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Population management of seals: an evaluation of options - MF0513

R&D Summary Objectives:- Critically evaluate by means of a desk study potential lethal and non-lethal methods for the management of grey seal populations, and, with the aid of computer modelling, assess their relative effectiveness for reducing numbers. Key customer purpose:- Provide MAFF and SOAFD with options for the management of UK seal populations.
As seal numbers continue to increase, calls for control measures will grow more strident. Since culling appears to be a politically difficult option, it seems prudent to examine the options for management presently available. The objective for the proposed work is to critically evaluate, by means of a desk study, all potential methods for the management of grey seal populations and the effects of their implementation. The study will examine shooting, sterilisation, and reversible methods such as contraception of males and/or females by steroid implants or immunisation of females with antigens to the zona pellucida. Delivery systems for contraceptives will also be considered as well as the feasibility of administering such contraception to particular seal populations around the UK coast. The effects of successfully preventing different sexes and different proportions of the poulation from breeding for differing lengths of time on the subsequent rate of population increase will be modelled in collaboration with the Sea Mammal Research Unit, Cambridge.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1994

Cost: £19,085
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Aberdeen
Marine Mammals              
Fields of Study
Marine Fisheries