Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO) and MSC surveillance audit: EIR release

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

Information requested

The annual MSC surveillance audit for the SSMO inshore brown crab and scallop fishery. As part of this we usually check with control authorities:

  • What the control activities related to the fishery have been over the last 12 months (e.g. number of inspections at sea/in port)
  • The level of compliance in the fishery
  • If there have been any specific infringements and how they were dealt with.

We have not had any concerns raised by stakeholders regarding control and enforcement.

I wrote to you on 21 June 2023 and requested some clarification from you in order to allow us to identify and locate the information that you asked for.

Further clarification was also sought for a full up to date members list for SSMO and this was provided to me by yourself on 21/07/2023.


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 sought clarification from you on 24 July 2023 and you confirmed that your request was only for information on SSMO members.

Response to your request

Thank you for your request relating to the annual MSC surveillance audit for the SSMO inshore brown crab and scallop fishery. Marine Scotland has boarded 39 SSMO members at sea, and performed 534 market inspections on SSMO vessels in the period 13/07/2022 - 13/07/2023.

In relation to your second point asking "the level of compliance in the fishery", this would be subjective and therefore exemption Reg 10(4)(a) would apply as the Information is not held at time of request.

In relation to your third point I will send you a spreadsheet detailing infringements by SSMO members and how they have been dealt with by the Marine Directorate.

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 202300367414 - Information Released - Spreadsheet


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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