Conservation Areas - Harbour Seals (OSCP)
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In response to local declines in common seal numbers, the Scottish Government introduced conservation orders under the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 to provide additional protection on a precautionary basis for vulnerable local populations of common seals. In September 2004, the Conservation of Seals (Scotland) Order 2004 to cover common and grey seals in the Moray Firth, and in March 2007, the Conservation of Seals (Scotland) Order 2007 to cover common seals only in the Northern Isles and Firth of Tay. The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 introduces provisions for existing orders to continue, and for new ones to be introduced administratively as Seal Conservation Areas. The repeal of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 on 31st January 2011 means that the existing orders will cease if not replaced by Seal Conservation Areas. The Scottish Government intends therefore to continue these existing orders in the form of Seal Conservation Areas from 1 February 2010.