All filed photos relating to Scottish Sea Farms since 2013: EIR release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02235  
Date received: 22 August 2018 
Date responded: 19 September 2018
Information requested
Copies of all photos held on file relating to Scottish Sea Farms since 2013.
For your information, I have interpreted this request in accordance with previous requests for photographs, most notably FoI/18/01141 in which we agreed that the scope related to photographs of diseased farmed salmon where the same had been assigned to or were associated with inspections conducted by Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate.
As you will be aware, photographs relating to the scope detailed above and to Scottish Sea Farms (where such photographs exist) have already been provided to you for the period 1 January 2016 to 28 July 2018 through FoI/18/01141, FoI/18/01869 and FoI/18/01782. I can confirm that we hold no further photographs of diseased farmed salmon relating to Scottish Sea Farms for the period 29 July to 21 August 2018. Therefore the response to this FoI request covers the time period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015.

It is essential that these images are viewed in line with the following context:
The images should be viewed in association with the case inspection notes – available at which provide additional context to the population of fish stocked on site at the point of inspection, as well as the findings and observations from the inspection and any sampling undertaken. 
The Fish Health Inspectorate’s (FHI) mission is to support the Scottish Government’s vision of a sustainable, growing and diverse aquaculture industry whilst maintaining the high health status of farmed and wild fish and shellfish stocks in Scotland by preventing the introduction and spread of listed and emerging diseases. The FHI do this by undertaking statutory inspection and sampling programmes, providing advice to stakeholders and implementing regulatory functions in accordance with the current aquaculture and aquatic animal health regulations.

The attached images have been identified as within the scope of this request.

The majority show fish which have been removed and euthanised for post mortem analysis and investigative testing by the FHI.

Photographs are taken as they are a useful tool in the analytical process and it is important to view these photographs in context. The photographs attached have been taken as part of the Fish Health Inspectorate’s risk based surveillance programme, which involved 160 inspections relating to fish farms in 2017.

In the wild, the reproductive strategy of fish, particularly salmon, is to produce a large number of offspring with the aim that a proportion will survive to adulthood. Fish are subject to a number of pressures in the environment, particularly naturally present pathogens and other environmental parameters, with farmed fish being no exception. It can therefore be expected that some fish will experience challenges to good health. Those fish which have been removed by the FHI represent a very small proportion of the total number of fish on an aquaculture site (for example 5 fish from sites holding between 250,000 to 1.8 million fish). The images attached do not present any human health concerns and are not a representation of the entire fish population on site.

In many cases these actions have been undertaken in support of on-going investigations which were being conducted by the farm veterinarian and in-house animal health professionals.

The photographs are labelled with case number and site name and can be accessed through the following weblink:

Responses to FoI requests are published on the Scottish Government website. Additional information relevant to this request has been published here:
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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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