Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data for specific vessel sizes: EIR release

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

Information requested

“Can Marine Scotland advise whether Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data can be made available for UK registered vessels of length 12m to 14.99m? Noting that data for 15m and over vessels is available from the MMO.

Can Marine Scotland advise whether data from shellfish Form 1 entries indicating number of pots can be made available?

A discussion took place with Marine Scotland and the following was agreed:

  • VMS data for all 12m and over vessels combined
  • VMS data analysed and provided as grided data by c-square method (as adopted by ICES), i.e. not point data
  • Focus on value and weight of catch by gear type
  • Gear types defined in broad categories e.g., demersal otter trawl, beam trawl, pots & traps, pelagic trawl etc, so that some categories are combined (such as twin rig and single rig demersal otter trawl)
  • Data to include all UK vessels operating within Scottish EEZ (i.e. out to 200 nm or EEZ boundary) and further where data is available (i.e. in other EEZs)
  • In terms of Fish1 forms, please could you specify whether you are interested in the “total number of pots” at voyage level or “number of pots hauled” daily?
  • We are interested in the number of pots hauled daily that corresponds to the quantity logged as being landed that day.”


I include a copy of most of the information you requested.

With respect to the shellfish data, please be advised that the information on the number of pots or creels that are reported to be hauled is not validated or used for enforcement purposes. Additionally, we have only included shellfish landings that relate to creel activity as some vessels may also use other gears.

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 your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) – information not held, of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.

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 exception under regulation 11(2) – third party personal data, of the EIRs applies to that information. The reason why that exception applies is explained in the Annex to this letter.

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.

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 202200324475 - Information Released - Annex


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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