Chapter 4: Healthy and Biologically Diverse

Seal Licensing - Seal Conservation Areas for common/harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) and grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)

Marine Scotland Information NMPi icon

In response to local declines in 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 seals.

The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 introduces provisions for existing orders to continue, and for new ones to be introduced administratively as Seal Conservation Areas.

Seal Licensing - Seal Management Areas

Marine Scotland Information NMPi icon

On 31 January 2011, Part 6 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force. Part 6 seeks to balance seal conservation with sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and its introduction means: It is an offence to kill or injure a seal except under licence or for welfare reasons, outlawing unregulated seal shooting that was permitted under previous legislation A number of seal conservation areas around Scotland will begin to be introduced, designed to protect vulnerable, declining common seal populations A new seal licensing system, providing a well regulated and monitored context for seal management in Scotland has been introduced. Seal Management Areas are: East Coast, Moray Firth, Orkney and North Coast, Shetland, South West Scotland, West Scotland, Western Isles.

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