The Scottish Government claims that the new system, under the terms of the new Marine Act 2010 , of permitting licensed shooting with quotas is resulting in fewer seals being shot than formerly. July 2011. The Scottish Government claims that only 80 seals from an annual total quota 1298 seals, were reported to be killed in the first quarter of 2011. The Seal Conservation Society notes that self-reporting of killings by Fish Farmers and fishermen is unreliable, and even if true, the shooting of 80 seals during the winter months is ethically unacceptable. Furthermore, no information is given on which species or sex has been shot. The Government press statement speaks of 'striking a blanace' between grey seal conservation and fisheries interests - but does not mention the declining conservaton status of harbour seals in Scottish waters. The Seal Conservation Society's view is that fish farming and salmon netting cannot be considered a sustainable industry if it can only be conducted in the marne coastal environment by shooting seals as a routine procedure. The Scottish Government has pledged to use the measures of the new Marine Act to work with the salmon production and fishing industry to bring shooting levels gradually down to a much lower leel than at present, and has asked NGOs to give the new law and system a chance to show that it can work to the benefit of seals.
NGOs protest about the licensed killing of 1300 seals in Scotland, mainly by salmon farmers and fishermen April 2011. (The Seal Conservation Society is one of several groups opposed to this licensed killing in the 2010 Marine Act, and the Society has been joining with other groups to engage in constructive dialogue with the Scottish Government Department. Two other websites give detailed information and updates on this ongoing campaign, Seal Scotland and Protect our Seals).
Recently recorded incidents of seal shooting in Scotland September 2009