1. How many salmon farms applied for a licence for the use of Acoustic Deterrent Devices since November 2020?
2. How many salmon farms have been granted a licence for the use of these devices since November 2020?
3. How many salmon farms currently use Acoustic Deterrent Devices? Of these, how many have been granted licences?
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.
Marine Scotland (MS) wish to clarify that we do not licence the use of Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs), we do however licence the disturbance/injury of European Protected Species (EPS), which could result from ADD use. For the purpose of our response MS has made the presumption that you are interested in EPS licensing for ADD use.
Therefore, our responses below are provided in relation to any applications MS has received for a licence “to disturb or injure marine EPS” for one of four purposes listed on the application form.
1. Since November 2020 the Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT) has received preliminary applications for a licence to disturb or injure EPS from three different salmon farm operators for use of ADDs on eleven different salmon farms in Scotland. Whilst your request referenced salmon farms specifically, you may be interested to know that MS-LOT also received preliminary applications for a licence to disturb or injure EPS from a single trout farm operator for use of ADDs on three different trout farms in Scotland. All applications received were incomplete and subsequently withdrawn by the four finfish farm operators. Since the aforementioned preliminary applications were withdrawn, MS-LOT has not received any further applications for EPS licences from any finfish farm operators.
2. No salmon farms have been granted a licence to disturb or injure marine EPS since November 2020.
3. MS has just finished collating the results from a recent Marine Scotland Compliance (MSC) survey and the survey results confirm use of ADDs by eleven salmon farms. Subsequent communications between MSC and salmon farm operators has resulted in further confirmations of ADD use. These are being analysed. MSC are currently developing a Compliance Strategy and inspection regime to verify these results. Of those salmon farms currently using ADDs, none have been granted EPS licences.
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
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