The Issue



Against this background it is possible to see how the grey seal passed from being a source of folklore, a resource for hunters and a sporting trophy in the nineteenth century to being a curious but valued part of our natural heritage in the first half of the twentieth century.

However, as populations started to rise, so too did the number of complaints from local fishermen. The first grumbles about the ‘seal menace’ started to be heard in the mid-1930s, coming from the River Tweed Commissioners and local. 

By the 1950s, fishermen in seal ‘hot spots’ were urging the government to make it an object of scientific inquiry.