Publication - FOI/EIR release

Sea Lice Policy correspondence, breaches and reporting: EIR release

Published: 11 Nov 2019

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
11 Nov 2019
Sea Lice Policy correspondence, breaches and reporting: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02333
Date received: 9 Oct 2019
Date responded: 5 Nov 2019
Information requested

You requested information in relation to the Scottish Government's Sea Lice Policy (https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0054/00547487.pdf) relating to 2018 only, specifically:

  1. How many Warning Letters were issued to finfish farm operators? Please provide copies of each. Please list each of these by operator and by date of issue.
  2. How many Advisory Letters were issued to finfish farm operators? Please provide copies of each. Please list each of these by operator and by date issue.
  3. How many breaches of the 2007 Act, as amended, or any subordinate legislation, were noted by inspectors and/or recorded against finfish farm operators. Please list breaches by operator and by farm, indicating clearly any multiple breaches. Please list each of these by operator and by date issue.
  4. How many Enforcement Notices were issued to finfish farm operators? Please provide copies of each. Please list each of these by operator and by date issue.
  5. Pursuant to your duty to advise and assist, please outline how the failure of an operator to report a sea lice count, shown as "no count" in FHI sea lice reporting is considered or noted for the purposes of enforcing the Sea Lice Policy. Specifically, what action has been taken by inspectors in each case where a ‘no count’ was submitted in 2018?
Response

For the time period of your request (01 January to 31 December 2018) I can advise you of the following:

1. No Warning Letters have been issued to finfish farm operators.

2. Advisory Letters, for eight fish farm sites, have been issued to finfish farm operators. Some of this information has already been released through previous responses to freedom of information requests – for example FoI/18/02830.

In addition please find enclosed copies of the further information requested.

Information released through previous responses to freedom of information requests is available on the Scottish Government website and can be readily found by applying appropriate search criteria e.g. in this instance the FoI reference number I have quoted above, or terminology such as ‘sea lice’ or ‘advisory letter’: https://www.gov.scot/publications/

3. Records of breaches of the 2007 Act or any subordinate legislation are recorded during surveillance inspections and dealt with in accordance with the FHI strategy on enforcement: https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Fish-Shellfish/FHI/charter

The outcome of this activity is actively published through the FHI publication plan:
https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Fish-Shellfish/FHI/CaseInformation

Details of the surveillance visits conducted, involving Sea Lice Inspection (SLI) or Enhanced Sea Lice Inspection (SLA), during 2018 are available through the Fish Health Inspectorate’s active publication plan.

4. No Enforcement Notices have been issued to finfish farm operators.

While we provide information where possible, in this case an exception, under regulation 11(2) (personal data) applies to some of the information requested. The reason why this exception applies is explained in Annex 1 to this letter.

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format.

5. Your request also raised a question, at point 5, concerning sea lice counts shown as “no count” associated with FHI sea lice reporting. Specifically you asked about the actions taken by inspectors in such cases where a “no count” has been submitted.

It is my view that we have answered this part of your request, through a response to FoI/19/02212 – requesting the same type of information to that detailed above, but for a time scale relevant to 2019 as opposed to 2018.
Further, I have provided some additional clarification to an email you sent on 27 October 2019, querying the response to part 5 of FoI/19/02212.

I hope that these communications have provided sufficient clarity for your understanding regarding the same, but if anything remains unclear then please do not hesitate to contact me further.

ANNEX 1 - REASON FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
An exceptions applies:
Regulation 11(2)

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

This exception is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
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