Marine Scotland or Fish Health Inspectorate notifications: EIR review

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02315
Date received: 7 November 2017
Date responded: 21 November 2017

Information requested

  • full details of any notification made to Marine Scotland or the Fish Health Inspectorate by any farms exceeding the trigger levels of 3 or 8 respectively, covering the period 9th June 2017 to today's date (4 September 2017);

  • copies of all site specific escalation action plans submitted to Marine Scotland or the Fish Health Inspectorate since 9th June 2017; and

  • any increased monitoring plans and data produced, with full details of any intervention carried out, at any farms, since 9th June 2017.

You also asked for the same information for the time period 17 February 2017 until 9 June 2017.


Further to my email of 7th November 2017, I have now completed the review of our response to your request under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) for sea lice management triggers.

I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, with modifications. During the course of undertaking this review I have identified that some information was not provided in dealing with your request.

It is clear to me that in responding to your FOI request the focus was very much in providing the data contained in the Excel spreadsheet. However, other aspects of your request, such as information regarding action plans, were not fully addressed. Please now find attached redacted copies of the warning letters, enforcement notices and explicit action plans.

From my investigations I am satisfied that the relevant sea lice data received from the companies concerned, as part of what is a relatively new reporting process, has all been input on the Excel spreadsheet. I am also assured that this data is acquired over the phone.

A fuller explanation of the information contained in the spreadsheet would however I believe proved to be helpful on this occasion.

Below sets out our everyday expectation with regards the Sea Lice Enforcement policy.

Escalation plans refer to what is proposed to be done by farming companies to address the issue of elevated sea lice numbers – these could be the administration of veterinary medicines, the use of other physical control measures such as the use of fresh or warm water, hydrogen peroxide or the harvesting of the whole or part of a population of fish on-site. Details of these measures are included in the spreadsheet of information which you have.

With regard to the increased monitoring plans, what we would expect to receive from companies who have noted an elevated sea lice count is either a) a following count which notes a sea lice number remaining above the reporting level, b) a following count which crosses to the intervention level, or c) a following count which has dropped below the reporting level. All of these counts are post reporting monitoring carried out by the farms in question and the result, where relevant, are included in the information provided in the spreadsheet.

On behalf of Marine Scotland I would like to apologise that this request was not properly handled. I am assured that lessons will be learned.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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