Information

Information on seals killed by salmon farms: EIR release

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


FOI reference: FOI/18/01532
Date received: 26 May 2018
Date responded: 26 June 2018

Information requested

Information on seals killed by salmon farms since 1 January 2017.

'Please include various versions of Excel spreadsheets prepared internally by the Scottish Government and those posted publicly online during 2017. Please make available all versions for 2017 and any data for 2018 which is available. Please include data submitted electronically by salmon farming companies re. the electronic data collection system and any emails and other correspondence from salmon farming companies in relation to seal-killing data.

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.'

Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested, provided via email as per your request. Most of the information you have requested was made available in the response provided to your previous request FoI/18/00983, dated 19th March 2018 (information for the period 1st January 2017 to the 19th March 2018). 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.

In your request you referred to an error in Q2 2017 data related to information available on our website after September 2017. The error related to data entry: Q4 2016 data were entered instead of the figures for Q2 2017. This was corrected in October 2017. Please see: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Licensing/SealLicensing

Thank you for drawing this to our attention and we will continue to review our processes to reduce the risk of future errors in publication.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exceptions under regulations 10(4)(d) (unfinished or incomplete information) and 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs apply to that information. The reasons why these exception(s) apply are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

Exceptions under regulations 10(4)(d) (unfinished or incomplete information) and 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs apply to some of the information you have requested.

Regulation 10(4)(d) – material in course of completion, unfinished documents or incomplete data.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is material which is unfinished or incomplete.

This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government's view or position on the matter to which the information relates.

Regulation 11(2) – personal information of a third party.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EISRs (personal information of a third party) 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.

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

FOI-18-01532 - related documents - part 1.pdf

FOI-18-01532 - related documents - part 2.pdf

FOI-18-01532 - related documents - part 3.pdf

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

Back to top