Usan Salmon Fisheries of Montrose have now withdrawn an application for a seal-shooting permit with Marine Scotland after ‘careful consideration’.
The firm have confirmed that they will now use only non-lethal measures to control the seals on the Ythan Fishery.
The application saw concerned residents and animal protection groups set up a petition and Facebook page which included over 800 ‘members’.
Director of Usan Salmon Fisheries, George Pullar, said: “We plan to use acoustic seal deterrent devices at the Ythan. This equipment is non-lethal and is widely used successfully throughout Scotland as a measure to deter seals from entering freshwater.
“Additionally, these devices are also widespread throughout the fish farming industry.
“After careful consideration our company has decided only to deploy non-lethal seal control measures at our Ythan fishery. Marine Scotland have been informed of our decision.”
Ellon resident, Elaine Sherriffs, 59, who is currently undertaking a post graduate in MSc People and the Environment at Aberdeen University, has conducted surveys with the public on their opinion.
She said: “Members of the public who spoke to me about ‘culling’ seals were in the majority completely against, the few (including a fisherman) said ‘maybe’ if it were for serious issues such as disease or if seals endangered the survival of another species. Commercial fishing was not considered as a valid reason to kill seals.”
For the full story pick up a copy of The Ellon Times out tomorrow.