Finfish aquaculture regulatory position

SEPA is committed to supporting everyone it regulates during the COVID-19 public health emergency, while maintaining protection of Scotland’s environment. This regulatory position applies to marine and freshwater finfish aquaculture sites. It applies only in Scotland.

SEPA expects people to have business continuity arrangements in place to ensure compliance with their SEPA permit or other environmental regulatory requirements during EU Exit and COVID-19. As SEPA responds to the impacts of the cyber-attack we will provide updates on our service status and support businesses. We are clear we expect everyone we regulate to continue to comply with Scotland’s environmental laws.

Where compliance with a SEPA Permit or other regulatory requirement is not possible for an individual site(s), a type of activity or for a sector, we may temporarily take a regulatory position that any failure to comply with those requirements will not be treated as a non-compliance for compliance assessment or enforcement purposes. This will be where that non-compliance is unavoidable and solely as a direct result of the impact of EU Exit or COVID-19 and will not lead to significant environmental harm.

We are only likely to consider taking a temporary regulatory position if the person contacts us at an early stage to advise us of a non-compliance or potential non-compliance, and we are satisfied that:

  • they have taken all reasonable steps to try and maintain compliance;
  • they will adequately manage any risks of harm to the environment or human health arising from the non- compliance.

If we take a temporary regulatory position we expect the person to:

  1. Tell us as soon as possible when they have, or will, become non-compliant;
  2. Comply with conditions attached to a temporary regulatory position
  3. Continue to meet all other Permit conditions or other environmental regulatory requirements not covered by a temporary regulatory position
  4. Return to compliance as quickly as possible. Any temporary regulatory position we take is likely to be time limited (normally to three months) but if the person can return to compliance quicker we will expect them to do so;
  5. Prevent and mitigate harm to the environment or human health;
  6. Follow the waste hierarchy in making waste management decisions and when waste is sent for re-use, recycling or disposal send it to a suitably authorised site.

SEPA expects people to have business continuity arrangements in place to ensure compliance with their SEPA permit or other environmental regulatory requirements during EU Exit and COVID-19.  We are clear we expect everyone we regulate to continue to comply with Scotland’s environmental laws. 

Where compliance with a SEPA Permit or other regulatory requirement is not possible for an individual site(s), a type of activity or for a sector, we may temporarily take a regulatory position that any failure to comply with those requirements will not be treated as a non-compliance for compliance assessment or enforcement purposes. This will be where that non-compliance is unavoidable and solely as a direct result of the impact of EU Exit or COVID-19 and will not lead to significant environmental harm.

Finfish aquaculture sector temporary regulatory position statement

This regulatory position applies to marine and freshwater finfish aquaculture sites. It applies only in Scotland. We expect all operators in the finfish aquaculture sector to manage their farms and hatcheries during the period of the COVID-19 public health emergency to minimise the risk of harm to the environment as far as possible.

The regulatory position describes how and in what circumstances operators may temporarily operate under the conditions of the position.

A new appendix has been added to this position statement to provide guidance to operators on how the simple environmental risk assessments it refers to might be undertaken.

The terms of this regulatory position may be subject to periodical review and may be varied or withdrawn by SEPA, for example in light of changes in circumstances during the outbreak; technological, regulatory or legislative changes; future government guidance; or experience of its use. We will provide notice in advance to the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) and the British Trout Association of its intention to vary or withdraw this position. We reserve discretion to depart from this regulatory position and to take appropriate action to avoid any risk of pollution or harm to human health or the environment.

 

 

Finfish aquaculture regulatory positions

Contact information

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