Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence with the Ferret regarding salmon farms: FOI release

Published: 2 Jun 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
2 Jun 2021
Correspondence with the Ferret regarding salmon farms: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100197576
Date received: 26 Apr 2021
Date responded: 14 May 2021
Information requested

1. Please include any emails and correspondence with the Ferret in relation to seals killed by salmon farms in Scotland since 1 February 2021.

2. Please also provide any information discussing the FOI request and reply via FOI- 2021-00155371.

3. Please also provide any information discussing any reaction to this morning's Ferret article and Scottish Salmon Watch press release.

Response

1. Attached is some of the information requested. 

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) (personal information of a third party) of FOISA applies to that information. The reason why that exemption applies is explained in the Annex.

Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government website at the following link: Seals killed by salmon farmers since 1 January 2020: EIR release - gov.scot (www.gov.scot). This is because the four attachments to item 1 were released under a previous environmental information request which we responded to on 1 Feb 2021 and was processed under case reference number 202000118346.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

2. From initial searches done to locate the information requested under the point above, we have identified multiple emails that are potentially in scope of your request. Calculations have been made to estimate the staff time and cost to review these, retrieve them from our electronic records and provide them to you electronically (which includes conversion of documents to PDF to remove any metadata and any redaction necessary to comply with the Regulations).

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.

The original environmental information request you refer to (202100155371) was complex and voluminous as it consisted of six separate wide reaching requests. As a result of this we applied a 20 day extension under regulation 7 of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EISRs), as the complexity and volume of the information to be considered made it impracticable for us to respond within the original deadline.

A large number of documents were reviewed and multiple colleagues from different areas of Scottish Government (SG) were consulted for advice and to ensure that all information held by the SG within scope of the request was located for consideration for release.

Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600.

You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. The reason why we don't have the information is explained in the Annex.

ANNEX
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

The Scottish Government does not have the information

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because we don’t hold any information discussing any reaction to the 26 April 2021 Ferret article and Scottish Salmon Watch press release you refer to in your request.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

An exemption applies
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names/contact details of individuals, 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 exemption 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 exemption.

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