So much for common sense: 270,000 Seals to be Slaughtered

The long-awaited total allowable catch (TAC) for this year’s hunt was finally released by the Canadian government this week. 270,000 seals will be taken by sealers between now and probably next Friday. It’s hard to imagine that many animals will be killed in less than a week, especially when there is so little ice and seals in the Gulf of St. Lawrence now. Our surveillance team has had a tough time locating a large herd of seals. As we listened to the government’s press conference on the TAC announcement I was half expecting the officials to announce a cancellation of the gulf hunt.

At this point, its pretty much common knowledge that there aren’t many seals to be found out there – especially in the southern Gulf region. I can’t say I was shocked to hear that they chose to continue with the hunt – but it has become painfully obvious now that the government isn’t really interested in conservation or taking precautionary measures with regards to the hunt. Opening the southern Gulf hunt doesn’t even really make sense for sealers either…there aren’t many seals out there and it can’t be economically viable for them to purchase fuel and pay a crew to go out and only collect a few animals. Unfortunately, it looks like the small group of harps we’ve been visiting the past few days, won’t be making it much longer.

Comments: 5

 
Anonymous
7 years ago

Wow. What a great job. Men get to clobber a defenseless animal to death. Hey...You get fresh air while your add it right!?.
Every living thing on this earth needs to survive. From the smallest Ant to the biggest Elephant. From the poorest child in Africa to a filthy rich person in Beverly Hills. The difference is how we do it and what we have to do to deserve that warm meal at the end of the day. The chance to see our own children grow older day by day, not knowing how daddy got, what is now, in his belly.
I feel for these men because they have to wake up in the morning and de-humanize themselves day by day, weeks after weeks... Hearing all the grunting, howling, blood splatering, skull crushing, of all the seal they kill. And for what...
To feed their children. Some it is true. Others, I'm sure its for other reasons, I don't know, but would like to know. I want to know what you guys really feel deep down in your hearts when you get home and lay in your bed next to your wife or alone after work. I want to know how you can sleep.
I could imagine the 1st time you did this. I come from a very poor family. So I know what it is to kill and animal for food.
If anyone would like to share there life. You can send me an email lodes_37@yahoo.com. Gracias.

 
Anonymous
7 years ago

To the people out there who support this hunt. FU!! What kind of a person are you? No killing is right not even for the ugly things. I am so sick of hearing that we want this stopped because the seals are cute. That is pure bull s@@@!! We want this stopped because there is no need for it. Why don't these sealers go get a real job and leave gods beautiful creatures alone.

