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 4 Seal Licences 2014

Annex 4 Seal Licences 2014

Marine Scotland received 56 applications for seal licences and 53 licences have been granted: three licences are pending approval. 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 7 7 0 6 6
Moray Firth 0 3 3 0 2 2
Orkney & North Coast 2 7 9 2 6 8
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 12 4 16 12 4 16
Grand Total 31 25 56 31 22 53

The 31 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 765 grey and 240 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 128 314 74 1 9 1 0
Moray Firth 239 174 90 3 12 4 6
Orkney & North Coast 330 1448 232 5 31 19 9
Shetland 198 236 105 5 8 9 6
South-West Scotland 66 57 25 0 0 0 0
Western Isles 188 387 116 6 7 2 2
West Scotland 188 386 123 5 5 1 8
Grand Total 1327 3002 765 25 72 36 31

The maximum number of grey seals allowed on licences granted in 2014 represents a more than 1% 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 39 2 0 0 0 0 0
Moray Firth 24 17 10 1 2 2 1
Orkney & North Coast 39 17 6 0 0 1 0
Shetland 17 18 5 0 0 0 1
South-West Scotland 91 35 26 0 0 0 3
Western Isles 71 82 41 0 0 1 0
West Scotland 266 446 152 9 7 2 11
Grand Total 547 617 240 10 9 6 16

The maximum number of common seals allowed on licences granted in 2014 represents a nearly 10% reduction on numbers involved in the previous year's licences, and an over 24% reduction since the system was introduced in 2011.

Summary

The average level of shooting is around 20% for fourth year of operation.

51% of all licences have shot no seals at all during 2014.

Around 39% of shooting has occurred at fish farms and 61% at fisheries during the fourth year.

Only 80 seals have been shot across 214 individual fish farms and 125 seals across over 40 river fisheries and netting stations during the third year.

There was an overall reduction in the level of shooting in 2014: 25% lower compared to 2013 and 56% lower compared to 2011 figures.


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