FOI reference: FOI/17/02089
Date received: 18 September 2017
Date responded: 17 October 2017
Summary information on the numbers, weight and causes of salmon mortalities at all fish farms in Scotland in 2016 and 2017.
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 the information that is held in relation to your request. This is summary information held by Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and largely relates to information provided to the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) by industry stakeholders through the voluntary reporting of mortalities from salmon farm sites in Scotland as detailed within the Industry Code of Good Practice: http://thecodeofgoodpractice.co.uk/
Please note the following points which provide some context to the information provided:
This information includes the total mortality during the event, or where this is not available a percentage mortality is provided.
For any given event the period in which the mortalities occurred will be variable but all events fall between 01/01/16 and 19/09/17 (excluding one event which relates to 2015 and 2016, this is highlighted in the data provided).
Where known (or believed) the reason(s) behind the cause of mortality is specified. It should be noted that mortality events may be caused by multiple factors even though in many cases only one cause is specified.
Where mortalities relate to treatments, husbandry practices such as the crowding, transfer and handling of fish, undertaken as part of the treatment process, may be the main or a contributing factor to the mortality being experienced.
You should also be aware that the FHI do not hold a comprehensive record of mortalities across Scottish fish farms. The FHI hold reports of mortality provided through the voluntary reporting regime and this information is provided to you for the time period specified. The FHI also hold some additional information relating to mortalities obtained through surveillance inspections. This information is made publicly available through an active publication plan: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Fish-Shellfish/FHI/CaseInformation
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House