The Seal Protection Action Group (SPAG) has been working to end the shooting of seals by the Scottish Salmon Industry for almost ten years. Now, thanks to our campaign the number of seals shot has fallen to the lowest level since the Scottish Government introduced the Seal Licence scheme in 2011. Before this scheme was introduced there was no monitoring of seal killings by fish-farmers, wild salmon net fisheries and sports–angling interests, which were estimated to be in the thousands each year.
The evidence for the dramatic fall in shooting can be found in Scottish Government statistics here. The figures reveal that in 2016, 99 seals were reported shot compared to 160 shot the previous year. This figure, represents a drop of some 80% compared to the 459 seals shot in 2011 and with a three year coastal netting ban in place, introduced in April last year, this number is set to fall still further in 2017. While thousands of seals have been saved by the campaign, SPAG will not rest until the killing is stopped completely.
While SPAG continues to work to end seal killings, new legislation introduced in the United States could see Scottish salmon imports banned unless seal killings are stopped. The new laws require all US trading partners to prohibit the deliberate killing or serious injury of marine mammals in all fisheries, including aquaculture, or face a complete ban on access to US markets. SPAG is monitoring the situation and will do everything we can to ensure that these new laws are not
weakened or scrapped in the face of protests from the Scottish Government and Scottish Salmon industry.
SPAG founded the Salmon Aquaculture and Seals Working Group (SASWG) in 2010 in order to work with government, salmon companies, retailers and scientists to reduce seal shooting and find non-lethal solutions to conflict with seals.
SPAG is calling on the Scottish Government and salmon industry to work with us to end all seal shooting by 2020.
Please support our vital work to end seal shooting in Scotland. Further information about our campaign can be found on this website.