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SOSF objects to application for a license to shoot seals at a major east coast seal colony

E-MAIL FROM: John F. Robins, Secretary, Save Our Seals Fund (SOSF), C/O Animal Concern, Post Office Box 5178, Dumbarton G82 5YJ. Tel: 01389-841-639, Mobile: 07721-605521. Fax: 0870-7060327.  SOSF is a recognised Scottish charity:  RCNo. SC025489.  E-MAIL: sosf@jfrobins.force9.co.uk   website: http://www.saveoursealsfund.org/

Rt. Hon. Richard Lochhead MSP,
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment,
The Scottish Government,

Wednesday, 02 April 2014

Dear Cabinet Secretary,


I write concerning the current application for a license to shoot seals at a salmon netting station on the Ythan Estuary near Newburgh. I understand that the Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd (A.k.a. The Scottish Wild Salmon Company) recently bought the salmon angling and netting rights for the Ythan River and Ythan estuary from Udny & Dudwick Estates.

When he bought these fishing and netting rights George Pullar of Usan Salmon Fisheries Limited issued a press release in which he stated;

“Some limited netting will be required on the foreshore and lower estuary. This will allow us to fulfil our management role and commitment to addressing the current predation issues.”

He also stated; “The average sea trout catch over the last 5 years has been just under 1000 per annum from the Newburgh fishings. While this is a credible baseline, we would expect to see these numbers significantly increase once the current predation levels are reduced.”

These statements suggests that the salmon and seatrout netting operation is being carried out as an excuse to apply for a license to kill the many seals in the area around the Ythan estuary and Sands of Forvie. It is not as though he is doing this to conserve fish as he hopes that reducing seal numbers will significantly increase his (very profitable) catch of seatrout.

What Usan Fisheries appear to be applying for is a license to carry out a substantial cull of seals at a traditional seal haul-out and rookery which is a tourist attraction and as such valuable to the local and national economy as shown in the use of seals to promote Scottish tourism.

The Scottish Government has on many occasions denied that it will permit seal culling in Scotland. I urge you to prove that by refusing to issue licences to shoot seals in the area of the Ythan Estuary.

Yours sincerely,


John F. Robins,
Save Our Seals Fund

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