Common seal (Phoca vitulina) resting on rocks at low tide. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Seals and licensing

Marine Scotland deals with all licensing in relation to seals, while Scottish Natural Heritage oversees Seal Conservation Areas.

On 1 February 2011, it became an offence to kill, injure or take a seal at any time of year – except to alleviate suffering or where licensed to do so.

Marine Scotland issues the relevant licences under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. The method of killing or taking seals is detailed in licences and regular reporting is required.

Find out more about seal licensing on the Scottish Government website.


Marine Scotland
Seal Licensing Team
Telephone: 01224 295 579
Email: [email protected]

Scottish Natural Heritage
Licensing Team
Telephone: 01463 725 364
Email: [email protected]

Find out more


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