- 19 Nov 2019
Date received: 23 Oct 2019
Date responded: 18 Nov 2019
Please provide information on the discharge of salmon farming well boats since 1 January 2018.
Please include details, maps, photos, grid references, licences and any other information relating to where, when, what and how salmon farming well boats discharge their effluents.
For example, there is apparently a marked/designated area off Oban where discharges take place. Please provide information relating to any designated places around Scotland where salmon farming well boats are permitted to discharge effluents.
Please provide information in relation to what quantities of effluent are discharged - including any data on discharges of toxic chemicals, diseased waters and other materials.
Please include any correspondence, emails, Cabinet Briefings, data, sampling results, testing and other information relating to salmon farming well boat discharges since 1 January 2018.
Please consider this a FOI request under the relevant FOI and Environmental Regulations.
Please acknowledge receipt.
Please provide the information electronically.”
1. I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested electronically.
2. Some of the information you have requested is available from http://marine.gov.scot/ . All licences are now routinely published. I am forwarding you licences from 1 January 2018 which have not been published. 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. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4) (a) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
4. Marine Scotland may also hold some relevant information to your request which has been obtained through the Fish Health Inspectorate’s Aquatic Animal Disease Surveillance Programme. The results and finding of this are actively published and available on the Scottish Government website, https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Fish-Shellfish/FHI/CaseInformation.
Due to the large number of documents I have attached the following link which gives you access to view and download the requested files:
The link goes to the Scottish Government Dropbox area, a place to share large and/or numerous files. To access the documents via Dropbox use the above link and click a document to view it in your browser.
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
Exceptions that apply
1. The Scottish Government does not have the information.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4) (a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested with regard to the apparent site off Oban.
Discharge Returns for 2018 and their associated licences have been included in this response. The Discharge Returns for 2019 should be available in the first have of 2020.
This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about wellboats, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
2. An exception under regulations 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs apply to some of the information you have requested.
Regulation 11(2) – To the extent that environmental information requested includes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject and in relation to which either the first or second condition set out in paragraphs (3) and (4) is satisfied, a Scottish public authority shall not make the personal data available.
An exception under regulation 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested.
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EISRs (personal information of a third party) 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.
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