Razor Clam scientific trial vessel breaches: EIR release

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

Information requested

During and since the Start of The Razor Clam scientific Trial from 1st February 2023 to 31st March 2023 how many Vessels has breached the terms and Conditions of the Trial?


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.

The answer to your question as follows;

During and since the Start of The Razor Clam scientific Trial from 1st February 2023 to 31st March 2023 how many Vessels has breached the terms and Conditions of the Trial?

From the 1 February 2023 to the 31 March 2023 there were no breaches to the terms and conditions of the trial by vessels authorised to partake in the electrofishing for razor clams scientific trial.

Under regulation 9 of the EIRs (duty to provide advice and assistance), I am advising you that future information requests will be considered in its own merit but could be treated as vexatious under regulation 10(4)(b) manifestly unreasonable. The Scottish Government will consider if complying would require a disproportionate amount of time and the diversion of an unreasonable proportion of our resources away from other statutory and regulatory functions.

The following factors are relevant to determining whether a request is manifestly unreasonable:

1. It would impose a significant burden on the public authority.
2. It does not have a serious purpose or value.
3. It is designed to cause disruption or annoyance to the public authority.
4. It has the effect of harassing the public authority.
5. It would otherwise, in the opinion of a reasonable person, be considered to be manifestly unreasonable or disproportionate.

The request may also be manifestly unreasonable if:
(i) there is no additional information that can be provided because all relevant information has already been disclosed.

The decision to reject a request on manifestly unreasonable grounds is one the Scottish Government does not take lightly and very rarely exercises. We recognise and encourage disclosing information as part of an open, transparent and accountable government, an to inform public debate. However, should you request further information on the topic of razor clams, the Scottish Government will consider enforcing regulation 10(4)(b) and may not provide response to future requests.

About FOI

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
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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