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Protection seal of approval

Seal Credit: Scottish Seabird Centre

Seal Credit: Scottish Seabird Centre

Legislation to designate 194 protected sites for seals has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

Under the draft Order, which is subject to the normal parliamentary procedures, it will be an offence from 30 September to intentionally or recklessly harass the animals within the designated areas.

The selected haul-out sites are isolated locations around Scotland’s coastline, where seals come ashore to rest, breed or moult. Together with the existing network of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for seals, they will protect at least half of the grey and common (or harbour) seals that populate our seas.

The total of 194 sites selected consists of:
• 149 haul-out sites consisting of 62 used by common (harbour) seals, 20 used by grey seals and a further 67 shared by both species
• 45 grey seal breeding sites, used specifically during the breeding season (September – December)

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Seals are one of Scotland’s most iconic species and that is why we have introduced a raft of new measures to better protect them. Haul-out sites are key to the success of both grey and common seals and this list represents an important step in their conservation.

For the full story please click here.

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