Loch Linnhe sea lice life stage information: EIR release

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

Information requested

“The Scottish Government website: - https://data.marine.gov.scot/dataset/loch-linnhe-biological-sampling-data-products-2011-2013-0 provides a spreadsheet of sentinel cage data for 2011 to 2013. The spreadsheet lists the location on the fish where sea lice were present and the number but does not list the life stages of the lice present eg, nauplii, copepodid, pre-adult, adult.

Please can you supply the data for life stages for this project.”


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 enclose a copy of all of the information you requested. This has been provided to you in three Excel spreadsheets respectively titled: 2011 count, 2012 count and 2013 count.

However, it should be noted that when the information was collected sea lice chalimus stages are categorized as Chalimus 1, Chalimus 2, Chalimus 3 and Chalimus 4. Under more recent reassessment (Hamre et al. 2013 The Salmon Louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Copepoda: Caligidae) Life Cycle Has Only Two Chalimus Stages | PLOS ONE) Chalimus 1 and Chalimus 2 are merged as are Chalimus 3 and Chalimus 4. We have provided the original data here.

It should also be noted that some references in this data to zero sea lice counts apply to situations where no fish were recovered. Data on counted fish associated with each recovery is held in the existing published data Loch Linnhe Biological Sampling Data Products 2011 - 2013 | Marine Scotland Data Publications

A discrepancy has been identified in the data for the last Autumn 2013 data for Cage 3B. For this cage the existing published data by location on fish totals 32 lice, in the data released here only 29 lice have an identified life stage. We have therefore been unable to identify the life stage of three sea lice from Cage 3B in the late sampling data of Autumn 2013.

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.

FOI 202300368973 - Information Released - Annex A - 2011 Count
FOI 202300368973 - Information Released - Annex B - 2012 Count
FOI 202300368973 - Information Released - Annex C - 2013 Count


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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