Supporting Canada’s Seal Hunt Makes No Economic Sense

A Canadian federal election is in full-swing, and the candidates and the party leaders are on full parade making election promises, most of which will undoubtedly not be kept. A lot of the messaging is focused on investing and spending tax dollars wisely.

All Canadians, especially in these tough economic times, want their taxes to go to things that have value and that give back to our country and our communities. That’s why when political candidates who claim to be fiscally responsible  say they support the commercial seal hunt, I shake my head..

Let’s take a look at the numbers[1]:

Number of commercial sealing licenses 6,000
Sealers who participated in 2010 commercial seal hunt 390
Number of companies who process seals 4
Number of companies who purchased pelts in 2010 1
Amount sealers earned per seal pelt in 2010 $18
Landed value of seal pelts in 2010 $1.2 million
Landed value of “other” products inc. meat and oil in 2010 $60,000
Export value of seal products in 2010 $2.1 million
Department of Fisheries and Oceans hunt monitoring cost in 2010 [2] $1 million
Estimated 2010 cost of government support for seal hunt $2.3 million
Cost to fight the EU ban on seal products at the WTO[3] $10 million
Cost to tourism, other trade areas (such as impact of seafood boycotts) and damage to Canada’s reputation $$$$$$???

Given these numbers, one might expect our fiscally-concerned leaders to acknowledge the lunacy of spending some $2.3 million on an industry that brings in half that amount and benefits fewer than 400 individuals. Or maybe they would be arguing for a better use of these funds, such as phasing-out the commercial seal hunt and buying back licenses or otherwise helping sealers and their communities.

But instead, Canadian politicians  are foolishly competing with each other to show who can show MORE support for the unnecessary, economically wasteful slaughter of seal pups!

When fewer individuals are participating in the hunt each year, markets for seal products are disappearing, and the lack of ice due to climate change will make it impossible  for anyone to rely on this industry in the future, it is absolutely mind-boggling that more MPs aren’t speaking out to end the commercial hunt and transition sealers into viable industries. Seals, sealers and Canadian taxpayers can only stand to benefit in a win-win-win situation.

It’s not as though markets for seal products are expected to increase any time soon. The EU and USA have closed their doors to seal products, and Canada’s recent attempts to market seal products in China are being met with a growing public outcry as well.

If you’re a Canadian voter, please present your candidates with the numbers and ask them where they stand.  Ask them why Canada’s political leaders continue to waste your precious tax dollars on propping up this dying industry with no future.

For more information on the campaign visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook or to take action to protect seals you can visit IFAW’s action centre.

--SF


[1] Unless otherwise indicated, source is DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans’) 2011-2015 Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for Atlantic Seals

[2] Estimate based on information received through Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP).

[3] Estimate based on McCarthy Tétrault trade lawyer Simon Potter, published in the Globe and Mail, 28 July 2009.

Comments: 13

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

It sounds like you need to go back to school and learn proper grammar instead of trying to show the world what a tough guy you are. Wow, torturing helpless Harp seals!!! Your impressive!!!

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

Rob - my thoughts exactly - shoot the sealers. But we can't do that because it's murder. Love the double standard here. I just wrote to Harper telling him I will not vote for him because our government who supports this practice has made Canadians look like barbaric, unethical, eco-eduational morons with an IQ of zero. I'm so sick of this blood-letting. Let's everyone write to the PM. There is a great letter on this site. Tell the PM that we won't vote for him. And tell him to stop discrediting us on the world stage. Tell Harper to devote the money into eco-tourism industry worldwide - come photograph and pet the seals!

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

Are you sick to the core? It makes a monstrous damage to a society, producing the killer type, people able to actually kill a defenceless creature for 18$ a piece and making that their regular JOB. Think of it! Who are those people?! They live next door maybe. Do you want to meet them? Do you want your kids to meet them? From what I saw in a videos (so many of them!) they actually seem enjoying killing. It's madness, threatening, dangerous madness.

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

Maybe you should! Good idea, indeed. And a good big strike won't hurt and maybe will be noticed.

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

made mistake of clicking onto the wrong hand - don't know a thing about her so can't voice opinion

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

It sickens me to the point of maybe we just have to take to the streets across Canada and protest loudly like the unions do, to make out voices for the seals heard!! I agree this has been going on far too long in a so-called civilized society - or are we?? We here in B.C. still have the bear hunting and trapping, whale watching which does more harm than good - fish farming - and on and on! NO gov't has done a thing to help and the seal hunt is one of the worst atrocities in the entire world!!! Canada is filled with people totally concerned with only themselves and the almighty $$$ and I for one am now ashamed to call myself a Canadian!! So much for this "peace loving country"

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

Thanks for informing me the Greens are the Only party that cares......shouldn't be surprised tho! I do vote for them anyhow, but they're too quiet in B.C. about what they do and don't do! gratefully,

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

That the seal hunt ever began is an atrocity, and I'm floored that the Canadian government could actually support it. It should be outlawed immediately, with the worst of penalties put in place. Glad as I am that IFAW has teams out there documenting the heinous barbarism, I have to wonder why they don't do a better deed and shoot the sealers. It ought to be apparent to anyone in their right mind that it takes a monstrous, demonic being to do what they are mindlessly doing; they are sub-human, and the innocent babies they murder deserve life more than they ever could.

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

ms fink ha no background in understanding Seal Fishery giving She does not have either a MASTERS degree in ECONOMICS or at a minimum a MASTERS degree in biology with a minimum of 10 years experience In study of seal fishery.. Therefore, how is She qualified to make such statements that she does. HER STATEMENTS ARE NOT WORTH THE PAPER IT IS WRITTEN ON.

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

you right

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