Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seal's slaughtered in Canada

The Harp Seal is a Northern marine mammal that spends most of its life at sea. Adult harp seals weigh up to 400 pounds. Their dark gray, leathery hide has a distinctive harp-shaped mark. Babies have white, fluffy fur that camouflages them on snow and is prized by hunters. Harp seals feed on a wide range of fish and crustaceans. They live 30 to 35 years, with a mortality rate in the first year of 20 to 30 percent. Harp seals have 3 natural enemies, Polar Bears, Sharks and Killer Whales. But their biggest threat, above all others is Man, who kills hundreds of thousands of Harp seals every year.

There are many countries that hunt seals, but the largest slaughter of seals happen in Canada. Canada has been hunting seals for thousands of years. They collect their pelts, meat, and blubber for clothing, food and oil. It is illegal in Canada to kill newborn harp seals, those that have white coats, but after about 12 to 14 days old, when they start moulting this fur, they are fair game. Of course, this law is not always followed, and many newborn pups are killed. Often a mother seal will be killed, but its newborn pup left to die, or a pup killed and its mother left to morn its lifeless body.

Video from the American Humane Society in 2005.

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) regulates the seal hunt in Canada. It sets the yearly quota for the number of seals killed. In the late 1960's the harp seal population declined to just 2 million seals, due to the amount of seals killed annually. It was then that a quota system was introduced. Today the DFO claims that the harp seal population is roughly 5 million seals, and the quotas are set extremely high. Over the the last several years the harp seal quotas have soared from 270,000 seals in 2007 to 400,000 seals this year(2011).
The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Harp seal quota set at 400,000 off east coast, prompting anti-hunt outrage

HALIFAX - The quota for the harp seal hunt off Canada's east coast this spring has been set at 400,000 animals by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
The total allowable catch for hooded seals will be 8,200, some of it rolled over from last year.
"We said we'd stay with what the scientists recommended," said Frank Pinhorn, executive director of the Canadian Sealers Association. "They were recommending between 300,000 and 500,000 so we took the middle of the road."
Pinhorn said the association expects an improvement in markets this year with sales as high as 120,000 pelts, roughly double last year's figure of 68,000.
The industry is hoping that the Asian market, especially China, will increase its purchase of seal products, but Pinhorn said that might not happen for another year or two.
Fishermen in the Magdalen Islands are looking to collect seal heart valves for medical research and meat for the restaurant trade as part of the developmental quota allocation of 20,000 seals Read More...

   This is a cruel and barbaric practice. Those animals that are killed suffer greatly, and sadly, those left behind suffer too. These animals are highly social, and they mourn the loss of their community, the lose of their pups, and the loss of their mothers. Many pups that are not killed in the hunt end up dying, due to their mothers being killed. They are left to starve to death.

 Over the years many groups have protested and/or taken action against the seal hunts. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been fighting the Seal hunt since 1976. In 2005, 11 Sea Shepherd volunteers where attacked by the Captain and crew of a sealing vessel and then arrested for just filming the seal hunt, without permission from the Canadian government. The crew that attacked the SS members were not punished, what so ever. You can read about SSCS history of their seal campaigns here.

For more information on the Seal Hunts and to find out what you can do to help visit the following links.

Sea Shepherd~ Seal page

1 comment:

  1. Dear strange man how would u like that we go over to ur house nd kill the F**** out of u nd peel ur skin of...u r INHUMANE!!!!!!!....ur going to hell...animals are as important as humans....hope u regret all of this NONSENSE.U should be ashamed of ur self!!!!!!