighbouring users of the environment and the communities in which it operates.  It is valued nationally for its contribution to achieving global food security.

A key focus of the sector plan is to ensure that all operators in the sector will reach and maintain full compliance with Scotland’s environmental protection laws, while working to help as many operators as possible to move beyond compliance.

The sector plan accompanies the launch of a new firm, evidence-based regulatory framework on 1 June 2019 which strengthens the protection of the marine environment for the people of Scotland.

Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said:

“As one of a number of organisations regulating finfish aquaculture, SEPA is clear that our job is to make sure environmental standards protect the marine environment for the people of Scotland and we make sure the industry meets those standards. 

“Sector plans are at the heart of everything we do and will shape our interactions with the businesses we regulate, the communities we serve and crucially, benefit the environment which we protect.

 “Across the last two years, we’ve undertaken more science, more analysis and more listening than ever before to ensure we get this right. Alongside our new regulatory framework, which we launched on 1 June 2019, SEPA will not only secure environmental compliance, but seek to enable as many operators as possible to move beyond compliance and develop innovative ways to protect Scotland’s marine environment.”

SEPA’s Scotland-wide consultation received 117 responses and was supported by nine community drop-in events and 28 one-to-one meetings between SEPA specialists and stakeholder groups. A short summary of the consultation feedback has been published alongside the sector plan.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

SECTOR PLAN AND CONSULTATION RESPONSE

SEPA’S AQUACULTURE HUB

FINFISH AQUACULTURE CONSULTATION EVENTS

  • Approximately 275 people attended across the nine community drop-in events.
  • A total of 28 one to one meetings were facilitated between SEPA specialists and stakeholder groups including, community groups, local fisheries, NGOs and industry representatives.
  • Specific round table discussions were also arranged for NGOs, fish farming environmental managers and partner public agencies in addition to the nine community events.
  • 117 responses to the consultation received.



Commitment of companies at the forefront of Scottish environmental change recognised

date29 July 2019

The hard work and commitment of companies at the forefront of environmental change in Scotland has today (29 July 2019) been recognised by the VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.

A total of 36 businesses from across Scotland have been included in the shortlist for the prestigious awards which are focused on inspiring companies to play their part in meeting Scotland’s ambition to be a world leader on tackling climate change.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the awards and the finalists include: Wood, Cycling Scotland, Vegware, Diageo (Leven) and The James Hutton Institute *(Full list in notes to editors). The finalists have been selected across eleven award categories which recognise the different ways that sustainable best practice can be implemented.

They include examples of good practice in the following categories: Leadership Scotland, Innovating Scotland, Product Scotland, Service Scotland, Hydro Nation Scotland, Circular Scotland, Moving Scotland, Adapting Scotland, Engaging Scotland, Partnership Scotland and Small Business Scotland.

As part of this year’s anniversary celebrations, a special Best of VIBES Award will also be presented to a past winner that has demonstrated an ongoing contribution to sustainable development by embracing new practices and constantly reviewing its systems so that it remains environmentally focused.

Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, said: “The scale of environmental challenges facing humanity is enormous, with a real urgency to act.  The successful businesses of tomorrow will be those who embrace the economic opportunity of sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.

“VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards, linked to SEPA’s ambitious ‘One Planet Prosperity’ strategy, recognise Scotland’s leading businesses who show a real commitment to sustainable goods, products and services through leadership, innovation and ambition.

“I would like to congratulate all the finalists who have been recognised by the VIBES Awards and I look forward to announcing the winners in due course.”

Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “My congratulations go to the businesses who have been shortlisted for this year’s VIBES awards. We are all aware of the urgent environmental issues affecting our planet and business has a vital role to play in Scotland’s continuing journey to a net-zero society.

“It is important that we recognise those who are leading on action to develop sustainable solutions and environmental practices while seizing the economic benefits of embracing a vibrant and innovation circular economy.”

Award sponsors include Adaptation Scotland, Chivas Brothers-Pernod Ricard, Farne Salmon and Trout, Mabbett, ScottishPower, Glenmorangie, The Scottish Government, Travel Know How Scotland, University of Stirling Management School, Wave Utilities.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 14 November at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Glasgow.

For more information on VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards please visit www.vibes.org.uk

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

About VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards

VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards is a strategic partnership between Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Government, Scottish Water, Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Zero Waste Scotland, Energy Saving Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The Awards are further supported by CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, Bright Green Business, Quality Scotland, Scotch Whisky Association and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

The full list of VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards 2019 categories and finalists are as follows:

Adapting Scotland Award: Biomatrix Water Solutions Ltd, EGG lighting, Intelligent Growth Solutions, uFraction8 Ltd 

Circular Scotland Award: ACS Clothing Limited, Renewable Parts Ltd, Re-tek UK Ltd, Total Homes Co-operative, Vegware

Engaging Scotland Award: Aberdeen Performing Arts, ACS Clothing Limited, Edinburgh Leisure, Leith Community Crops in Pots, Sea The Change

Hydro Nation Scotland Award: Biomatrix Water Solutions LTD, Diageo – Leven, Ecoanolytes Limited, The James Hutton Institute, TownRock Energy

Innovating Scotland Award: Diageo – Leven, Intelligent Growth Solutions, TCP, uFraction8 Ltd, Wester Ross Fisheries Ltd

Leadership Scotland Award: ACS Clothing Limited, Mercat Tours Ltd, Paterson Arran Ltd, RPC BPI INDUPAC, TechnipFMC