You asked for information on Marine Scotland's inspections and visits to salmon farms or salmon farming facilities (which could include both fresh and sea water, and/or company offices) in Scotland, for the calendar year 2018. In particular, you asked for -
- Dates and locations of any inspections or visits to salmon farms or salmon farming facilities (which could include both fresh and sea water, and/or company offices) in Scotland.
- The nature/purpose of each one of those inspections or visits.
- For each inspection or visit, were they announced or unannounced.
- The outcome come of those visits.
- Please outline any/all breach notices, advisory letters or similar, issued as a result of each inspection or visit; as well as any issued before of after (in 2018) associated with ongoing investigation/monitoring of the location in 2018.
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.
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.
Details relating to aquatic animal health surveillance, conducted in Scotland by Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI), are published on the Marine Scotland website through an active publication plan:
Publication is undertaken on a quarterly basis, three months in arrears. Within the documentation published, you will find information concerning individual cases, which includes the following:
- the date of the inspection
- the case type indicating the nature/purpose of the visit - our website provides details of the abbreviations used
- the outcome of the inspection – this is detailed within the case inspection notes and the fish health report sent to business following the visit and will detail any non-compliances identified through the visit
- unannounced visits - where these have been undertaken they have a UNI case type associated with them
The location of fish farms (and therefore the location of the inspection, where the inspection relates to a fish farm) is available through Scotland’s Aquaculture website:
There were no follow up actions, as a result of inspections or visits, involving the issuing of warning letters or enforcement notices. In general, the main types of non-compliances detected through FHI inspections and visits are administrative in nature and are quickly resolved either during or following the visit.
I have not included any warning or breach letters associated with the sea lice regulation policy. This is because this information is generally obtained through third party notification as opposed to through inspections or visits and therefore the information falls out with the scope of this request.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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