Publication - FOI/EIR release

Use of Acoustic Deterrent Devices without a licence: EIR release

Published: 13 Aug 2021

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

Published:
13 Aug 2021
Use of Acoustic Deterrent Devices without a licence: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100213953
Date received: 16 Jun 2021
Date responded: 12 Aug 2021
Information requested

Has Marine Scotland approved the use of these or any other acoustic deterrent devices as definitely not capable of disturbing porpoises?

Please assist me by identifying and supplying electronic copies of all correspondence with OTAQ and other manufacturers and suppliers of ADDs about the current use of ADDs by Scottish fish farms, particularly regarding their ability to disturb or injure cetaceans.

Please also assist me by identifying and supplying electronic copies of all correspondence with and guidance issued to fish farming companies and aquaculture trade bodies, including the SSPO, about the suitability of different types of ADD for current use on Scottish fish farms, with regard to the disturbance or injury of cetaceans by those devices, in the absence of an EPS licence.

If Marine Scotland does allow the use of any type of ADD on Scottish fish farms without an EPS licence, please supply a list of the approved devices, their sound characteristics and the scientific basis for allowing their use in locations where there is a reasonable expectation that cetaceans might be present.

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. The answer to your question is no.

2. I am providing copies of some of the information you have requested. Due to the size of the documents (56 PDF items in total relevant to points 2 & 3 of your request) I will separately email you an invitation to a shared Workspace in an online storage facility called “Objective Connect.” This online storage facility is now the Scottish Government’s preferred way to share large and/or numerous files. To access the documents via Objective Connect you will need to click on the link provided in my accompanying email. In order to access the shared Workspace files you will need to enter your email address and a password of your choice. You will then be able to enter the Workspace and click on the zipped folder to download all the documents released.

3. I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested in the format you asked for. Due to the size of the documents (56 PDF items in total relevant to points 2 & 3 of your request) these will be provided via a shared Workspace in an online storage facility called “Objective Connect.” Details of how to access this are provided in our point 2 above.

Some of the information you have requested is available from the following link: https://data.marine.gov.scot/dataset/review-non-lethal-seal-control-options-limit-seal-predationsalmonids-rivers-and-finfish-0

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.

4. The answer to your question is that there are none approved.

Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above. If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.

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Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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Edinburgh
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