Offences under The Shellfish (Restrictions on Taking by Unlicensed Fishing Boats) (Scotland) Order 2017: EIR release

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

Information requested

  1. Has Marine Scotland taken any enforcement or other action in relation to offences under The Shellfish (Restrictions on Taking by Unlicensed Fishing Boats) (Scotland) Order 2017?
  2. If so please provide statistics, broken down either into Sheriff Court districts, or Fishery Office boundaries.

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.


Marine Scotland has taken full enforcement action on 4 breaches of the legislation above. These, in the first instance, were all addressed with Fixed Penalty Notices issued. 2 for £500 each, 1 for £1,000 and the fourth for £2,000. The ones for £500 and £1000 were paid in full. The fourth one was not paid by the accused and referred to the Procurator Fiscal. The accused pled guilty in Edinburgh Court and was fined £500. All of these breaches were detected at sea by Marine Protection Vessels.

In question 1 you ask about any “other action” in addition to the enforcement action I have detailed above. I have interpreted this to mean either a warning letter, advisory letter or verbal re-brief. I can confirm that 4 verbal re-briefs have been given, 2 from Ullapool, 1 from Fraserburgh and 1 from Anstruther Fishery Offices. 1 Advisory Letter has been issued from Anstruther Fishery Office.

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