Communications with Orkney Marine Farms Ltd: EIR release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02486
Date received: 11 September 2018  
Date responded: 4 October 2018
Information requested
Information relating to Orkney Marine Farms Ltd., specifically:

1) the dates and number of communication exchanges (email, telephone calls face to face meetings) between Orkney Marine Farms Ltd and or their personnel and Marine Scotland Science and Marine Scotland Licensing from February 2017 to 11 September 2018.

2) the contents of advice supplied to Orkney Marine Farms Ltd in relation to the siting of Aquaculture salmon farms in Orkney waters.
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 can confirm that, following discussions with colleagues within Marine Scotland, the only information held in relation to Orkney Marine Farms Ltd. and the scope of your request, relates to pre-planning application discussions. These discussions cover matters of interest for Marine Scotland Science operating as a statutory consultee to local authorities in relation to planning permissions concerning aquaculture developments.

Please find the attached information in response to your request.

In addition to the information provided, Marine Scotland Science personel have also held a number of telephone communications with representatives from Orkney Marine Farms Ltd. These communications relate to the information provided, and concern those pre-planning application discussions. Unfortunately, in this case, I am unable to give you any further details relating to those communications as no specific records of those individual calls were maintained.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide a small amount of the information you have requested because exceptions under regulation 11(2) (personal data) of the EIRs apply to that information. The reasons why these exceptions apply are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information 
An exception applies.

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.
About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at
FoI-18-02486 - related documents (Part1)
FoI-18-02486 - related documents (Part2)
FoI-18-02486 - further communication for release


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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