Seal Hunt in Canada Starts This Week
IFAW Senior Research and Projects Specialist Sheryl Fink is currently in Canada monitoring the seal hunt. The update below is from our Seal Hunt blog, which provides daily coverage from IFAW staff on the ground.
The seal hunt in the southern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence is set to open. This hunt covers the area we’ve been visiting for the past two weeks. All of the seals that are in our most recent footage and the still images which we’ve fed out to the global news markets are now targets for tomorrow’s hunt. Many of the whitecoat seals we spotted two weeks ago are starting to molt their fur and become silvery beater pups. These same seals, which were illegal to hunt two weeks ago, are now fair game for sealers.
The Canadian government often criticizes us for calling the hunted seals “babies.” They like to say that while whitecoats are babies, beaters are not. What the government neglects to say is that beaters are only two weeks older than whitecoats – they are essentially pups, still in their formative stages. Still learning how to swim. Still learning how to feed themselves. Sometimes, these seals haven’t even had their first solid meal. These are the seals that the hunters will target tomorrow.
Today, IFAW’s surveillance team headed out to the Cabot Strait again to see what was out there. The report back was that there was even more open water than in previous flights. This lack of ice won’t stop the hunters from collecting their share of the 270,000 seals the government allows to be killed. In these conditions, seals are shot in the open water and often times drown before they can be retrieved.
You can take action now by telling the government of Canada that their annual commercial seal hunt is a cruel and unethical practice that produces a product nobody needs.