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Publication - FOI/EIR release

Salmon farming industry, fish infected by Pasturella skyensis: EIR release

Published: 2 Mar 2018
Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
Published:
2 Mar 2018
Salmon farming industry, fish infected by Pasturella skyensis: EIR release

FOI reference: FOI/18/00315
Date received: 2 February 2018
Date responded: 28 February 2018

Information requested

Information on Pasturella skyensis since 1 January 2015, specifically –

  • details of any scientific studies and research conducted by the Scottish Government

  • any emails and correspondence to the salmon farming industry

  • any correspondence with scientists, Government officials or any other persons

  • results of testing, monitoring and inspections relating to the FHI's inspection and sampling programme

Response

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.

Please find enclosed a copy of the information that you have requested. This is extracted information from our record of mortality events which have been reported to Marine Scotland. In each of these reports, Pasturella skyensis is referenced, along with other, multiple, causes of mortality. As a result, the significance of Pasturella skyensis as a mortality cause in any of those records is not clear. Further clarity may be available through case information, the publication of which is detailed below.

As explained in our email to you on 2 February 2018, the reasons why "Pasturella skyensis has not been reported in the 2017 disease data provided to you previously can be explained with reference to the following points –

  • The information provided to you through previous FoI requests was only complete up to the date that the request was received

  • Pasturella skyensis is not a listed disease under the present Aquatic Animal health regulations and therefore there are no obligations on fish farm operators to report the presence of the pathogen

  • Marine Scotland FHI do not hold a comprehensive record of fish farm mortalities, or the occurrence and presence of pathogens and diseases across Scotland

You will also find some additional information through Marine Scotland's Fish Health Inspectorate's active publication plan. This involves the publication of case information relating to aquatic animal health surveillance in Scotland. Information is published on a quarterly basis, three months in arrears:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Fish-Shellfish/FHI/CaseInformation

In addition, can I draw your attention a previous FoI request containing information relating to Pasturella skyensis and the response to a parimantary question upon the same subject. Both of these responses are publicly available at the following weblinks:

https://beta.gov.scot/publications/foi-17-02756/

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5W-12442&ResultsPerPage=10 – details of the inspection, including the results, referred to within the response given will be released through the Fish Health Inspectorate's active publication plan referenced above.

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