- 20 May 2021
Date received: 24 Mar 2021
Date responded: 21 Apr 2021
A copy of NatureScot’s advice to Marine Scotland on the national status of Priority Marine Features (PMFs) in relation to the proposed management options within the ‘Improving protection given to Priority Marine Features outside the Marine Protected Area network’ project.
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 attach a copy of some of the information you requested. This is the NatureScot advice relating to maerl which was updated following the 2018 consultation and shared for the 2019 stakeholder workshop.
Most of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government Consultation Hub where it was published as part of the scoping consultation in 2018. This can be accessed here: https://consult.gov.scot/marine-scotland/priority-marine-features/.
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(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
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