Marine publications: privacy notice, Scottish salmon and sea trout data

Scottish salmon and sea trout data privacy notice.

Salmon and sea trout catch statistics

The Marine Directorate (MD) of the Scottish Government monitor the Scottish salmon and sea trout catch via an annual questionnaire sent to all salmon and sea trout fisheries known to us. The Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003, requires fisheries to provide Ministers with data on fishing catch and effort. Collated catch and effort data are published annually as Official Statistics.

Why we collect personal information

The Marine Directorate holds and processes personal information relating to salmon and sea trout fisheries because this is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

Collection and use of personal information

We collect certain information about you when you report your catch or otherwise contact us. This includes:

  • your contact details – name, address, phone numbers, email address

It may also include:

  • salmon and sea trout fishery information (e.g. ownership/occupancy (as we understand it), location and extent)
  • salmon and sea trout catch numbers and weights
  • fishing method and fishing effort data

This information helps us to:

  • send you the catch return form and associated correspondence
  • contact you regarding any issues relating to your fishery information
  • collate your catch return into the Official Statistics
  • review the data and quality assure the Official Statistics
  • undertake scientific research on salmon and sea trout fisheries and stocks
  • provide advice to the Scottish Ministers pertaining to salmon and sea trout fisheries and stocks
  • respond to any enquiries that you send us.

The collected information comprises a long-term dataset on salmon and sea trout fisheries and will be retained indefinitely.

We also hold the names and email addresses of those who have requested to be alerted when we publish the catch statistics. Please refer to the Scottish Government privacy notice regarding our use of that information. To unsubscribe from our email alerts contact us at

Disclosing/sharing your information

Though we make every effort to preserve user privacy, we may need to disclose personal information: 

  • where we have a legal obligation to do so
  • in order for us (or a third party) to perform a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority 

In 2021, the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner decided that there is a legitimate interest in the public being able to obtain salmon fishery data and examine Scottish Government fishery management processes. In response to this Decision, monthly catch and effort data for each Salmon Fishery District will be published annually as Official Statistics. Each year, the publication provides an updated time series of data from 1952 to the most recent season. Since 2016, fishery data have been used to assess stocks and provide management advice to Ministers for 173 Assessment Areas and we will also publish the Assessment Area data which are used to inform Ministers’ decisions.

Publishing catch and effort data allows: 

  • transparency and public scrutiny of Ministerial decisions regarding conservation measures at the relevant geographic scale
  • research regarding the current and historic status and composition of stocks 

With a Data Sharing Agreement in place, we may also share your data to allow:

  • your local District Salmon Fishery Board to fulfil a public task. This is because Boards have legal power to process fishery data under the Conservation of Salmon (Collection of Statistics) (Scotland) Regulations 2006
  • Scottish Assessors to fulfil a public task. This is because Assessors have the statutory function of compiling and maintaining a Valuation Roll, which includes property such as salmon fishing rights

Outside contractors may be involved in the maintenance and development of the salmon and sea trout catch database and are authorised to process personal data in that capacity. These contractors do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.

Processing the personal information

For the salmon and sea trout catch database, the Scottish Government is the Data Controller. Where data are provided to a District Salmon Fishery Board or a Scottish Assessor under a Data Sharing Agreement (section 3), the Board or Assessor are the Data Controller for the data they hold.

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:

Scottish Government’s Marine Directorate,
Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory Field Station,
Inchbraoch House,
South Quay,
DD10 9UA


Your rights 

You have a right of access to any personal data the Scottish Government holds about you, by making a Subject Access Request (SAR) on our online form.

In addition, if you believe that the data we hold is inaccurate or incomplete you can ask us to update our records. If you are unhappy with the way in which we process your personal data you can request that we stop or restrict the processing we complete using your personal data or ask us to delete the personal data we hold about you.

Find out more about your rights on the Information Commissioner's website.

In some circumstances we may not be able to comply with your request. This is because some of these rights are conditional and can only be applied in certain circumstances and/or where there is no compelling reason to continue to process your personal data.


Data Protection Officer
Victoria Quay
Commercial Street



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 are 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: 08456 306060

You can also report a concern.  

Revisions to this privacy notice

MD may revise this privacy notice from time-to-time. Revisions will be posted at Marine publications: collecting salmon and sea trout fishery data

Content disclaimer

We seek to ensure that information held in the salmon and sea trout catch database are up-to-date and accurate. We do not require formal proof of ownership or occupancy of salmon fishing rights and the information we hold should not be taken as such. Reported fishery data are verified against a series of checks including missing information, catches reported outside the legal fishing season and mean weights outside predefined limits. Where necessary, the data are referred back to the person completing the questionnaire for clarification. However, the information held in the database are as reported to us and may be incomplete in respect of fishing method, fishery location or the identity of proprietors and occupiers. The published fishery data are ultimately summations of the data as reported.  

Version: 8

Date: September 2023

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