“Salmon farms and seals can co-exist quit happily but seals can also inflict vicious and widespread damage on salmon farms, killing hundreds of fish in each attack.
"Last year alone more than 500,000 salmon were killed by seals and thousands more died of stress following the attacks.
“The number of seals legally shot by the Scottish salmon sector has gone down by 73 per cent since 2011. The shooting of an animal is never an easy decision for a farmer and is only done so as a last resort in order to protect livestock – which, like any other farming sector, Scotland’s salmon farmers have a statutory duty to do.
“Scottish salmon farmers are prepared for the introduction of the 2021 ban on the shooting of seals - which has now been passed by MSPs - but must have access to effective non-lethal measures if they are to fulfil their statutory duty to protect their fish.
“That is why our farmers have also been working closely with the Scottish Government to collate detailed information on the use of acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) on Scotland's salmon farms. Ministers are now expected to use this information to help inform new regulations on the use of ADDs, a move also supported by MSPs.
"Our farmers believe that ADDs are an effective management tool in deterring seal attacks but are only one of a range of measures farmers use to protect their livestock. They are continuing to make substantial investments into new technologies and management methods in order to end the use of lethal controls next year, in line with regulations and the clear commitments already made by the sector.”
READ MORE: What are Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs)