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2013

2013 Seal Licences

Marine Scotland received 59 applications for seal licences and 52 licences have been granted: three licences are pending issue, three licence applications were denied and one withdrawn.

Table 1 below provides a full breakdown. (This information is correct as at 10 April 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

10

10

0

7

7

Moray Firth

0

3

3

0

2

2

Orkney and North Coast

2

7

9

2

5

7

Shetland

6

0

6

6

0

6

South West Scotland

2

2

4

2

2

4

Western Isles

9

2

11

9

2

11

West Scotland

11 5 16 11 4 15
             

Grand Total

30

29

59

30

22

52

The 30 licences issued for protection of health and welfare and 1 issued for prevention of serious damage, cover a total of 225 individual fish farms.

The maximum number of seals involved is 774 grey and 265 common. Table 2 below provides details. This maximum represents less than 0.7% 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 June 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

142

314

82

2 20 6 0

Moray Firth

145

174

90

23 11 5 4

Orkney & North Coast

355

1448

220

18 46 17 6

Shetland

240

236

105

29 9 10 6

South West Scotland

63

57

26

0 0 0 1

Western Isles

198 387 125 1 1 6 2

West Scotland

204

386

126

4 3 5 3
               

Grand Total

1347

3002

774

77 90 49 22

The maximum number of grey seals allowed on licences granted in 2013 represents a 12% reduction on numbers involved in the previous year's licences and a 25% reduction since the system was introduced in 2011.

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

54

2

0

0 0 0 0

Moray Firth

34

17

16

0 1 1 1

Orkney & North Coast

37

17

5

0 1 0 0

Shetland

23

18

6

0 0 0 3

South West Scotland

88

35

30

0 0 0 0

Western Isles

75 82 45 1 0 0 0

West Scotland

291

446

163

7 3 11 7
               

Grand Total

602

617

265

8 5 12 11

The maximum number of common seals allowed on licences granted in 2013 represents a 9% reduction on numbers involved in the previous year's licences and an 16% reduction since the system was introduced in 2011.

*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 26% for third year of operation.

  • 43% of all licences have shot no seals at all during 2013.

  • Licencees are following the principle that seals should only be shot as a last resort.

  • Around 38% of shooting has occurred at fish farms and 62% at fisheries during the third year.

  • Only 105 seals have been shot across 216 individual fish farms and 169 seals across over 40 river fisheries and netting stations during the third year.

  • There was an overall reduction in the level of shooting in 2013: 37% lower compared to 2012 and 40% lower compared to 2011 figures.

  • A full list of licences issued in 2013, by region and company, with the number of seals shot each quarter, by site, is available to download.