North Salmon River Seal Colony - 25th January 2002



A north salmon river manager has made clear he does not intend to shoot at seals which are being blamed for a dearth of early season catches.

Eddie McCarthy was speaking in the wake of being verbally abused and threatened as he unsuccessfully tried to scare away the colony of 27 grey seals, which have taken up residence near Thurso's main river bridge.

Mr McCarthy said that while legally entitled to kill the seals, he would continue to use non-violent means to get them to shift.

The seals have been a popular attraction with the public since their arrival in mid-October on the river-bank below the town's tourist office.

But their presence is very unwelcome for Thurso Fisheries Ltd and local and visiting anglers on the river.

Mr McCarthy, the long-time river superintendent, now intends putting a length of rylock fencing to prevent the seals swimming between the bank and an island on the river.

Mr McCarthy said shooting healthy animals is not on his agenda but that he is determined that the seals quit the river.


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