Freshwater fisheries: privacy notice

This privacy notice explains what happens to the personal information provided to MSS Freshwater Licensing in the consenting/licensing process, from initial queries through to the issuing of licences and post-consent processes.

Marine Scotland Science, Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory is a division of Marine Scotland, a Directorate of the Scottish Government (SG). Our objective is to provide robust science, advice and management in support of aquaculture and freshwater fisheries.  

Marine Scotland Science (MSS) Freshwater Licensing Team has a statutory responsibility under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 (as amended) to determine licence applications to:

  • introduce fish, fry or ova to Scottish inland waters
  • fish by otherwise illegal methods and/or at otherwise illegal times

This privacy notice explains what happens to the personal information provided to MSS Freshwater Licensing in the consenting/licensing process, from initial queries through to the issuing of licences and post-consent processes.

We take the right to privacy seriously and this privacy notice reflects our commitment to the fair and transparent processing of personal information. This notice sets out why, where necessary, we need personal information, what we need and how we will use it.

Why do we collect personal information?

MSS Freshwater Licensing will, where necessary, use personal information in the consenting/licensing process. The legal bases on which Marine Scotland Science relies to collect, use, share, and otherwise process the information are:

  • in the pursuit of our public task
  • where necessary to comply with our legal obligations

Licences are issued to individuals. You are obliged to provide us with your name (and an address) so that we can enter those details in your licence. Without your personal details we cannot process your licence application.

MSS Freshwater Licensing processes all information in line with our obligations under data protection laws. These laws are the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and any other data protection legislation enacted by the UK Government.

Who is processing the personal information?

A controller is the entity (organisation) that determines the purposes, conditions and means of the processing of personal information. The Scottish Government is a registered data controller in terms of The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. For the consenting/licensing process, MSS Freshwater Licensing processes this information on behalf of the Scottish Ministers.

How is personal information collected?

We collect information in a variety of ways including paper (and emailed) forms, email, letters and by telephone.

What personal information is collected?

MSS Freshwater Licensing will, where necessary, process personal information including: names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers.

What happens to personal information (including how it will be stored and for how long)?

During the consenting/licensing process, from initial queries through to the issuing of consents/licences, personal information may be provided to MSS Freshwater Licensing. This personal information will, where necessary, be processed in a number of ways:

  • stored securely in the licensing system and the Scottish Government’s official corporate record. Personal information will not be transferred to, stored at, or processed in a destination outside the European Economic Area (EEA). We will store your information in locations that have been tested for electronic and physical security and access will be permitted only to those with a need to know. Personal data relating to fish introductions is destroyed after a period of 5 years. Some personal data relating to licensing of otherwise illegal methods of fishing is retained as archive information of applicants’ qualifications experience and previous licences held, and destroyed after 10 years.   

  • shared with the applicant and/or agent acting on behalf of the applicant and other relevant teams within the Scottish Government.

  • under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to release fish outside their native range and to keep certain species of invasive non-native fish species. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the licensing authority in this respect. If an application for consent to stock fish could also result in one or both of the above offences, Marine Scotland may forward that application, including personal details, to SNH Licensing Team for its consideration as licensing authority in this respect.

  • we may also share non-personal data about your application with any people or organisations we consult in relation to the application including regulatory bodies such as SNH, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and other stakeholders such as Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) members or relevant riparian owners.

  • non-personal information about your fish introduction licence application may be published on our website including:  details of the fish to be introduced; type of waterbody and name of river catchment; whether the location has a nature conservation designation; whether your application was consented or refused; the date of issue and period the licence is valid for.

Queries about how personal information is handled

If you have any queries or concerns about how your personal information will be handled, contact us at:

Freshwater Licensing Team
Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory
PH16 5LB

Data subject rights

The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 give you the legal right to access the personal data we process about you, the right to object to processing that is or is likely to cause substantial damage or distress to you or another, the right to request to rectify, erase, block or destroy inaccurate information and the right to be confident that we will handle your personal information responsibly and in line with good practice.

To exercise these rights, you can write to:

The Scottish Government Data Protection Officer
Data Protection and Information Assets Team
V Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD


If you feel we have been unable, or unwilling, to resolve your information rights concern, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the supervisory authority responsible for data protection in the UK. 

For further information, including independent data protection advice and information in relation to your rights, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

Information Governance Department
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Tel: 0303 123 1113


You can also report a concern here.

Revisions to this privacy notice

MSS Freshwater Licensing may revise this privacy notice from time-to-time. 

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