Infringements of MPA fisheries management rules (MCOs): EIR release

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

Information requested

  • The number of incidents reported to Marine Scotland of suspected or actual infringements of MPA fisheries management rules (MCOs) and fisheries spatial management rules – both seasonal and permanent - relating to the Inshore Fishing Order 2004 (hereafter ‘incidents’) between 26th May 2019 and 25th May 2020
  • The names of the MPAs or closed areas in which these incidents have been reported, and the number of incidents reported at each MPA or closed area.
  • The number of reported incidents subsequently investigated by Marine Scotland which led to an enforcement action, a breakdown of the closed area or MPA to which they relate, fishing method used, and a breakdown of the type of any enforcement action taken (eg Fixed Penalty Notice, public prosecution).
  • Where a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) was issued, the amount of each of the FPNs in each case
  • The number of individual vessels these incidents relate to, including those reported to Marine Scotland between 26th May 2019 and 25th May 2020.
  • The number of incidents reported relating to fishing with a) trawling gear, b) dredging gear and c) creeling gear d) any other form of fishing


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.

I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested. It is attached at the Annex. The number of enforcement outcomes has been provided but not against which MPA the original offence(s) occurred in. This is because to identify the MPAs would lead to readily identifiable vessels and therefore masters, potentially putting us in breach of the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI-202000051696 - Information released - Annex


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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