Search for Hunt Violations Continues.
The IFAW team has been scouting the waters off the coast of Newfoundland for the last day and a half. Yesterday, we had very little luck finding any sealing activity. In fact, there were even difficulties finding herds of beater seal pups. Several concentrations of adult seals were spotted but we were unable to find any hunting activity. Where are the beater seals? Tragically, I worry that many of these younger seals may have perished before the hunt opened.
Our team continued out today to survey the area and we are currently observing 3 sealing vessels. We’re working to document any hunting activity and our photographer and videographer are on-site to capture any instances of cruelty that may occur. This year continues to be very different from other observation events and even the Canadian government is having trouble getting their own officials out on the ice. Yesterday, several fisheries ministers had to observe the hunt from a Coast Guard vessel instead of from the ice. DFO officials concur that this year’s ice conditions are extremely poor and are hindering the sealing industry’s hunting capabilities. In normal years a single boat could bring back anywhere 500 and 700 seals, so far this year sealers are pulling in around 50 or 60. We hope that the government will acknowledge the serious effect that global warming is having on this seal population and that decision makers will ultimately take this man-made strain off of Canada’s harp seal herd.