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 3 Seal Licences 2013

Annex 3 Seal Licences 2013

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and 52 licences have been granted: three licences are pending issue, three licence applications were denied and one withdrawn.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.

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 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.

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 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: 1st quarter Common seals shot: 2nd quarter Common seals shot: 3rd quarter Common seals shot: 4th 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.

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.

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.


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