IFAW Begins Seal Hunt Watch 2009
The IFAW observation team has arrived safely in Charlottetown, PEI to once again observe Canada's Commercial Seal Hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We've moved our supplies and helicopters into the hangar and are set and ready to document the hunt with photographers, vidographers and a special high definition camera mounted to the bottom of one of the helicopters.
The seal herd this year is packed in close to the northwest section of The Magdalen Islands and there is solid ice in the gulf for the first time since 2005. The commercial seal hunt officially opened yesterday with a "landsmen" hunt -- where sealers walk off the islands or use snowmobiles to access the hunt. Unfortunately, due to poor weather conditions -- fog, snow and high winds -- we were unable to take our helicopters out to observe and document any sealing activity. This morning we awoke to more snow, so the outlook is not so good for documentation today either. Our best hope is that the weather will clear and we will be able to get out later today so we can show the world the cruelty that occurs on the ice floes off the eastern coast of Canada.