Part 6Conservation of seals

Seal conservation areas

118Seal conservation areas

(1)The Scottish Ministers may designate an area as a “seal conservation area” where they consider it necessary to do so in order to ensure the proper conservation of seals.

(2)The Scottish Ministers must consult the Natural Environment Research Council before designating a seal conservation area.

(3)The Scottish Ministers must—

(a)publish a designation in a manner which they consider most likely to bring the proposal to the attention of persons likely to be affected by it,

(b)make a copy of a designation available for inspection at one of their offices at all reasonable hours, and

(c)provide a copy of a designation to any person who requests one.

(4)The Scottish Ministers may charge a fee, not exceeding their expenses, for providing a copy under subsection (3)(c).

119Effect of seal conservation area status: licensing decisions

The Scottish Ministers must not grant a seal licence authorising the killing or taking of seals in a seal conservation area unless they are satisfied—

(a)that there is no satisfactory alternative way of achieving the purpose for which the licence is granted, and

(b)that the killing or taking authorised by the licence will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the population of any species of seal at a favourable conservation status in their natural range (within the meaning of Article 1(e) of the Habitats Directive).