US Marine Mammal Protection Act comparability finding request: EIR release

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

Information requested

The submission sent by the UK authorities to the US authorities, as regards marine finfish aquaculture in Scotland including references to acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) and acoustic startle devices.

All documents submitted to the US authorities in support of the MMPA comparability finding regarding Scottish finfish farming.


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. 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 part of your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reason why that exception applies is explained in the Annex to this letter. Instead, I enclose a copy of some of the information you have requested which we have compiled and was used to complete the online portal.

Please find the following documents attached to this response:

  • A pdf version of table including data that was submitted to the US authority online portal.
  • A pdf document requested by the US authorities as part of the information submitted on seal licensing data that details the reasons why some of the finfish aquaculture entries into the portal were listed as having “no documented interactions” with marine mammal species.
  • A document summarising the outputs of a workshop held in August 2021 to explore non-lethal measures to address seal interactions at aquaculture facilities.

In this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exception under regulation 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.

2. Some of the information you have requested is available from which can be found at the following website links:

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.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100261320 - Information Released - Annex A
EIR 202100261320 - Information Released - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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