Canadian DFO Announces Total Allowable Catch of Seals!

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) released the total allowable catch (or TAC) of seals today. 

The number of seal pups Fisheries officials decided it was reasonable to kill is 275,000 harp seal pups, known as beaters...seals whose coats have just started to progress past the white coat stage...and the majority of which will be between 3 weeks and 3 months of age...The International Fund for Animal Welfare issued a press release calling the decision 'appalling'.  You can read the complete release here.

We will keep you updated via this, the IFAW seal hunt blog at about our plans to let the world see the cruelty of this unnecessary commercial hunt. 

Please spread the word about this cause and tell friends to subscribe to this feed.  Thank you.

Submitted by J.C. Bouvier - IFAW Online Campaigns Staff

Comments: 7

8 years ago

Hi, while your input is valuable and it's good to have a balanced debate, there's several big flaws with your argument ecologically, I can't speak about socio-economically as I don't know.
1, - seal populations would explode, if there were unlimited resources, Which there aren't. Seals, like most slow reproducing large mammals are k-selected species that exist at the carrying capacity of their system. They exist in "bottom-up" foodwebs where their populations are controlled by the size of their resource, rather than them controlling the size of their resource. (for more info, see research from St Andrews University in Scotland)
2, The collapse, if it did happen (which it won't), would be short lived after the fish died. Fish are able to reproduce and repopulate following decimation far faster than mammals. If the fish stocks went down, as described above, the seals would also plummet, and the fish would rapidly go up. This is seen with Krill round antarctica, the krill populations can change by 10,000x between years, but the mammals they support remain constant.
3,Sorry to say it, but there's only one thinging causing the collapse of the canadian fishing industry - the canadian fishing industry.
4, death through starvation is a natural process, sad but unavoidable. The best wildlife management practice is just to leave it well alone.
5, seals have a relatively limited range, it's hard to understand what other animals they'd compete with. If they could migrate, they would have done so already (especially considering the strong evolutionary pressure to avoid being clubbed)
6, Seal meat makes up such a tiny fraction of meat consumed compared to other sources, meaning the increased demand for beef chicken etc would be tiny.
I hate to say it, but the seal hunt is such a blight on canada, and that combined with the oil sands has just ruined a lot of foreign folks' opinion of canadians. When we were in Europe we found Canadians telling the locals they were Americans to avoid embarrassment and confrontation.
Ecologically, the impacts of ending or continuing the hunt aren't going to be huge, and saying they are is sabre-rattling. I know it's tradition, and that it's very important for some folks, but then so was being a slaver for a lot of people before the time of Lincoln. The fact is that times, attitudes, and pressures do change.
Would love to hear your responses. All the best.

9 years ago

I don't like this at all. I mean I could understand the whole reason about the population and everything, but there SHOULD be a more humane way to do this. Like just put them to sleep like they do to dogs. Or maybe try to prevent other seals from making more babies O_O
God, I hate humans.

10 years ago

Adione, you're obviously an extremist as killing humans is obviously an extremists comparison and not a realistic one.
I never said the loss of other species is the seals fault, its obviously our fault, but once the seal hunt is ended, and the seal population soon hits over 100 million, we won't be the only ones decimating ocean life and everything else I mentioned above. Ignoring these conseqences of ending the seal hunt doesn't make them go away no matter how much you want them to. And I agree, hunting seals - or any animal simply for its fur isn't acceptable either.
So what's the best solution here? Letting the seal population go unchecked certainly isn't, and neither is letting man hunt the seals for their fur, so I put it to you Adione, what's the solution we need here?

10 years ago

Hey Tamara...maybe to keep the balance we should go around culling human beings seeing as we are the species that has truly upset the natural order of things. The loss of all these other species can't be placed on the backs of the seal population. The human race are the destroyers here and we have no right to beat creatures to death for their fur...not ever and I don't really care if the species is cute or not..that really has nothing to do with it.

10 years ago

If you end the seal hunt in Canada, this is what you can expect to happen:
1. Seal population will explode, projected to double every few years. They have few natural enemies to begin with and most of those are dwindling in numbers, primarily Polar Bears (global warming primary reason), Orca (Environmental degradation, depletion of prey species, conflicts with fishing activities, and habitat degradation), Sharks(major declines in shark stocks have been recorded in recent years - some species have been depleted by over 90% over the past 20-30 years with a population decline of 70% not being unusual) and Walruses (listed as an at risk species in Canada).
2. Fish stocks (Cod & others) will be depleted in about 15-20 years after that.
3. The Canadian fishing industry will collapse. Unemployment will spike upward. But even before that happens many, many more seals will get caught up and die in fishing nets.
4. The seals (and many other species no one seems to care about because their not cute) will begin to starve and die. Not the best kind of death.
5. Some seals will migrate and begin to complete with other species in other parts of the world for food resources. Many more animal deaths due to starvation will occur (some of those animals may even be cute too).
6. Humans will begin to eat more of other meat sources (such as chicken, pork, and beef). And incidentally the raising of beef is a primary source of Green house gases. But no one really cares about the lives of chickens, pigs, and cows now do they.
So in reality many, many, many more seals (and other animals) will die a much, much, more horrible death if the seal hunt is ended.
So should the seal hunt really be ended? Of course not. However, it definitely should be made more humane. Clubbing seals to death is a painful, horrible death - not as bad as starving to death, but still horrible. There are more humane ways of killing things then clubbing them till they stop moving. THIS SHOULD BE THE GOAL HERE, not ending the hunt entirely. Ending the hunt is an over reaction (as people tend to do) of the inhumane methods of seal hunting.
Or the other solution is to re-balance the scales, replace the pre 1900 populations of the species that prey on seals, the aforementioned Polar Bears, Orca, sharks, & Walrus. But since none of these species are that cute, there is not likely to be an over the top campaign to save them, even though its these species who need to be saved much more so then those cute little seals.
So until then, the seal hunt must continue to keep the balance. Ending the seal hunt is simply self defeating. Making it MORE HUMANE MUST BE THE GOAL HERE.

10 years ago

Don't know what to say, it's just sad..

10 years ago

Once again the barbaric seal hunt will go on with a TAC of 275,000 young seals. It is unbelievable that the government can't see the end coming for this annual disgrace. The markets are drying up and the pelts are now worth only a fraction of what they were as the market disappears.
These sealers can't even get insurance for their boats when they go out. Last year $8 Million dollars was given by the Canadian government to 100 sealing boats for repairs after their boats were damaged in the ice. The value of the hunt isn't much more than what we paid those sealers out of our tax pockets. It makes a person question the lunacy behind this annual disaster let alone the fact that it is inhumane. One wonders what it will take to put an end to this tragedy.

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