FOI reference: FOI/17/02152
Date received: 24 September 2017
Date responded: 23 October 2017
Please provide details of the specific river by river data held by Marine Scotland or its approved partners, agents or subcontractors in particular for the Endrick SAC to determine more accurately than previous years, the wetted area, returning numbers of adult Salmon, types of Salmon, Grilse, Spring, Summer, availability of appropriate spawning bed, fishing rod days etc appropriate river spates to allow fish to ascend the river Endrick SAC.
Please provide details of the business impact assessment carried out by Marine Scotland or its approved partners, agents or subcontractors since 1st January 2017 for those angling associations, tackle shops, tourism facilities in the Loch Lomond area that would be affected by the proposed Category 3 for season 2018 for the River Leven (Dunbartonshire), Loch Lomond and Endrick Water SAC.
Please provide details on what calculations or enhanced river by river methodology calculations for the proposed category for season 2018 used by Marine Scotland took into account the influence of the enhanced conservation methods applied by the LLAIA across the River Leven (Dunbartonshire), Loch Lomond and Endrick Water SAC. By adopting more conservation regulations by not allowing retaining of Salmon before the 1st of May or after the 30th September, that number of fish that could be taken in season 2017 onwards was reduced from previous five fish to three fish Max.
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. Part of 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.
Conservation of salmon - assessment 2018 season (PDF, 305KB)
Summary of conservation regulation methods (PDF, 218 KB)
Assessing conservation status of salmon (PDF, 350KB)
Clyde coast region salmon (PDF, 3.08MB)
In addition, catch information for the Clyde District, which includes the Endrick Water SAC, is set out in the spreadsheets accompanying this letter, for seasons 2012 to 2016 inclusive (Appendix B to Appendix F).
2 & 3. 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.
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