IFAW 2008 Seal Hunt Press Coverage

  Canadian seal hunters bemoan low prices, from UPI

"Some Canadian seal hunters in Newfoundland say they aren't sure low pelt prices and high gas costs make going to sea worthwhile later this month.

"While hunting resumed Monday off New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the upcoming hunt along Newfoundland's northeastern shore isn't as appealing to seasonal fishermen, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported."

More training needed for sealers: vet, from CBC News

"New rules adopted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to ensure seals are killed humanely should be accompanied by better training for sealers, says a member of the veterinary panel that looked into the issue.

"A group of nine veterinarians from Canada, the U.S. and Europe met in August 2005 to look at ways to minimize or eliminate suffering of animals during the seal hunt. One of the recommendations was a three-step process for killing, including bleeding the animal after it has been clubbed or shot."

Reader is against the seal hunt, from the Coaster

"I am asking you at take a hard look at yourselves and your leaders. Why are you allowing a barbaric act such as the clubbing to death of baby animals in the presence of their mothers to take place in your community? Babies that have not yet had a chance to take their first swim.

"It is not going to provide you with any long lasting solutions for your life long problems: for example; high unemployment, lack of training and opportunities. Rather "clubbing" your local politicians will bring about these positive changes. If politicians started to do their job, think creatively and work, it would help you to find dignifying work and repair Canada's image."

Comments: 68

6 years ago

These humans are a bunch of cowards. Beating on defenseless seals like that, if they're so eager to go hunting they should hunt each other. They're murderers anyway. Spend time with your children or family, go out and enjoy the world instead of destroying it. The Earth needs the seals, they're here for a reason, it's the circle of life. Please stop this, it's just plain stupid. Karma, such violent acts like these have a penalty and it will come back to get you, Mother Nature has her ways.

7 years ago

I am not against hunting. A lot of money that goes into conservation efforts come from hunters, because if the animal no longer exists they could not hunt.
However, it does seem to me that this hunt (and I'm sure there are others) is not always done humanely. I don't think it is completely reasonable to tell these people who get some of their livelihood from this hunt to stop...I know how hard it is to make enough money to survive these days. What we can reasonably ask is that it is done humanely. We have an unfair advantage over every other creature on this planet Same as our fishing efforts- such large commercial nets that wipe out fish populations so quickly just doesn't seem fair. Large farms where animals are held still and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, also not fair. Which is why I'm not 100% against the hunt...at least these animals have a chance to get away. But shooting them with a gun and hooking them while still alive is not right. They should be killed as quickly and painlessly as possible. Sure this makes for a slower hunt and you may not get as many, but maybe actually taking longer will make them look closer at which animals they are killing. Pregnant females should not be killed, or animals with young that is still dependent on them.
We can call each other names all we want, but it won't solve anything. Maybe we should spend less time doing that and more time making a compromise in this situation, since no one will ever be a clear winner.

7 years ago

My apologies, white coat(baby seals) hunting was made illegal in 1987. So it was 20 years ago not 30.

7 years ago

There are so many misrepresentations of facts here that I could write forever. I'll cover just a few though.
1) There are many references to "baby seal killers" and "killing of baby seals". Baby seal killing has been illegal in Canada since the 1970's. That's a long time. The videos and slideshows from the 2008 season that I have seen all show adults being killed, despite some of the titles and taglines stating otherwise.
2) I do agree that killing seals is brutal. However I like chicken, pork and beef so I keep my mouth shut on brutality. The only difference between seal hunters and farmers is the location of slaughter. Perhaps they should build an "ice abattoir" and herd the seals into its doors.
3)I see many sites stating "The seal hunt is not sustainable". The seal hunt has been going on for hundreds of years. That is the definition of sustainability. As a matter of fact seal populations are up all over Eastern Canada...way up.
4)Seals are not responsible for the fish shortages in Eastern Canada. Perhaps not originally, but seals now take more fish than humans in Eastern Canada, therefore current fish shortages would be more the fault of seals than overfishing.
5) Seal hunting accounts for only a small portions of fishermen's incomes. This may be true for many or even most hunters, but if your overall income is very low then every piece of income you can get is important. These are men that don't want handouts or to move to Alberta, bravo I say.
6)My personal favorite: I will call it "Fur is Murder" for lack of a better term. This means that some people are totally opposed to wearing fur/leather. I guess that means they would rather wear all these modern synthetic fabrics that we all wear. These fabrics are oil, and as such must be drilled and pumped from the ground, then refined. This appears to be harder on our planet than killing a seal and wearing his/her pelt.
The list goes on and on. The seal hunt protest is easy money for the animal welfare groups, and everybody in that business knows it. Please dispute my facts, I am curious to see what comes of this.

7 years ago

This is an anti-seal hunt board. How can you just assume that no one here cares about all of the other issues that you just mentioned? We in support of ending the hunt are not all so narrow-minded. Many of us do our "peer-reviewed" research, and are concerned with humane treatment and views of all species (seals AND sealers) and doing what is right for the environment.

