Fish farms with seal licences using acoustic deterrent devices and double-netted cages: EIR release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/03069
Date received: 23 October 2018
Date responded: 20 November 2018
Information requested
 “First, do fish farm owners have to demonstrate any precautionary measures to obtain seal culling licences? If such data is gathered, please provide the number of fish farms with seal licences that use 1) acoustic deterrent devices and 2) doublenetted cages to deter seals. Please provide this information for the most recent full year for which data are available.”
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 to your  request  Marine Scotland do not determine seal culling licence applications, however we do determine applications for seal licences under Part 6 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. An applicant is required to complete and submit an application form and an online seal survey on the Seal Management System. Details of all non-lethal seal management measures in place during the period being applied for by an applicant are requested in the online survey. The information from the online survey for the most recent period (application period 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2018) is as follows:
  • 133 fish farms using acoustic deterrent devices,
  • 32 fish farms using double mesh netting panels.
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Central Enquiry Unit 
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The Scottish Government 
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