After over 30 years of advocacy, activism, and dedicated protection efforts, Orkney Seal Rescue have announced a incredible milestone. Under a wildlife bill moving successfully through the Scottish Parliament, licenses will no longer be issued allowing fisheries interests to "cull seals" in the name of defending commercial salmon harvests.

Image courtesy Ross Flett 

Additionally, acoustic deterrent devices used to scare off seals, and which have been shown to harm other marine mammals, will be controlled and licensed by March of the coming year under the current amendments being enacted. Cooperation by the salmon producers is anticipated, as are more stringent punishments for violations of all the new protections.
It has been reported that potential banning of Scottish salmon imports based on regulations following the US Marine Mammal Protection Act may have been a significant driver of the new policies. Whatever the impetus, this is a significant step forward. The Scottish "cull" was highlighted in one of our first Heads Up Alerts in 2006. is dedicated to the general well-being of harbor seals and to vigorous enforcement of applicable law for their protection. Alerts will be posted here of documented instances of continued disturbance or threats to harbor seal safety and habitat. Cheers will be posted when new efforts have been made to extend protection.

Updated 6.21.20