7 years ago

when you write your letter to the Commissioner for the Environment at the E.U. ask him when he is going to change the EU 's fishing policies so they can stop the raping and pillaging every fish population. Since they subsidize their fleets to fish in every ocean, which has lead to so many wonderful improvements to the world such as stravation and the increase in wildlife poaching in africa for example. I truly wish that you people would actually practice what you preach. Seals are no where even close to being actually threatened let alone endangered but you people flock to this cause as if they where the last of the dodo's while turning a blind eye to actual environmental travesties which are actually endangering animals. Since some of you canadians think you are so much better than the atlantic provinces, lets look at the poster child of environmental ruin the oilsands of alberta or the toxic waste dump that used to be the great lakes. If you guys actually took the steps to change your own daily habits to reduce your carbon footprint you would be doing so much more to save the seals than any amount of money you donate to these organizations. The real danger to seals and all the artic animals is global warming not some guy out hunting.

7 years ago

QUOTE--There are MANY more and yet I could not find one comment hoping that protestors find harm. Care to find one for me? If there is any, they are greatly outnumbered (using the percentages of the comments supporting, and against the hunt). We don't want the activists to die a horrible death, so these people wishing it upon the sealers is sadist. Normal people would condemn it, and would support me based on that.
Could this possibly be because the number of specific people and sites against the seal hunt exceeds the number of specific people and sites FOR the hunt? I think considering the # of comments TO the # of people in each group is "mathmatically significant"

7 years ago

Something to think about...
Probably the most terrible example of mass slaughter in the history of wildlife was the passenger pigeon - a story that almost defies belief. They weree the most numerous species of bird that has ever been or ever will be in existence on the world.
Their roosting sites were correspondingly enormous- some covered an area five miles by twelve with up to ninety nests in a single tree - branches broke and whole trees were toppled by the sheer weight of roosting birds, often standing on top of each other, and leaving a pile of droppings several inches deep under the trees. The exact number of passenger pigeons in North America when the Europeans arrived is not known but the best guess is 5 billion- about a third of all the birds in North America at the time and the same as the total number of birds to be found today in the United States.
One reason why the passenger pigeon existed in such prodigious numbers was the lack of natural predators apart from hawks and eagles. It was, however, surprisingly vulnerable to human intervention. Each female laid only one egg a year, which made it difficult to replace any losses quickly.
The population had certainly been reduced by the middle of the nineteenth century but was still several billion strong. The real onslaught began with the onset of large-scale commercial hunting .
Not surprisingly, even the vast flocks of pigeons could not withstand the slaughter .Numbers fell rapidly and by the late 1880s large flocks, which had once been so common, had become a matter for comment and investigation, and most were no more than a few hundred strong.
...No adequate attempt to protect them was made until they practically had disappeared. Whenever a law looking toward the conservation of these birds was proposed in any State, its opponents argued before the legislative committees that the Pigeons "needed no protection"; that their numbers were so vast, and that they ranged over such a great extent of country, that they were simply able to take care of themselves. This argument defeated all measures that might have given adequate protection to this species.That is why extinction finally came quickly.
It's been over 90 years since anyone has seen a live Passenger Pigeon -- but you can still see the place where the last one died.
The last one to go was "Martha" who died in 1914 at the advanced age of 29 in The Cincinnati Zoo....
" For animals , we are both their greatest enemy , and their only hope.
These wonderful creatures will not argue their case ,
they will not put up a fight ,
they will not beg for reprieve ,
they will not say goodbye,
they will not cry out...they will just vanish...
And after they're gone ...
there will be silence
and there will be stillness
and there will be empty places
and nothing you can say will change this
That's our only guarantee of what tomorrow will bring
unless we care enough to create the tomorrow we really want.."
Priceless , Bradley Trevor Greive
Peace to all

7 years ago

Very well said Marcelo... I totally agree with you. We should stop being disrespectful towards each other. If we are such a highly-evolved species and on top of the food chain...as some people in here have mentioned over and over again, we should also have enough intelligence and understanding to be able to discuss the problems of the seal hunt in a civilized manner without having to stoop down to mean and degrading language like some which has been posted here. If we continue in this manner, we will never find a solution to the problem not now nor in the future.

7 years ago

I've been reading all the posts ...just one thing to say ...SAD... I wonder how can we possible bring peace to the ice floes if we can not even bring peace into a posting board ?? There's no respect...You don’t have to agree with someone to respect their beliefs . And there's 100% chances that people would NOT change their minds in this subject.Just remember that every time you insult a fellow human being you are giving them licence to criticise your beliefs in equal measure.You may think that what this fisherman do may be monstrous, but that does not necessarily make them monsters... our job is to show them a better way without disrespecting them .Lots or people are here seeking a fight instead of understanding , seeking victory for themselves , instead of a shared victory for our planet .. The true ambassador for a living planet offers a better way... Together we can find a better way .

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