Marine Scotland Science fund local fisheries trusts to conduct sea lice sampling of sea trout. The results to 2019 have been published on a spreadsheet available on the Scottish Government website.
Results after 2019 are published by Fisheries Management Scotland on their website but as a PDF. Requests to FMS for a copy on a spreadsheet has been ignored. Please can Marine Scotland Science supply the sea lice sampling data for 2021 and 2022 on a spreadsheet.
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 some of the information you requested in the format you asked for.
Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. However, under our regulation 9 of the EIRs duty to provide advice and assistance we are supplying the sea lice sampling data (for 2021 and 2022) from monitoring work funded by Marine Scotland. This information has been provided on two separate spreadsheets in Comma Separated Values (CSV) format.
An exception under regulation 10(5)(f) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to interests of person who provided the information) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the interests of Fisheries Management Scotland members who provided that information to the Scottish Government. They:
- were not under any legal obligation to give us that information;
- did not supply it in circumstances in which it could, apart from the EIRs, be made available; and
- have not consented to disclosure.
This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the interests of anyone, such as Fisheries Management Scotland members who provide the Scottish Government with information on a confidential basis. Disclosing such information against the express wishes of stakeholders is likely to undermine their trust in the Government and make them reluctant in future to share information with us. This would significantly impair the Scottish Government’s ability to develop policies and make decisions on the basis of fully informed advice and evidence. This would not be in the public interest.
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.
- File type
- CSV file
- File size
- 62.6 kB
- File type
- CSV file
- File size
- 78.7 kB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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