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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Marine Scotland data on Endrick Water SAC: EIR release

Published: 25 Oct 2017

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02151
Date received: 24 September 2017
Date responded: 23 October 2017

Information requested

  1. Please confirm that wetted area used in calculations for season 2018 was the same as that agreed between meeting of Marine Scotland and LLAIA and LLFT Scientist on the 21st September 2016 as previous suggestions for wetted area included water above impassable falls, the R Blane was excluded as no salmon spawn there, plus River below Pots of Gartness is not suitable for spawning fish.

  2. Please provide information of what data Marine Scotland used in their calculations was specific to the Endrick SAC, i.e. engaged with other organisations to accurately measure wetted area, egg carrying capacity of female fish, and availability of suitable spawning river bed.

  3. Please provide me with full details of correspondence for All scientific research authorised and carried out by Marine Scotland or its approved partners, agents or subcontractors since the 1st January 2017 to improve and enhance the habitat and numbers of Atlantic Salmon in the Endrick Water SAC.

  4. Please provide me with full details of monies spent for All scientific research authorised and carried out by Marine Scotland or its approved partners, agents or subcontractors since the 1st January 2017 to improve and enhance the habitat and numbers of Atlantic Salmon in the Endrick Water SAC.

Response

I refer to your request dated 24 September 2017 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) and the Inspire (Scotland) Regulations 2009 for information relating to categorisation of The River Leven (Dunbartonshire), Loch Lomond and Endrick Water SAC as category 3 for 2018.

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 whether 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.

We do not consider that the Inspire (Scotland) Regulations apply in the case of your request.

1. I can confirm that the wetted area used in calculations for season 2018 was as agreed in the meeting of 21 September 2016, and takes account of the discussions regarding the River Blane etc.

2. The answer to your question is set out in the documents published for public consultation on Friday 15 September 2017. You may wish to refer to the links below which set out the types of data used in the modelling process and those which are not, including "rod days spent fishing" (ie angling effort), and a full explanation of the calculations which are used to determine conservation status for each assessment group.

3 & 4. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4) of the EIRs.

Reasons for not providing information

Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because no specific research has been commissioned or undertaken in relation to the Endrick SAC since 1 January 2017. 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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about research on the Endrick SAC since 1 January 2017, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

About FOI

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

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
25 Oct 2017
Marine Scotland data on Endrick Water SAC: EIR release