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2011

Marine Scotland received 74 applications for seal licences and 66 licences were granted. Table 1 below provides a full breakdown. (This information is correct as at 31 May 2012).

TABLE 1

           
 

Application Type

   

Licence Type

Seal Management Area

Protection of Health and Welfare

Prevention of Serious Damage

Total

Protection of Health and Welfare

Prevention of Serious Damage

Total

             

East Coast

0

11

11

0

10

10

Moray Firth

0

4

4

0

4

4

Orkney and North Coast

2

10

12

2

10

12

Shetland

8

0

8

8

0

8

South West Scotland

5

2

7

2

2

4

West Scotland

14

6

20

12

6

18

Western Isles

10

2

12

8

2

10

             

Grand Total

39

35

74

32*

34

66

* The 32 licences issued under health and welfare cover a total of 235 individual fish farms. 34 licences were initally issued - two additional licences were issued at a later date, two further licences issued during the year - but each of these was an amalgamation of three existing licences.

The maximum number of seals involved is 1025 grey and 314 common. Table 2 below provides details. This maximum represents less than 1% of the grey seal population of 108,000 and slightly over 1.5% of the minimum common seal population of 20,400. The numbers are significantly lower than previous estimates proposed by Non Government Organisations at between 2,000 and 5,000. (This information is correct as at 10 January 2013).

TABLE 2a

Grey Seals            

Seal management area

Grey seals applied for

PBR

Grey seals granted

Grey seals shot:  1st quarter

Grey seals shot: 2nd quarter

Grey seals shot: 3rd quarter

Grey seals shot: 4th quarter

East Coast

246

277

132

3

27 16 0

Moray Firth

85

152

75

2

7 4 3

Orkney & North Coast

461

959

349

26

62 44 35

Shetland

384

163

120

18

13 27 11

Western Isles

209

408

148

3

0 15 10

South West Scotland

115

45

31

2

2 0 0

West Scotland

206

297

170

8

6 9 13

Grand Total

1706

2301

1025

62

117 115 72

The 12 month total of 366 grey seals represents only 0.3% of the overall grey seal population of 108,000.

TABLE 2b

Common Seals            

Seal management area

Common seals applied for

PBR

Common seals granted

Common seals shot: 1st quarter

Common seals shot: 2nd quarter

Common seals shot: 3rd quarter

Common seals shot: 4th quarter

East Coast

92

3

0

0

0 0 0

Moray Firth

52

23

20

1

1* 2 2

Orkney & North Coast

53

18

10

0

2 2 0

Shetland

47

18

10

0

0 0 2

Western Isles

101

54

40

4**

0 4* 3

South West Scotland

153

35

31

4

3 1 4

West Scotland

296

442

203

11

11 21 15

Grand Total

794

593

314

20

17 30 26

* includes one unidentified seal counted as a common seal

** includes two unidentified seals counted as common seals

The 12 month total of 93 common seals represents only 0.4% of the minimum common seal population of 20,400.

For more information, a series of frequently asked questions and answers on the implementation of the new seal legislation has been produced.

Summary

  • The average level of shooting was 34% for the first year of operation.
  • 32% of all licensees have shot no seals at all during the first year of operation.
  • Licensees are following the principle that seals only be shot as a last resort.
  • 52% of shooting has occurred at fish farms.
  • A total of only 241 seals were shot across 235 individual fish farms and 218 across over 40 river fisheries and netting stations.
  • A full list of licences issued in 2011, by region and company, with the number of seals shot each quarter, by site, is available to download.