Canadian Seal Hunt Begins Again

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Yarmouth Port, MA
The senseless slaughter of 230,000 seal pups began this morning off the coast of Newfoundland. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is flying overhead, monitoring and documenting this event so the world can see the shameful reality.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has already demonstrated their inability to manage this hunt this year, with the Gulf of St. Lawrence component going almost 20 percent over the quota set by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). There is no penalty for going over the quota and DFO is not adjusting today’s hunt quota to reflect the overrun.

“This cruel and unnecessary hunt is a mismanaged mess,” said Olivier Bonnet, IFAW’s Canadian director.

“DFO is utterly incapable of effectively regulating and managing this slaughter. Repeatedly sealers take more than the quota and DFO lets it happen. Combined with the extreme cruelty we witness every year and raging negative publicity for Canada, the time has come to finally end the seal hunt and move on.”

Canada’s commercial seal hunt has two phases – the Gulf hunt and the Front hunt. For 2006, the Gulf hunt quota was 92,343 seals. DFO announced yesterday that sealers have so far killed 108,653 seals - 16,310 seals over the quota.

The quota for the Front hunt is 232,657 seals. Most of this hunt begins by being open for one day, and then DFO assesses whether it will re-open. The Front hunt is an extremely competitive, reckless environment that is known to be extremely difficult to regulate and monitor by authorities.

“We are very worried about the level of cruelty that we are going to see today,” said Regina Flores, IFAW’s seals campaigner. “As IFAW, our role is to show the world that this is happening and encourage everyone to pressure the Canadian government to end it once and for all.”

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Press Contact

Chris Cutter (IFAW, Headquarters)
Contact phone:
+1-508-737-4623
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Experts

Dr. Ralf (Perry) Sonntag, Country Director, Germany
Country Director, Germany
Sheryl Fink, Wildlife Campaigns Director, IFAW Canada
Wildlife Campaigns Director, IFAW Canada
Sonja Van Tichelen, Regional Director, European Union
Regional Director, European Union