2010 Seal Hunt Ends! 260,000 Seal Pups Saved!
The commercial slaughter of harp seal pups for 2010 officially closed at 8 pm on June 14.
Only 66,509 harp seal pups have been reported killed this year, much lower than the total allowable catch of 330,000 harp seals set by Fisheries Minister Gail Shea. This is the second year in a row that the number of seals killed has been drastically below the allowable catch. Last year, some 72,000 seals were killed.
The continued lack of consumer desire to purchase products made from Canada’s dead seals means that over 260,000 seal pups have been spared a cruel and unnecessary death this year. Unfortunately, due to the absence of ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence breeding grounds, hundreds of thousands of pups may have perished - even with the reduced commercial hunt.
There is no better time for the Canadian government to bring an end to this unnecessary slaughter and begin helping sealers transition into other industries. Results of a new poll conducted by Environics Research Group for IFAW indicates that 79% of Canadians would approve of the use of tax dollars being used to phase out the seal hunt and transition sealers into other industries.
Yesterday in the Canadian Senate, Senator Mac Harb criticized the Canadian government for failing Canadians by continuing to support the commercial seal hunt rather than work to provide alternatives.
Canada is not the only country where sealing is in decline. Recent media from Norway reports that despite increased subsidies to the industry, only one sealing vessel took part in the hunt this year, and that this boat now also intends to stop sealing.
Earlier in the spring, fines were issued and a sealing boat’s licence was revoked as a result of a shocking report made by an inspector onboard a Norwegian sealing vessel during the 2009 hunt, revealing gross incompetency, cruel killing practices and horrific suffering. - Sheryl Fink - IFAW
For more information on IFAW's efforts around the world please visit www.ifaw.org.