Wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout face a wide range of pressures throughout their life cycle, including predation by fish eating birds, other fish species and mammals, such as seals. Fisheries managers are particularly concerned about the small proportion of seals which develop ‘specialist’ behaviour and actively enter rivers to prey on migratory fish.

The majority of seals do not enter rivers. However, the Sea Mammal Research Unit has demonstrated that a small proportion of seals become salmon specialists and enter rivers in order to prey on salmon and sea trout. Fisheries Management Scotland are actively working with the Scottish Government, Sea Mammal Research Unit and other Agencies to develop effective management techniques to protect our precious wild salmon and sea trout from such predation. As part of these efforts, it is important for us to have accurate and complete information about the extent to which seals enter Scotland’s rivers, and how far upstream they travel.

How to help us
In order to understand the extent of seal presence in rivers, and to collate any information on feeding on salmonids, we have developed an app to facilitate the collection of data submitted by anglers and others through the relevant district salmon fishery board. If you wish to report an in-river seal sighting, submit any information and images through our app below. We are aware of issues when uploading images into the app when using an iPhone device – please see our simple guidance to resolve this issue.


View our interactive dashboard below