Publication - FOI/EIR release

Fisheries Research Services (FRS) and Marine Scotland Science (MSS) publications list: EIR release

Published: 20 May 2021

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

Published:
20 May 2021
Fisheries Research Services (FRS) and Marine Scotland Science (MSS) publications list: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100181648
Date received: 22 Mar 2021
Date responded: 21 Apr 2021
Information requested

1. How much funding has been allocated for wild salmon research since 2005.

2. To provide a list of all the research papers, reports, studies published externally or internally since 2005.

Response

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.

1. Marine Scotland do not hold a single accessible record of the information that you have requested regarding funding allocated for wild salmon research since 2005. It is likely that some relevant information will be held but in order to ascertain whether we hold even some of the information requested we would need to examine many hundreds of documents and files over a period in excess of 15 years. These files would need to be individually interrogated to extract any relevant information and then reviewed against the parameters of your request.

To identify the information held on funding allocated for wild salmon related research from 2005 as per your request would therefore take many weeks of work from someone with a specialist knowledge of the subject area. Even then, it would be difficult to ensure that we had been able to properly identify all of the relevant information, especially from older, legacy record systems.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.

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 information you have requested cannot be compiled from readily available resources and we consider that to compile the information requested would require skill and judgement. We therefore do not consider the information you have requested to be held for the purposes of the EIRs for the reasons set out above.

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 the amount of funding allocated to wild salmon research since 2005, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

You may however wish to consider whether a further, more focused request for information might be submitted on this issue. For example you may wish to identify specific recipients of funding or a narrower time frame. We would be happy to advise on this if you wish to pursue your request.

2. On the second part of your request, I attach a list of all published Fisheries Research Services (FRS) and Marine Scotland Science (MSS) staff publications from 2005-2020 which relates to your second query. MSS and its predecessor organisation, FRS publish research in a variety of places and formats should you wish to locate the full articles. Details of these publications may be found on the Scottish Government website at https://www.gov.scot/collections/marine-publications/.

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