We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

2016

Marine Scotland received 48 applications for seal licences and 43 licences have been granted. (Three licences are pending approval.)

Table 1 below provides a full breakdown. (This information is correct as of 31 January 2016.)

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

6

6

0

5

5

Moray Firth

0

1

1

0

1

1

Orkney & North Coast

2

6

8

2

5

7

Shetland

5

0

5

5

0

5

South-West Scotland

2

2

4

2

2

4

Western Isles

7

2

9

7

2

9

West Scotland

12

3

15

12

3

15

             

Grand Total

28

20

48

28

18

46

The 28 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 283 Grey and 115 Common. Table 2 below provides details. This maximum represents less than 0.1% of the Grey Seal population of 101,000 and 0.1% of the minimum Common Seal population of 23,400. 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 31 March 2016.)

TABLE 2a

Grey Seals            

Seal Management Area

Grey Seals Applied For

PBR*

Grey Seals Granted

Grey Seals Shot: Quarter 1 Grey Seals Shot: Quarter 2 Grey Seals Shot: Quarter 3 Grey Seals Shot: Quarter 4

East Coast

46

327

14

0 1 1 0

Moray Firth

45

81

18

0 0 5 13

Orkney & North Coast

215

1234

64

2 8 2 0

Shetland

72

235

55

7 2 2 0

South-West Scotland

79

57

15

0 0 0 1

Western Isles

153 574 42 5 1 6 0

West Scotland

149

628

75

3 5 6 6
               

Grand Total

759

3136

283

17 17 22 20

The maximum number of Grey Seals allowed on licences granted in 2016 represents over 57% reduction on numbers involved in the previous year's licences, and an over 72% 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: Quarter 1 Common Seals Shot: Quarter 2 Common Seals Shot: Quarter 3 Common Seals Shot: Quarter 4

East Coast

8

1

0

0 0 0  

Moray Firth

6

4

0

0 0 0 0

Orkney & North Coast

20

11

0

0 0 0 0

Shetland

5

18

3

0 0 0 0

South-West Scotland

55

35

17

1 0 0 0

Western Isles

73 82 19 1 0 0 0

West Scotland

232

582

76

5 0 4 11
               

Grand Total

399

733

115

7 0 4 11

General statistics 2016:

  • The average level of shooting is around 24% for sixth year of operation.
  • 49% of all licences have shot no seals at all during 2016.
  • Licencees are following the principle that seals should only be shot as a last resort.
  • Around 77% of shooting has occurred at fish farms and 23% at fisheries during the sixth year. The reduce level of shooting at fisheries is due to a temporary ban on netting stations at a number of locations around Scotland.
  • 75 seals have been shot across 214 individual fish farms and 22 seals across 18 river fisheries during the sixth year.
  • There was an overall reduction in the level of shooting in 2016: 10% lower compared to 2015 and over 80% lower compared to 2011 figures.

A full list of licences issued in 2016, by region and company, with the number of seals shot so far, by site, is available to download.

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