Aquaculture: code of practice
Sets out standards expected from Aquaculture Production Businesses in Scotland (“APBs”) in order to provide for the containment of fish on fish farms and to prevent their escape in relation to marine mammal interactions.
Section 3: Reporting requirements
Section 3.1: Guidance on reporting requirements
33. Section 3.1 provides information and guidance in relation to reporting requirements for the killing or injury of marine mammals in the form of bycatch (“bycatch”) and reporting on the use of non-lethal measures. Thereafter, the following Section 3.2 provides a list of the mandatory standards in relation to reporting requirements to which APBs must adhere under this Code.
34. The monitoring and reporting of bycatch and the use of containment measures in relation to marine mammal interactions, including all forms of deterrents, are relevant to promoting desirable practices (s.7(1)(b)) in respect of the containment of fish on fish farms (s.7(2)(b)).
35. The reporting requirements described here are in addition to those contained in the Fish Farming Businesses (Record Keeping) (Scotland) Order 2008 (“2008 Order”). Article 3(b) of the 2008 Order requires APBs to keep records in relation to the containment, prevention of escape and recovery of fish from fish farms, and to compile the records that are specified in Schedule 2(8) regarding anti-predator measures undertaken by APBs at each location.
Reporting the killing or injury of marine mammals in the form of bycatch
36. The reporting of any bycatch that arises as a consequence of implementing containment measures promotes good husbandry at fish farms. Proper adherence to the Code, through implementation of measures to reduce bycatch, is likely to make any instances of killing or injury of marine mammals an extremely rare event.
37. Section 3.2 below sets out the mandatory standards that the Code requires of APBs to monitor and report any bycatch. These monitoring requirements should form part of routine working practices and, as such, should not impose a significant additional burden for staff working at fish farms. It is also subject to weather conditions and the ability of farmers to access their facilities. In addition to the requirement to report to Marine Scotland, APBs should also report any mortality to the Scottish Marine Mammal Stranding Scheme.
Reporting on the use of containment measures to deter marine mammals
38. Section 3.2 below sets out the mandatory standards that the Code requires of APBs to report on the use of non-lethal containment measures deployed to deter marine mammals. Such reporting must provide sufficient detail to allow any measures that reduce the potential for bycatch to be recognised. For example, if tensioned nets are used, the report must specify factors such as the materials the net is made of, the date installed, the monitoring regime for checking tensioning is sufficient, and the frequency and nature of maintenance to maintain sufficient tension.
39. The information provided by APBs as result of the mandatory standards contained in Section 3.2 will be subject to requests for information under both the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 which enable the public to access information held by the Scottish Government and its agencies.
Section 3.2: Mandatory standards for APBs in relation to reporting requirements
Mandatory standards in relation to all reporting under the Code
1. You must provide information to Marine Scotland that is clear and comprehensive concerning the matter being reported.
2. You must not provide information that is deliberately or negligently misleading or false.
Mandatory standards in relation to the killing or injury of marine mammals in the form of bycatch
3. You must check for any killing or injury of marine mammals in the form of bycatch on a daily basis as part of routine working practices.
4. You must report any incident of killing or injury of marine mammals in the form of bycatch within 48 hours of becoming aware of the incident to Marine Scotland at email: email@example.com; telephone: 0300 244 4000 using the reporting form.
Mandatory standards in relation to reporting use of containment measures to deter marine mammals
5. You must report all use of containment measures to deter marine mammals on an annual basis to Marine Scotland at email: firstname.lastname@example.org; post: Marine Scotland, Mailpoint 11, 1B South, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ; telephone: 0300 244 4000 using the reporting form.
6. If no containment measures are required then a nil return must be reported to Marine Scotland on an annual basis. (The requirement to report nil returns does not apply to freshwater fish farms).
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