Home / Canada must overturn its seal culls before hosting international fishing talks

Canada must overturn its seal culls before hosting international fishing talks

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Let me get this straight: Canada is going to host global talks on overfishing? The same nation that blames dwindling fish stocks on seals to the point of approving bloody seal culls?

Ottawa needs to take notice of global opinion against their carnage* before they should be allowed to host any ideas about overfishing.

“Our message to international vessel owners and crews is clear: Canada is watching you closely and overfishing will not be tolerated,” David Bevin of Canada’s federal fishing fisheries ministry said.

This is the same Ministry of Fisheries that blames a decrease in numbers of cod on the seals – and whose advice is the Canadian government is acting on – despite evidence that the seals aren’t even to blame, as this letter to the Head Minister of Fisheries demonstrates. It speaks volumes that a Canadian marine biologist with strong ties to the Nova Scotia fishing community opposes the seal cull, and that Canadian DFO scientific studies seem to reveal that the seal cull is unscientific in addition to inhumane.

But yet, just as presidential candidates in America must kowtow to the NRA-sponsored hunting brigade, Canada has capitulated to angry and frustrated fishermen – despite the fact that fishermen don’t really do science. They just fish.

Nations have always sparred over fishing rights – the 1976 “Cod War” between Iceland and Britain comes amusingly to mind – and Canada has every right to protect its waters against foreign vessels. Currently, the Great White Northern nation is engaged in a tiff with Greenland and the Faeroes over shrimp fishing.

But if Canada’s contribution to the debate and possible solution of overfishing is to have any credence at all, they must stop the outrage of the seal culls first.

* Kudos to The Daily Mirror for continuing to expose this slaughter.

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About Nightdragon

  • And thank you so much for speaking about this here…

    I am frankly surprised that this is still going on… thought it was ‘settled’ way back when…

    Again, another expression of the basic issue plaguing this spiritually immature planet… separation… thinking, feeling and living as if we are separate from each other and from other forms of life.

    I acknowledge and thank these seals for the courageous role they are playing, to their physical detriment, to help human beings get it that harming any form of life anywhere is harming self.

    Hurry up and mature, humanity!!!

  • Thank you, Angela.

    Canada succumed to international pressure in the ’70s and stopped the practice, but they revived it in the past five years, because they know there’s a market for seal fur in the former Soviet republics.

    What’s really shameful is that the Canadians are passing this off as necessary to protect their fishing industry. Bull!

    They just want to tap into the Eastern European demand for fur. That’s all.

    Canada, hippie nation? Gimme a break.

  • Well from what I understand the overfishing on the Grand Banks is the culmination of years and years of overfishing by both Canadian and foreign trawlers. It was systemic and sustained – with the predictable results.

    The sealing was revivied partially due to the discovery that, as noted, Russian and eastern European markets were now open to the fur, but also because East Asian market prize certain…well..let’s just politely call them “parts” of the seals or as Home Simpson might say “Mmmmmm…unprocessed seal reproductive organs…mmmmm”.

    So it has now become profitable again and, due to a combination of the destruction of the fishery, the dearth of jobs, and the need to work a specific number of weeks per year to collect their federal stipend, now they are back out culling seals again. Unless you are prepared to prevent them by paying them NOT to cull, I don’t see how you can prevent it, given the lack of income-generating opportunities in the Newfoundland outports.

    As I understand it the seals DO impact on the fisheries recovery (not through dining on cod necessarily but from impacting the cod’s food supply) but compared to the insane degree of over-fishing, blaming seals is pure misdirection and spite.

  • What a load of faux urbane solicitude for seals: Abattoirs, whether open air style in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or landbased in the slaughterhouses of Chicago, are seldom pleasant places.

    The usual form of misguided cross-species democracy that is posited here reveals the lack of insight of its champions and does absolutely nothing to indict the sealers, all of whom are engaged in making an honest and honourable living.

    Shrink-wrapped sensibilities have no place in this serious debate over the livelihood of Newfoundland fishermen.

  • I like the fact that the best photo the author could find was 30 years old.

    And since you’re 100% dead wrong on the hunting situation in the US – deer are out of control vermin and we need MORE hunters, not less. Why should we expect your assessment of the seal situation to be any more accurate?


  • Dave, it’s a shame that I should be forced to disagree with someone with whom I normally find a spirit-in-kind.

    Canada is tapping into the Eastern European fur market and blaming seals on overfishing. People are responsible for overfishing, not seals!

    Have you bothered to read any of the links? And the photo of The Mirror cover from 30 years ago was simply to demonstrate that Canada has engaged in this cruelty before?

    Why, simply because we are conservative, do we have to approve of animal torture???

    And, IF – and that’s a big if – the seals are a problem for Canada, why the hell don’t they send professional hunters to shoot them with guns instead of vigilantes with clubs who strip the seals of their fur while they may still be alive?

    Sorry, Dave, but if you can approve of this barbaric practice, I have lost any respect I ever had for you.

  • Hey, I never said I approved of bashing baby seals. My post was approving of gunning down bambi. There’s no justifiable use for seals and they aren’t vermin like deer, so I see little need for killing them.