VIDEO: Canada fails again in fisheries management by placing politics over science

This post was modified from a yet unpublished letter to the editors of Canada’s Corner Brook Western Star newspaper. - ED

A recent editorial suggested that the 2012 allowable catch of 400,000 harp seals in Canada is unlikely to be reached because of the lack of markets for seal products. 

This may well be true, and we are thrilled to say that thanks to your support, the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s work on the European Union and Russian bans on seal products has all but destroyed the global markets for seal fur. 

The editorial then goes on to claim that because the quota was not likely to be reached, that we should do away with having a quota altogether.

To suggest that the harp seal quota is irrelevant because it is not likely to be taken is as ludicrous as saying that we should not bother trying to manage fisheries at all.

While IFAW has concerns about the management of the Atlantic seal hunt, it is one of the few “fisheries“ in Canada where a management framework has been put in place, and it has been promoted internationally as an example of “responsible management”. 

Although it falls short as a Precautionary Approach, the framework provides a quantitative reference point for the population, and outlines that quotas are to be set with the objective of keeping the population above this point.

A Canadian sealer on the ice with his kill this season. c. IFAW/S. FinkAn expert panel report of the Royal Society of Canada concluded earlier this year that Canada has failed miserably in fulfilling national and international obligations to sustain marine biodiversity, and that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans wields too much discretionary power. 

There is no better example of this abuse of power than Fisheries Minister Ashfield’s decision to set the harp seal quota at 400,000 - against the advice from Departmental and international scientists that any quota over 300,000 would not respect the management objectives for this population. 

By showing a continued disregard for fisheries science, and a refusal to commit to management plans that have been established, it is clear that the Canadian government has learned nothing from the collapse of cod stocks and is once again heading down the dangerous path of putting politics ahead of fisheries science. 

The fact that the harp seal herd is in decline is no reason to rejoice. On the contrary, harp seals are likely to face increased climate-related threats in the future, and this is all the more reason why commercial exploitation should cease.

--SF

Send a message to the government of Canada that it is time for the seal hunt to end.

Comments: 5

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Every year I am sickened by this event and the Canadian Goverments decision to ignore International calls for it to be stopped. Personally I would like to see Canadian residents themselves do more to stop it, a countryside protest would be a start!

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

The harp seal population in Atlantic Canada has been increasing for the past twenty years to an estimated 6-9 million seals. Anyone looking at this site should realize that information provided here is biased to sway viewers to become sympathetic to their beliefs and ideas in order for them to make a profit. People should do their own research and not be influenced by glossy photo's of seal pups.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I think it was very disturbing to see that they killed a defenceless creatures that coudnt do anything. When I see that I think what if you were a animal and you were getting beetin,abused,or even cut I know you woudnt be pleased I know you do every thing you can to protect your family so just think if you were takin away and killed you wouldnt be able to see your family again so think before you do please.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

i think that this video is very sad how they just grab the seal by its mouth and kill it...

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

you could have helped them

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Experts

Dr. Ralf (Perry) Sonntag, Country Director, Germany
Country Director, Germany
Robbie Marsland, Regional Director, United Kingdom
Regional Director, United Kingdom
Sheryl Fink, Wildlife Campaigns Director, IFAW Canada
Wildlife Campaigns Director, IFAW Canada
Sonja Van Tichelen, Regional Director, European Union
Regional Director, European Union