Correspondence received by Scottish Ministers about HPMAs: EIR release

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

Information requested

I would like to ask for the correspondence received by Scottish Ministers about HPMAs (Highly Protected Marine Areas), specifically from fishermen, since the consultation was announced last year on 12 December.

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party 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.

Our searches found five items of correspondence to Scottish Ministers from individuals who identified themselves as fishers, fishermen or fisherwomen. It is worth noting that when we receive correspondence, it is often the case that individuals do not identify themselves as fishers or otherwise.

Due to our obligation to provide advice and assistance under regulation 9 of the EIRs, we wanted to advise you that during our searches a further five items of correspondence were identified that were from fishing associations representing fishers. However, these items of correspondence were not deemed in scope of your request, as they are from organisations rather than individuals. If you did have an interest in copies of this information, then please consider submitting a fresh EIR request.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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