GAAIA's "landmark victory" in forcing the Scottish Government to name and shame Scotland's seal-killing salmon farms has made quite a media splash - including coverage via STV News, BBC News, The Independent, The Herald, The National, The Press & Journal, Third Force News, Undercurrent News, Intrafish and live on BBC Radio's 'Good Morning Scotland' show.
Listen also to "Good Morning Scotland" (BBC Radio Scotland, 8 July 2015)
John Robins of Save Our Seals Fund is interviewed (starts at 1 hour 56 mins 50 secs) including:
"The public can decide whether they want to pay for bullets to shoot seals....The consumer has a right to know."
Scott Landsburgh of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation is interviewed (starts at 2 hours 44 mins 16 secs) including:
"The shooting of a seal is a last resort.....when you look at the numbers the salmon farming industry comes out very well."
Here's STV News reporting (8 July):
Here's The Herald reporting (7 July):
The article continues:
"Now the seal killing forms submitted by salmon farms for the years 2013 and 2014 have to be published by August 21, although the Scottish Government has 42 days to exercise a right of appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law.
Salmon farms and netting operations can apply to the Scottish Government's agency Marine Scotland for a licence authorising shooting of a limited number of seals within a specified area and period.
The Scottish Government publishes a summary of the total seal licences granted per area annually.
Ministers had told Ms Agnew that a campaign of direct action against the shooting of seals had developed on the basis of this available information, as highlighted on the campaigners' Facebook pages. This direct action commenced in April 2014 at Gardenstown on the Moray Firth, extended to the Montrose area in May of that year, then to the north coast in August, with the main focus on one salmon netting company. This is a reference to Montrose-based Usan Salmon Fisheries.
The Scottish Government submitted that aggressive confrontation was being pursued by campaigners and by a number of hunt saboteur groups, which carried a serious potential risk to public safety.
Scottish Government evidence said: "A number involved masked campaigners confronting marksmen who were in the possession of firearms, with the stated intention of standing in front of their guns. The ministers considered that it was hugely fortunate that, for the moment, great restraint had been shown by those confronted in this way and that such potentially explosive incidents had not resulted in more serious consequences."
However the commissioner has concluded "there was insufficient evidence from ministers of an increased threat to public safety if the information about seal shootings at salmon farms carried out under licence was disclosed." She ordered the information be disclosed.
Don Staniford, the controversial Director of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, said "This is a landmark victory. Today's decisions are a shot in the arm for freedom of information and a shot across the bows of the bloody Scottish salmon farming industry. Now the public will be able to boycott salmon from lethal salmon farms. It is shameful that the Scottish salmon farming industry continues to kill seals and shocking that supermarkets still source seal-unfriendly farmed salmon."
John Robins, Secretary to the Save Our Seals Fund said "We welcome the decision to release this information as it is vitally important for the public to know which salmon suppliers are killing seals in order to make ethical consumer choices when shopping. When you buy Scottish salmon you pay for bullets to shoot seals."
Animal welfare charity OneKind also welcomed the news. Policy Director, Libby Anderson said claims that killing a seal was only a last resort when all non-lethal methods have been tried and failed, needed to be independently monitored.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the Scottish Government had received the commissioner's decisions, adding :"We are currently considering their terms."
Scott Landsburgh, Chief executive of the fishfarming industry body Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation said:
"The number of seals shot by salmon farmers has declined dramatically over recent years. We have championed deterrence techniques that are designed to keep seals away from our fish, and shooting is always a last resort."
Usan was approached for a comment, but did not respond."
Here's today's Herald newspaper:
The Independent reported (7 July):
The National reported (8 July):
The BBC reported (8 July):
Undercurrent News reported (8 July):
The Press & Journal reported (8 July):
Intrafish reported (8 July):
The story was also reported via:
"Government forced to reveal seal shootings" (Third Force News, 8 July 2015)
Read more via:
"VICTORY: Disclosure of Seal-Killing Salmon Farm Data Ordered by 21 August" (GAAIA, 7 July 2015)
"D Day for Seal-Killing Salmon Farms" (Green Around the Gills, 6 July 2015)