Seals and fish stocks in Scottish waters

01-10-2010

Fish stocks in Scottish waters show strong signs of depletion and overexploitation. Grey seals have increased over four decades but have been gradually stabilising in the last 10 years. Many harbour seal populations have declined sharply in the past 10 years. The diets of both species of seals overlap with commercial fisheries but exploitation rates of fish species by seals are much lower than they are for fisheries. Even a large reduction in the number of seals in Scottish waters would be unlikely to make any noticeable impact to the success of demersal or pelagic fisheries

Fish stocks in Scottish waters show strong signs of depletion and overexploitation. Grey seals have increased over four decades but have been gradually stabilising in the last 10 years. Many harbour seal populations have declined sharply in the past 10 years. The diets of both species of seals overlap with commercial fisheries but exploitation rates of fish species by seals are much lower than they are for fisheries. Even a large reduction in the number of seals in Scottish waters would be unlikely to make any noticeable impact to the success of demersal or pelagic fisheries

Externí autor

Ian L. BOYD, Philip S. HAMMOND University of St Andrews, Sea Mammal Research Unit