 
Anonymous
7 years ago

The Nunavut government said it the best.
We are a staunch supporter of animal-welfare legislation, however can not accept the fund-raising rhetoric of radical animal-rights organizations in the name of true environmentalism. The animal-rights protest industry is part of the problem insofar as it misrepresents nature and alienates humankind from natural ecosystems. Environmentalism must be a science, not a fundamentalist religion that attacks another culture and its traditions.
‘The Inuit seal controversy is far from over. Inuit must adapt to a unique phase in their experience with southern society. It is marked by the first deliberate attempt by Qallunaat (non Inuit; Europeans) to systematically alienate Inuit from the resources they have customarily depended on for their cultural independence.’ - Wenzel “Animal Rights, Human Rights: Ecology, Economy and Ideology in the Canadian Arctic” (1991).
Most of the population in western countries now lives in cities where people have become distant from natural life processes. Most food requires the taking of life, whether the source is animal or vegetable. Great care is taken to minimize cruelty to animals. Research continues into ways of achieving further progress, still some citizens consider the taking of animal life to be wrong.
Representatives of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association have observed the Canadian harp seal hunt in 2002 and concluded that, of the animals studied, 98% were killed in an acceptably humane manner. This study compared very favourably to the animal welfare standard required in abattoirs in North America and the European Union.
Due to their beautiful coats and alluring black eyes, seal pups are visually endearing. This has created a fund-raising bonanza for the animal rights industry, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the U.S Humane Society. These groups have become 'experts' at tugging on emotions. People have fallen under their sway due to influencing legislators. Such emotion-based campaigns would not work with animals of less attractive physical characteristics, however this has little to do with conservation.
In recent years a breach has grown between animal rights groups and conservation groups. Conservation groups have tended to develop a clearer recognition of the realities of life in the wild. All animals in the wild are predators of other forms of life and all are prey. Species that reproduce in excessive numbers often run short of food and become prone to disease and starvation. The natural cycle between predator and prey helps keep these numbers in control. Humans have the capacity to wreak enormous damage to this cycle, which is why responsible conservation measures are essential. Responsible conservation does not preclude hunting of animals that belong to a thriving species, such as ringed seals.
‘A central tenet of that (animal rights) philosophy is that western man has set himself apart form the rest of creation by defining himself as “outside” nature. But by disenfranchising the very people who still have a direct commitment to the land, the animal-rights philosophy facilitates the growing hegemony of the techno-industrial complex, widening rather than healing the rift between man and nature.’ – Herscovici “Second Nature: The Animal-Rights Controversy” (1985).
A commission of inquiry (“The Malouf Commission”), appointed by the Canadian government in the wake of the anti-sealing protests, concluded that the killing of wild animals can be justified on ethical grounds if four conditions are met: the existence of the species is not threatened, no unnecessary pain or cruelty is inflicted, the killing serves an important use and the killing involves a minimum of waste. The Nunavut seal hunt easily meets all these qualifications.
The anti-sealing lobby is viewed in the Arctic as a direct assault on culture, identity as well as sustainable use. Arbitrary bans such as the prohibition on sealskin imports contained in the U.S Marine Mammal Protection Act are clearly at odds with modern conservation theory and in serious disharmony with the tenets of free trade.
Nunavummiut are not Newfoundlanders and Inuit hunt ringed seals, not harp seals, but we are anxious about how the eastern Canadian harp seal hunt is repackaged for the public by the fundraising appetite of the animal rights industry. Never has there been a cash cow like the seal for shameless fundraisers tainting the good name of real environmentalism…
… Our seal hunt, for ringed seals, may be sustainable in biological and economic terms, but still not make the grade in terms of fundamentalist animal rights morality. We like to think there is more tolerance for the Nunavut hunt because it is aboriginal, it is rooted in the culture, the seal skin is a by-product of the food hunt, because we have fewer economic alternatives, we have a good environmental record, and so on. But we are still next, because we are humans and we kill animals and use them as a resource, even if it is a bountiful renewable resource. – Larry Simpson, Iqaluit.
When it became clear that conservation is not an issue with the seal hunt and claims of inhumane harvesting found to be false, a number of environmental organizations withdrew from the anti-sealing protest. When the ecological viability of the seal hunt was proven the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Canada Audubon and the Ontario Humane Society all withdrew from the anti-sealing campaign. In fact the IUCN has refused to accept major animal rights organizations such as IFAW and PETA for membership. These orgainizations have falsely cried ‘wolf’ too many times, hurting the cause of real environmentalism in which humankind has a place.
“For Inuit, ecology, hunting and culture are synonymous. Sealskin, in a northern world colonized by Euro-Canadians, provide a small measure of independence from mines and oil wells, bureaucracy and good intentions.” - Wenzel “Animal Rights, Human Rights: Ecology, Economy and Ideology in the Canadian Arctic” (1991).
http://www.edt.gov.nu.ca/sealing/ethics.htm
John Blyth
BSC Archaeology/ Anthropology. concentration: Arctic

 
Anonymous
7 years ago

If it is not out of compassion for all the animals who suffer human cruelty and in the case of the seal hunt , for the baby seals as well , then for what reason would we also be saving chickens , cows and bulls ? IFAW's determined effort to save the seals gives hope to the rest of us in another part of the world that something is being done and can be done to address this mindless mass slaughter of seals right in your own canadian backyard ... IFAW leads the fight with its resources and expertise ... keep up the good work ... we will spread the word that will help gather a momentum worldwide to protect and save the seals !!!

 
Anonymous
7 years ago

Cruel treatment to any living being should be strongly opposed. Yes, animal rights people are addressing animal cruelty and exploitation everwhere! Unfortunately, there is no shortage of mindlessly cruel issues involving animals in which to become involved!
Canada's policies regarding its natural resources are out of step with what's happening to the earth's climate. For the government to thumb its noses at the current ice conditions and allow sealers to kill upwards of 275,000 BABY seals shows a complete disregard for reality and a callousness rarely matched by another government.
By bolstering this cruel slaughter with all sorts of subsidies and vehemently defending obvious brutality, they are standing in the way of progressive thinking and enlightenment. No other nation on the planet continues to reward barbarian behavior in the style Canada does. Rather than display sincere care and concern for his family by seeking a livelihood that doesn't involve mass slaughter, a seal hunter chooses to stay right where he is and the Canadian Government supports him.
Pathetic, truly pathetic.

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