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2015

Marine Scotland received 53 applications for seal licences and 51 licences have been granted. Two licences are pending approval.

Table 1 below provides a full breakdown. (This information is correct as of 31 January 2015.)

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

7

7

0

6

6

Moray Firth

0

2

2

0

2

2

Orkney & North Coast

2

7

9

2

7

9

Shetland

6

0

6

6

0

6

South-West Scotland

2

2

4

2

2

4

Western Isles

7

2

9

7

2

9

West Scotland

12

4

16

12

3

15

             

Grand Total

29

24

53

29

22

51

The 29 licences issued for protection of health and welfare and one issued for prevention of serious damage, cover a total of 214 individual fish farms.

The maximum number of seals involved is 662 Grey and 197 Common. Table 2 below provides details. This maximum represents less than 0.7% of the Grey Seal population of 101,000 and 1% of the minimum Common Seal population of 20,700. 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 31 January 2015.)

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

92

297

66

0 5 0 1

Moray Firth

120

201

70

8 10 4 10

Orkney & North Coast

315

1240

220

12 23 4 0

Shetland

89

235

82

5 1 2 2

South-West Scotland

65

57

15

1 0 0 0

Western Isles

183 386 89 2 3 5 2

West Scotland

183

414

120

8 8 1 1
               

Grand Total

1047

2830

662

36 50 16 16

The maximum number of Grey Seals allowed on licences granted in 2014 represents over 1% reduction on numbers involved in the previous year's licences, and an over 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

14

1

0

0 0 0 0

Moray Firth

15

16

5

3 1 0 1

Orkney & North Coast

37

11

0

0 0 0 0

Shetland

5

18

3

0 0 0 0

South-West Scotland

82

35

18

0 0 0 0

Western Isles

71 82 34 0 0 1 0

West Scotland

260

464

137

8 12 6 10
               

Grand Total

484

627

197

11 13 7 11

The maximum number of Common Seals allowed on licences granted in 2015 represents a reduction of slightly over 16% compared to the previous year's licences, and an over 37% reduction since the system was introduced in 2011.

  • The average level of shooting is around 20% for fifth year of operation.
  • 44% of all licences have shot no seals at all during 2015.
  • Licencees are following the principle that seals should only be shot as a last resort.
  • Around 49% of shooting has occurred at fish farms and 51% at fisheries during the fifth year.
  • Only 79 seals have been shot across 214 individual fish farms and 81 seals across over 40 river fisheries and netting stations during the fifth year.
  • There was an overall reduction in the level of shooting in 2015: 21% lower compared to 2014 and 65% lower compared to 2011 figures.

A full list of licences issued in 2015, by region and company, with the number of seals shot so far, by site, is available to download.