Publication - Factsheet

Marine licensing: latest information

Published: 5 Dec 2019

Latest information on the Scottish Government's seal management system and seal licenses.

5 Dec 2019
Marine licensing: latest information

Last updated: [...]

Training course

The training course for nominated marksmen has been developed and validated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

At present, the North Atlantic Fisheries College (NAFC) and the North Highland College, Thurso both offer this qualification and can be contacted as follows.

NAFC: Tel: 01595 772000 Email:

North Highland College: Tel: 01847 889 250 Email:

Applicants can fill out the North Highland College course application form.


Ballistics tests to resolve differences of opinion about the suitability of some types of rifle for use in seal management were held during 2011. It will, however, not be possible to complete the necessary evaluation in the time available and provide sufficient notice of any possible changes for this round of licensing. It has therefore been decided that the definition of the firearm for seal licences will remain as in the 1970 Conservation of Seals Act for the second year of the new licensing system. This states:

"a rifle using ammunition with a muzzle energy not less than 600 foot pounds and a bullet weighing not less than 45 grains". This effectively excludes any 0.22 rimfire rifles. Only centrefire rifles can be used, with the 0.22 Hornet using 45 grain bullets representing the lowest acceptable combination of bullet weight and energy."

Marine Scotland will communicate this message to all police force firearms departments and PAW Scotland contacts (wildlife crime).


ALL applicants MUST now complete the online Survey on Seals and Aquaculture and a link to the survey will be provided in due course.