Publication - FOI/EIR release

Kelp harvesting working group correspondence and minutes: EIR release

Published: 23 Apr 2020

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

Published:
23 Apr 2020
Kelp harvesting working group correspondence and minutes: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000015597
Date received: 5 Feb 2020
Date responded: 22 Apr 2020
Information requested
  • Correspondence Marine Scotland have had with Marine Biopolymers with regarding kelp cutting around Scotland,
  • Correspondence with any other companies Marine Scotland have corresponded with regarding kelp harvesting around Scotland.
  • Correspondence and documents relating to environmental impact assessments on kelp harvesting around Scotland.
  • Any minutes from the kelp harvesting working group.
Response

I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested. Some information has been redacted from these documents because it is the personal data of a third party, names and contact details. An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to this information 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 â€˜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.

Correspondence between Marine Scotland and Marine Biopolymers regarding kelp harvesting in Scotland is already publicly available in the following Information request - https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-18-02318/ which covered all correspondence between the Scottish Government and Marine Biopolymers Ltd in the five years up to 22 August 2018. There has no subsequent correspondence between Marine Scotland and Marine Biopolymers since the date covered by that FOI request.

I have attached copies of documents that are within scope of your request for correspondence with any other companies Marine Scotland have corresponded with regarding kelp harvesting around Scotland. There was limited correspondence between Marine Scotland and other companies directly. Companies with an interest with the Kelp Harvesting in Scotland were represented by the Scottish Seaweed Industry Association
which sits on the Seaweed Review Steering Group.

I have attached the requested documents regarding correspondence relating to Environmental Impact Assessments. Searches were conducted for the requested information and there was a small return. The Scoping Report from Marine Biopolymer Ltd set out the approach to conducting an Environmental Appraisal and did not go further than the Scoping stage. No Environmental Appraisal or EIA was submitted. As above, there has been documents released in the following request - https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-18-02318/ that will be relevant to your request.

You also request minutes from the Kelp Harvesting Working Group. I have assumed you are referring to the seaweed review steering group. Notes of the steering group meetings and associated documents are publicly available at https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/marine/seamanagement/seaweedrev.

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we are not obliged to provide 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(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you the information in an alternative appropriate 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.

Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG