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2012

Marine Scotland received 63 applications for seal licences and 61 licences were granted. Table 1 below provides a full breakdown. (This information is correct as at 10 March 2013).

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

9

9

0

9

9

Moray Firth

0

5

5

0

5

5

Orkney and North Coast

2

7

9

2

7

9

Shetland

7

0

7

6

0

6

South West Scotland

2

2

4

2

2

4

West Scotland

11

6

17

11

6

17

Western Isles

10

2

12

9

2

11

             

Grand Total

32

31

63

30

31

61

The 30 licences issued for protection of health & welfare and 1 issued for prevention of serious damage, cover a total of 230 individual fish farms

The maximum number of seals involved is 878 grey and 289 common. Table 2 below provides details. This maximum represents less than 1% of the grey seal population of 100,000 and slightly over 1% of the minimum common seal population of 20,500. 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 March 2013).

TABLE 2a

Grey Seals            

Seal management area

Grey seals applied for

PBR*

Grey seals granted

Grey seals shot:
first quarter
Grey seals shot:
second quarter
Grey seals shot:
third quarter
Grey seals shot:
fourth quarter

East Coast

849

277

114

6 12 21 3

Moray Firth

836

152

100

7 24 11 1

Orkney & North Coast

475

959

280

28 62 35 15

Shetland

341

163

109

17 9 8 39

Western Isles

238

408

123

13 7 4 7

South West Scotland

63

45

26

3 0 0 0

West Scotland

206

297

126

12 1 8 6

Grand Total

3008

2301

878

86 115 87 71

The maximum number of grey seals allowed on licences granted in 2012 represents a 14% reduction on numbers involved in the previous year's licences.

The twelve month total of 359 grey seals represents only 0.3% of the overall grey seal population of 100,000.

TABLE 2b

Common Seals            

Seal management area

Common seals applied for

PBR*

Common seals granted

Common seals shot:
first quarter
Common seals shot:
second quarter
Common seals shot:
third quarter
Common seals shot:
fourth quarter

East Coast

106

2

0

0 0 0 0

Moray Firth

82

20

19

6 0 1 3

Orkney & North Coast

58

18

7

1 1 1 0

Shetland

32

18

6

0 0 0 1

Western Isles

120

54

43

2 0 0 0

South West Scotland

104

35

30

8 0 0 0

West Scotland

310

442

184

12 11 20 7

Grand Total

812

589

289

29 12 22 11

The maximum number of common seals allowed on licences granted in 2012 represents a 8% reduction on numbers involved in the previous year's licences.

The twelve month total of 74 common seals represents only 0.3% of the overall common seal population of 20,500.

*Potential Biological Removal (PBR) is the number of individual seals that can be removed from the population without causing a decline in the population and is calculated annually by Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) using the latest seal counts.

For more information, a series of frequently asked questions and answers on the implementation of the new seal legislation was produced 2011.

Summary

  • The average level of shooting is around 37% for the second year of operation.
  • 31% of all licences have shot no seals at all during the second year.
  • Licencees are following the principle that seals should only be shot as a last resort.
  • Around 48% of shooting has occured at fish farms and 52% at fisheries during the second year.
  • Only 208 seals have been shot across 230 individual fish farms and 225 across over 40 river fisheries and netting stations during the second year. 
  • There was an overall reduction of 5% in the level of shooting in the second year of licensing, compared to the first.
  • A full list of licences issued in 2012, by region and company, with the number of seals shot each quarter, by site, is available to download.