Publication - FOI/EIR release

Ness district and River Moriston SAC - Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE): EIR release

Published: 15 Dec 2021

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

Published:
15 Dec 2021
Ness district and River Moriston SAC - Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE): EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100254211
Date received: 2 Nov 2021
Date responded: 7 Dec 2021
Information requested

"Information on the rivers Ness and Moriston", clarified to "rod days and CPUE of the rivers Ness and Moriston and Oich" on the 11 November 2021.

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.

I attach a copy of some of the information you requested in the Annex.

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

ANNEX
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

The Scottish Government does not have the information.

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 Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because Marine Scotland does not hold CPUE directly but can provide information on the catches and effort for 2019 and 2020 which can be used to derive this. We hold data for the whole Ness system but do not have this information broken down for individual rivers within the Ness system.

The exception is the Moriston due to its status as a Special Area of Conservation for salmon. The collection of effort is new and we are still evaluating the data which we have received. It is clear that there can be differences over how different fisheries collect rod effort information and while these tend to even out when collated together we would recommend caution about comparing effort at small scales. The information provided below does not cover all the fisheries within the Ness as there are some areas which did not provide effort returns. To allow CPUE to be calculated we have provided the catches just for those fisheries which also provided effort information.
 

Area /Year

Catch (number of salmon)

Effort (rod days)

Ness District (inc. R. Moriston) 2019

579

3675

Ness District (inc. R. Moriston) 2020

728

4285

Moriston SAC 2019

47

126

Moriston SAC 2020

6

28

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 CPUE information for the rivers Ness, Moriston and Oich, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

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Contact

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Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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