Vessels breaching Razor Trial Terms and Conditions: EIR release

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

Information requested

4 vessels breached the Terms and Conditions of the Razor Trial between 23 August 2023 and 15 December, please state each of the individual breaches that occurred?


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.

Response to your request

Four vessels breached the Terms and Conditions of the Razor Trial between 23 August and 15 December 2023. The Terms and Conditions that govern the trial which were breached included:

3.2 A vessel authorised to participate in the trial requires a remote electronic monitoring (REM) system, which also includes an electrical output sensor device, on board at all times. The parameters of this equipment will be specified by Marine Directorate. This equipment should remain switched on at all times, including any fishing trip where the vessel is fishing for species other than razor clams.

3.8 It is the duty of the master to ensure that the gear, REM system and electrical output sensor device are fully functional at all times. Any attempts to interfere with, damage or disrupt any of the gear and monitoring equipment may result in removal from the trial.

3.10 In the event of gear and/or REM system and/or electrical output sensor device failure the master must return the vessel to port immediately and adhere to the hailing in conditions. Once Marine Directorate is satisfied that the gear/monitoring equipment is fully functioning, authority shall be granted to return to sea.

4.3 The master of the vessel must activate the electrofishing derogation at the beginning of every fishing trip carried out under the trial by notifying Marine Directorate either by telephone (0300 244 9790) or by email ( or SMS text message (07984 357682) before departing, stating name of master, vessel name, PLN, port of departure and time of departure.

4.4 At least 2 hours before returning to port the master must notify Marine Directorate (contact details in 4.3) of the vessel’s PLN, intended arrival time, port of landing, and the quantity or razor clams to be landed.

5.1 The derogation is only valid within waters classified for razor clam harvesting by Food Standards Scotland (FSS) which are also located within the trial areas authorised by Marine Directorate. No commercial fishing operations and/or electrical generator activity is authorised in waters that are not classified by FSS. However, a vessel collecting a sample of razor clams solely for the purpose of achieving FSS classification (within the trial areas authorised by Marine Directorate) may deploy its electrofishing gear in specified locations if: it has the necessary approval to collect a sample from said location from FSS/local authority; it has a derogation to participate in the trial; and, it has a fully functional remote electronic monitoring (REM) system, including electrical output sensor device, on board. See para 5.9 below.

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