Sea Eagle Management Scheme extended

White tailed sea eagle in flight - Isle of Mull (pic by Connah from Canva)
Alan Robertson

Sheep producers who have lost livestock to sea-eagles will continue to receive support from Scottish Government for 2024. Up to £400,000 has been allocated to the Sea Eagle Management Scheme (SEMS) to help farmers explore different management techniques and trial new prevention measures.

Land managers in receipt of financial support through long-term Management Agreements as part of the scheme have been assured payments will continue this year.

White-tailed sea eagles are a protected species that prey on sheep, particularly in western parts of Scotland. Farmers can receive between £500 up to £5,000 to help manage the effects of the species as part of SEMS.

Agriculture Minister Jim Fairlie said:

“This funding is vital in balancing our efforts to protect Scotland’s natural environment with the needs of rural communities.

“I’ve spoken to many farmers who have experienced these disruptive attacks. They have expressed their frustrations and I fully understand both the mental and financial toll that eagle attacks are having on them and their businesses.

“I hope this news provides some much needed reassurance for farmers. I know that the support will help them to continue to find ways to mitigate against the effects of sea eagles on flocks.”

Robbie Kernahan, NatureScot’s Director of Green Economy, said:

“We recognise that white-tailed eagles can cause economic impacts to farms and crofts in some locations and are committed to continuing to run the Sea Eagle Management Scheme (SEMS).

“We are pleased that the scheme has been allocated funding for 2024 to provide support to those affected. We are currently working to get management agreements in place and will be in touch directly with those affected as soon as possible.”