FOI reference: FOI/17/02756
Date received: 10 November 2017
Date responded: 15 December 2017
Instances of Pasteurella skyensis or gill health pathology which has been recorded or identified by fish health inspectorate diagnostic investigations for the years 2007-2017.
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.
The answer to your question is;
Scottish Government's Fish Health Inspectorate has records relating to 3 cases involving Pasteurella skyensis and 165 cases involving gill pathology from 1 January 2007 to the date of your request.
The isolation of the pathogen, Pasteurella skyensis, with respect to the above information does not necessarily imply that in all cases fish are suffering from clinical disease.
Gill pathology cases involve both fresh and seawater fish farm sites and in a few instances freshwater put-and-take fisheries. Again, the detection of this pathology is not always indicative of disease. The gills are a delicate organ involved within the fish respiratory system. They are directly exposed to the wider marine and freshwater environments and gill pathology can result from the presence of poor water quality and wider environmental issues including algal and jellyfish blooms. Gill pathology can also result from poor handling and sampling technique. Whilst diseases such as Amoebic Gill Disease and Proliferative Gill disease as well as infection with bacteria, will also result in gill pathology, disease will not be the cause of all 165 cases identified within the time period of this request.
You have previously been provided information which outlines Scottish Government's Fish Health Inspectorate targeted risk based surveillance regime. In this regard, the above information does not represent a compete record for Scotland for P. skyensis or gill pathologies, only those identified under diagnostic investigation by the fish health inspectorate.
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