Seals and the salmon sector

Over the last five years there has been a marked reduction in the licensed shooting of seals as the Scottish salmon farming sector continues to move towards zero by investing and innovating in new predator management methods.

In Scotland it is an offence to kill or injure a seal except under licence or for welfare reasons. In 2019 Marine Scotland granted 45 licenses to shoot seals .

Predator control: A last resort

Generally salmon farms, seals and other marine mammals co-exist without any conflicts of interest. However, seals occasionally cause significant damage to salmon farms, and when they do the results can be devastating.

Hundreds of salmon can be killed or harmed in a single attack. In 2018 alone, over half a million farmed salmon in Scotland died as a result of seal attacks, either directly from the physical attack or indirectly from injury or stress.

What is Scotland’s 10-Year Farmed Fish Health Framework?

The Scottish government has launched a '10-Year Farmed Fish Health Framework' which sets out measures to support sustainable growth across the Scottish fish farming sector. 

The scheme aims to “ensure that fish health remains the focus of sustainable production and growth in Scotland”. It also wants to ensure ‘the right people, organisations and resources come together to address new and developing challenges efficiently’. 

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