Publication - Progress report

Review of the operation of the seal licensing system under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010: report

This report considers all aspects of the operation of the seal licensing system during the period from 2011 to 2014.

Review of the operation of the seal licensing system under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010: report
Annex 1 Seal Licences 2011

Annex 1 Seal Licences 2011

Marine Scotland received 74 applications for seal licences and 66 licences were granted. Table 1 below provides a full breakdown.

TABLE 1

Seal Management Area Application Type Licence Type
Protection of Health and Welfare Prevention of Serious Damage Total Protection of Health and Welfare Prevention of Serious Damage Total
East Coast 0 11 11 0 10 10
Moray Firth 0 4 4 0 4 4
Orkney and North Coast 2 10 12 2 10 12
Shetland 8 0 8 8 0 8
South West Scotland 5 2 7 2 2 4
West Scotland 14 6 20 12 6 18
Western Isles 10 2 12 8 2 10
Grand Total 39 35 74 32* 34 66

The maximum number of seals involved is 1025 grey and 314 common. Tables 2a and 2b over provide details. This maximum represents less than 1% of the grey seal population of 108,000 and slightly over 1.5% of the minimum common seal population of 20,400. The numbers are significantly lower than previous estimates proposed by Non-Government Organisations at between 2,000 and 5,000.

TABLE 2a Grey Seals

Seal management area Grey seals applied for PBR Grey seals granted Grey seals shot: 1st quarter Grey seals shot: 2nd quarter Grey seals shot: 3rd quarter Grey seals shot: 4th quarter
East Coast 246 277 132 3 27 16 0
Moray Firth 85 152 75 2 7 4 3
Orkney & North Coast 461 959 349 26 62 44 35
Shetland 384 163 120 18 13 27 11
Western Isles 209 408 148 3 0 15 10
South West Scotland 115 45 31 2 2 0 0
West Scotland 206 297 170 8 6 9 13
Grand Total 1706 2301 1025 62 117 115 72

The 12 month total of 366 grey seals represents only 0.3% of the overall grey seal population of 108,000.

TABLE 2b Common Seals

Seal management area Common seals applied for PBR Common seals granted Common seals shot: 1st quarter Common seals shot: 2nd quarter Common seals shot: 3rd quarter Common seals shot: 4th quarter
East Coast 92 3 0 0 0 0 0
Moray Firth 52 23 20 1 1* 2 2
Orkney & North Coast 53 18 10 0 2 2 0
Shetland 47 18 10 0 0 0 2
Western Isles 101 54 40 4** 0 4* 3
South West Scotland 153 35 31 4 3 1 4
West Scotland 296 442 203 11 11 21 15
Grand Total 794 593 314 20 17 30 26

The 12 month total of 93 common seals represents only 0.4% of the minimum common seal population of 20,400.

Summary

The average level of shooting was 34% for the first year of operation.

32% of all licensees have shot no seals at all during the first year of operation.

52% of shooting has occurred at fish farms.

A total of only 241 seals were shot across 235 individual fish farms and 218 across over 40 river fisheries and netting stations.


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