FOI reference: FOI/18/00472
Date received: 13 February 2018
Date responded: 28 February 2018
Information on any escape incidents on the Isle of Skye during 2018, in particular, details of the alleged escape of 50,000 salmon from Grieg Seafood's farm at Loch Snizort.
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 can advise you that Marine Scotland's Fish Health Inspectorate has been notified of one escape incident with respect to the area of the Isle of Skye, as specified in your request, during 2018. This incident refers to the Loch Snizort East (FS1309) fish farm site operated by Greig Seafood Shetland Ltd.
In response to your request, please find attached the Initial Notification received from the company following the escape event. In addition to this I can provide some further information as follows:
The hole was discovered in the net of pen 2 and was approximately 2 metres high by 1 metre wide. It was thought to have been caused by the net snagging on shackles
The entire net was replaced on the 13 February 2018
A total of 21,712 fish are reported to have escaped
You can find details of escape incidents reported to Marine Scotland on Scotland's Aquaculture website: http://aquaculture.scotland.gov.uk
You will note that a small amount of information has been redacted from that supplied. An exception under Regulation 11(2) (personal data) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why the exception applies are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
An exception applies.
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. Personal information relating to a junior member of staff within Scottish Government has also been redacted in this case. This exception is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.
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