Publication - FOI/EIR release

Offences and enforcement actions (across all sanctions) in relation to inshore fisheries: FOI release

Published: 14 Nov 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
14 Nov 2018
Offences and enforcement actions (across all sanctions) in relation to inshore fisheries: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02961
Date received: 16 October 2018  
Date responded: 2 November 2018
 
Information requested

You asked for:

1.  For each year within the period 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 to date*, the number of enforcement actions in each of the following catagories that Marine Scotland - or the agency that manages "inshore fisheries" - took in relation to inshore fisheries: 

  • Oral advice
  • Advisory letter
  • Official written warning
  • Cautions
  • Financial Administrative Penalties
  • Other enforcement actions
  • Prosecution

2. Details of the non-compliance / offence which resulted in each individual enforcement action, eg hand gathering mussels without a licence or operating bottom towed gear in a prohibited area etc.

3. The location** / date(s) of the non-compliance / offence”. 

Further clarification removed the distinction between “inshore and offshore incidents” that you initially sought, and also noted that any differentiation between Scoland and England in terms of types of enforcement action was not a concern. 

Response

I enclose a copy of all of the information you requested in the format you asked for. I am also adding some explanation where I feel it is necessary. In all cases data for the year 2018 is up to and including 23 October 2018.

EXPLANATION

You will wish to note that there are different ways of recording the information. In particular, locations are saved differently. Our coastal offices record the location in terms of a port or harbour or creek, and at sea the location contains latitude and longitude, which I have not included, and ICES area and rectangle, maps of which can be found on the internet. In terms of HQ, only the ‘detecting unit’ is recorded as a searchable location.  

Furthermore, our coastal inspectorate record the nature of the infringement whereas our fleet record an infringement code. A list of relevant codes is attached to this letter with a brief word or two on the nature of the offence assigned to that code. 

The sanctions available in Scotland are:

  • Verbal rebrief
  • Advisory letter
  • Warning letter
  • Fixed penalty notice (FPN)
  • Referral to Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (for prosecution).

The first three sanctions are generally used by our coastal offiices, fleet officers and Headquarters (HQ) officials.  The last two sanctions are for consideration by officers in HQ only. A caution is not a sanction in Scotland as it is simply a way of saying to a suspect what they are suspected of, that they need not say anything, what they say may be recorded, and that they are entitled to contact a solicitor at any point.  

DATA

Data from our coastal offices and fleet is sorted by infringement type and year in which the infringement was committed. Data from HQ is sorted by year of FPN being issued or court action being pursued.

In terms of data from our coastal offices the attachments are:

  • 5 x attachments with regard to verbal rebriefs, one attachment for each year from 2014 – 2018
  • 5 x attachments with regard to advisory letters, one attachment for each year from 2014 – 2018
  • 5 x attachments with regard to warning letters, one attachment for each year from 2014 - 2018

In terms of data from our fleet the attachments are:

  • 4 x attachments with regard to verbal rebriefs and advisory letters (as these are not recorded separately), one attachment for each year from 2015 – 2018 (none were recorded for 2014)
  • 5 x attachments with regard to warning letters, one attachment for each year from 2014 – 2018.

In terms of data from HQ the attachments are:

  • 1 x attachment with regard to FPNs and court actions, covering the years 2014 – 2018, with a page for each year.

This means there are 26 attachments in total, the 25 noted above plus this letter. I may send through in batches to account for size.

LIST OF RELEVANT OFFENCE CODES FOR MARINE OFFENCES

Offence Code

Nature of offence

CODC

Carriage / use of gear

CODG

Twine

CODN

Gear

ECEA

Logbook

ECEC

Landing declaration

ECEX

Electronic reporting

ECFA

Undersize fish

ECCQ

High grading

ECEB

Logbook

ECGG

Topside chafer

ECGP

Torquette

ECGQ

Nets

ECGR

Gillnets

ECGS

Square mesh panel (SMP)

ECGX

Gear - other

ECLG

Gear type

ECLX

Logbook

ECXE

Boarding ladder

ECXX

Other offences

UKCF

Licence

UKCG

Quota

UKGB

SMP

UKGC

SMP

UKGD

SMP

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

 
The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG