Wild fish present or trapped in marine cage fish farms: EIR release

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

Information requested

Any information held by Marine Scotland and/or the Fish Health Inspectorate concerning the presence or entrapment of any wild fish of any species in marine cage fish farms (salmon or rainbow trout) in Scotland, including Shetland and Orkney.


Any information held by Marine Scotland in relation to your request will be found within the Fish Health Inspectorate’s case information from inspections conducted in accordance with our aquatic animal health surveillance, to fulfil the requirements of Council Directive 2006/88/EC. This information may include comments on the observation of the presence of wild fish within fish farm cages and the results of any sampling if such was undertaken. This information provides a snapshot, associated with the times and levels of inspection across the fish farming industry within Scotland. It is not a comprehensive record of the presence of wild fish in fish farm cages.

Marine Scotland’s Fish Health Inspectorate is also aware of an incident at the fish farm known as Corlach FS1287, operated by Grieg Seafood Shetland Ltd. This case is not yet published. We were made aware of the suspected presence of spurdogs in one of the pens on site and further information was obtained through a site inspection conducted in February 2019 to investigate a potential escape incident – case number 20190076. Information was obtained during the visit concerning the presence of spurdogs in one of the pens on site. These were estimated to be 3000 in number and between 3 and 6 kg in weight. It was believed by staff at the site that the spurdogs had been chewing the farm nets causing damage and subsequently entered the cage. The animals were removed from the pen using a sweep net and released. The case information will be published when the recommendations in the fish health report have been addressed.
Marine Scotland do not hold any further information on this subject area.
As you are aware, the results of inspections conducted to fulfil the programme of aquatic animal health surveillance are actively published on the Scottish Government web site. Publication dates back to the start of 2013:

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.

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.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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