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REF: 151 & 151 Review - Argyll Loch Shellfish farm owned by Black Isle Seafoods

Request:

Who covered the clean-up costs for the Argyll Loch shellfish farm owned by Black Isle Seafoods?

How is it possible that Black Isle Seafoods are connected to the operator transfer for the Shoremill site dated 9/11/2016 (Stan Dobrovolski) over to MacKenize Oysters?

Why are there so many dubious company records tied to this case? (Name changes, discrepancies of operators and owners, land-grabbing?)

How can this site placement be accounted for?

Why was the debris and waste not requested to be removed for previous attempts at shellfish farming?

Where does the Crown State stand on environmental ethics?

Response:

The Crown Estate met the costs of cleaning up derelict farming equipment belonging to Black Isle Seafood in Loch Creran and Etive in 2014 because Black Isle Seafood Ltd went into liquidation in August 2014.

The foreshore at the Shoremill site, according to our records, is indicated as non-Crown and therefore Crown Estate Scotland does not have a lease with the operator of this site. Their tenancy will be a matter of agreement with the owner of the foreshore, which that is information we do not have. Crown Estate Scotland does not have information relating to the operator transfer for this site (exception 10(4)(a) in EIRs – does not hold the information, is applied).

We do not lease this site given the foreshore is non-Crown, so we have no records relating to operators and owners (10(4)(a).

The location and extent of the site will be a matter for the planning authorities

The status of the site will be a matter of those who have authorised it

Request for Review:

Why hasn't Aquaculture Manager not personally responded, or why his connections to this process have not been considered in connection to the explanations you have given. 

“readdress the queries that I have specified more clearly* in a more thorough manner and follow up on environmental responsibilities.

• Why are there so many dubious company records tied to this case? Specifically the Black Isle Seafoods Ltd operator transfer to MacKenzie Oysters? Stan Dobrovolski being linked to the clear-up project in the Loch Argyll shellfish farms.

• How can the erroneous site placement suddenly be accounted for? Moved from Shoremill to Udale Bay/Farness?

• Why was the debris and waste not requested to be removed for previous attempts at shellfish farming?

• Where does the Crown State stand on environmental ethics?”

Response to Review:

Freedom of information law allows third parties to obtain information from an organisation and it is a formal process governed by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the EIRs. We take our duty to provide information seriously and we have an assigned officer to respond to all information requests. Our Information Coordinator answers all requests and this is the reason the response sent by us on 29 October 2020 did not come from the Aquaculture Manager. The website of the Scottish Information Commissioner (https://www.itspublicknowledge.info/home/ScottishInformationCommissioner.aspx) contains information on the law and your rights in relation to information requests which you might find helpful.

As we stated in our response, the site does not form part of the Scottish Crown Estate and is not under our management. We do not hold the information requested. The application of regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs was correctly made. Please note that the extract from the Scotland’s Aquaculture website included with your email of 4 November states that the information was supplied by Marine Scotland. Details of how to contact Marine Scotland can be found here: http://marine.gov.scot/content/contact-marine-scotland.

Crown Estate Scotland does not manage the area of foreshore at Shoremill or Udale Bay. We do not have information in relation to these sites. As we stated in our response, the location and extent of the site will be a matter for the relevant planning authorities. For information the relevant planning authorities for the site are The Highland Council (https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/161/planning_and_building_standards) and Marine Scotland (https://www.gov.scot/policies/marine-and-fisheries-licensing/).

As we have previously stated the site does not form part of the Scottish Crown Estate. The site is therefore not within our management and we have no jurisdiction to request any party remove debris or waste.

I accept that in our response of 29 October 2020 we did not respond to this question and apologise for the omission. We are of the view that this is not a request for information but a request for comment and so is outwith the scope of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the EIRs however we should have advised you of this in our response of 29 October 2020.