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Common Seals

Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 9 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate the approximate number of common seals on the west coast of Scotland and around the Western Isles.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland obtains advice from the Natural Environment Research Council as to estimates of seal populations.The most recent estimates obtained from the council in respect of common seal populations in the Outer Hebrides and the Inner Hebrides and the west coast of Scotland were provided by surveys carried out by the Sea Mammal Research Institute in 1974 and 1980 respectively. These showed a minimum total population in these regions of some 5,800 animals comprising some 1,300 animals in the Outer Hebrides and some 4,500 animals in the Inner Hebrides and the west coast.