VIDEO: Slow start to Canadian seal hunt as sealers stay home

There is nothing more frustrating than being prepared to document the commercial seal hunt and being kept down by one thing we have absolutely no control over – weather. 

Freezing fog, low visibility and snow made it impossible to fly today.   According to officials, only 28 boats hailed out for the Front: a similar number to the 2011 hunt, but a dramatic drop from the 2100 boats that engaged in the hunt back in 2006. After two days of hunting, some 2260 seals have been killed.

Still, we documented some disturbing scenes from the air yesterday.  Among the worst, a seal pup, shot from a distance, left crying out and suffering for over two minutes before the sealer was able to make a second shot and finally end her misery.  

The sealer was, in fact, following the Regulations, which require a second shot if a seal is still visibly moving after a first bullet.  But the distances and the difficulty in obtaining a clean shot from a moving boat mean that these sorts of occurrences continue to happen  far too often.

A CBC article notes that many fishermen are saying the markets are too small to justify the expense of going sealing this year. 

At $27 per skin, it looks as though even government support is not enough to entice sealers to risk the floes for a dangerous, unpredictable and unprofitable venture.

It’s still early in the season, but I am truly hoping that the order of 130,000 sealskins will not be filled this year. When even sealers are saying the hunt is not worthwhile, we must make sure it remains so and put the final nail in the coffin of this dying industry.

We need your help more than ever. Please visit and take action to help us make the seal hunt history. 

-- SF

Comments: 6

Dave Kennedy
6 years ago

It's people that have killed off the fish stocks, not seals. The earth and it's ecosystems have maintained a healthy equilibrium for millions of years, that is until man came along a few thousand years ago and began breeding like cockroaches. Also, the argument that seals are keeping the cod from returning is b.s.. Seals eat more fish that compete with cod than they eat cod. Human overpopulation and greed are what's ruined the seas and its bounty. Estimates abound that there is a net gain (people born vs people that die) of 159 people every second, 229,000 a day, and 83.6 million a year. Stop breeding and your fish stocks will come back.

6 years ago

Sheryl I admire your courage. The scenes I've seen on video are burned into my memory and they keep me awake at night frankly. Thank God for people like you !

6 years ago

You talk about the millions of dollars spent promoting the seal hunt...what about the millions of dollars you people have spent trying to stop it which by the way hasnt worked and is not going to work.there will always be a seal hunt and with population climbing to 9 million we will have to cull the herd because the seals will have nothing left to eat in the ocean!

6 years ago

Government support? What sort of people support such a government?

6 years ago

Ahh.. Canada soll längst das Geschäftsmodel wechseln - ich glaub das Land wird mehr verdienen, indem die endlich Jagt auf die Robbenjäger legalisieren ;-)

6 years ago

Vous êtes tout simplement merveilleux merci du fond du cœur Isabelle.

6 years ago

Ik vind zelfs 1 gedode zeehond te veel! Ik hoop van harte dat deze jacht helemaal niets meer oplevert en de jagers wat anders gaan doen voor de kost! Truien breien voor mijn part....Je kan geen geweten hebben om zoiets wreeds als een zeehond doden te kunnen doen!

6 years ago

Dear Ms. Fink,
I have sent the following letter to all Canadian politicians right after the beginning of the seal hunt in the Gulf. I hope that very soon the commercial seal hunt will be history.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
The Hon. Keith Ashfield
cc The Right Hon. Stephen Harper
cc the Members of Parliament , Canadian Senators

Dear Minister,
Canada tries very hard to appear in the view of us Europeans as one of the few last refuges of unspoilt nature.
What a deceit: every year thousands and thousands of defenseless baby seals are slaughtered in the Gulf of St. Laurence and off N.F. The commercials seal hunt is an unnecessary and brutal massacre, unworthy of such a rich 1st world country.
Even though ice conditions in the last two years endangered the harp seal population ( DFO stated that 80 per cent of the breed drowned) you set the catch quota of 2012 to a reckless 400.000
Your doing is irresponsible. Man sees himself as the “masterpiece of creation” and derives the right to interfere, exploit and destroy nature.
Your doing is a crime, not only against our nature. It is also a deceit of your own citizens by ignoring the fact that, thanks to many many responsible engaged people all over the world, markets for seal products have finally collapsed.
Capable politicians realize when the wind changes. The dark chapter of for some centuries lasting gory commercial seal hunt has just closed. It should be your priority task to offer alternative sustainable future businesses to your coastal inhabitants and not lull them into delusion by stock-piling seal pelts at the expense of your tax payers.
Prove our humane uniqueness by accepting our responsibility to protect our nature and preserve the beauty of our planet for our descendants. Stop the commercial seal hunt.
My family and I would love to see the beauties of your country and spend our holidays in Canada`s unspoilt nature. But as long as you continue this barbaric massacre we boycott your country.

Dr. Astrid Kammerer-Höfer
Kandelstr. 18
79194 Gundelfingen, Germany

6 years ago

Hopefully another nail in the horrific seal hunt's coffin!!!

6 years ago

Ik zou graag die jachers zelf willen villen!!! Prima dat er goede acties worden verricht om dit te stoppen! Aan dit bericht te lezen in het begin van succes in zicht HOERA maar helaas nog steeds arme slachtoffers!

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