Section 97 - Exception to offences under section 94, 95 or 96
152.Section 97 sets out exceptions to certain offences. Section 97(1) provides that a person is not guilty of the offence if the act was an exercise of the functions of a public authority in accordance with section 82(2), authorised by a public authority (but see note on section 85 which deals with dissapplication of this defence), or in accordance with a permit or authorisation issued by the Scottish Ministers under section 92(1) or (3). Section 97(1)(d) provides additional exceptions relating to the national interest. Section 97(2) provides a defence if the person can show that the act was done for the purpose of sea-fishing (or was an act done in connection with such an act) and the damage could not have reasonably been avoided. However, Scottish Ministers may by order (which requires Parliamentary approval by affirmative resolution) vary or remove the defence in section 97(2).