Both sides in Scotland’s escalating seal-shooting wars could face charges after a series of dramatic confrontations between salmon fishermen and animal rights activists on cliffs and beaches along the north and east coasts.
Police have revealed that they have sent reports to the procurator fiscal about three recent incidents involving members of Montrose-based Usan Salmon Fisheries and the international environmental group, Sea Shepherd. The company has been shooting seals to prevent them eating salmon caught in nets, while the activists have been trying to protect the seals.
One incident on the 19 May in Gamrie Bay near Gardenstown in Aberdeenshire is understood to be about the alleged killing of legally protected seabirds. A second incident in the same place on 12 June concerned an alleged breach of the peace.
The third incident was on 10 June at Murkle Bay near Castletown in Caithness and involved alleged reckless conduct. According to police sources, both the salmon company and Sea Shepherd made complaints against each other, and both were the subjects of reports to the procurator fiscal.
On another occasion on 2 June at the village of Crovie on Gamrie Bay police firearms officers attended and were seen to take possession of a rifle and ammunition while a complaint was investigated. The rifle was returned and “no criminality” was found.