Seal-shooting application withdrawn

Usan Salmon Fisheries of Montrose have now withdrawn an application for a seal-shooting permit with Marine Scotland after ‘careful consideration’.

Wednesday, 2nd April 2014, 7:00 am
Elaine Sherriffs at the nature reserve at Forvie while doing research on the relationships and interactions between people and seals in Scotland

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.