Friday, March 30, 2007

Despite Acknowledging the Dwindling Numbers and Massive Deaths of Seal Pups Due to Global Warming, Canada OKs Annual Bloody Baby Seal Slaughter

It’s amazing to me that Canada actually admits that the seal pup deaths this year have been astronomical, but they still will allow the killing of 270,000!

Just look at this quote from that actual Fisheries Department spokesperson and you’ll see this twisted logic: “Fisheries Department spokesmen Kevin Stringer and Mike Hammill told reporters that pup mortality in the southern Gulf could be as high as 90 to 100 per cent this year.”

So that would mean that only a small percent lived this year, but they’ll still allow the bludgeoning of that small population? Only callous, twisted thinking could provide such a rationalization of such a distorted decision.

For more on cruel Canada’s annual baby seal slaughter including photos and video that show the reality of grown men putting clubs or hakapik or picks through the heads of baby seals who cannot move see: http://www.seashepherd.org/seals/

And

http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c=dhKPI1PFIqE&b=437193

Here is some great information on how you can attempt to stop the annual baby seal slaughter: http://www.stopthesealhunt.ca/site/pp.asp?c=dhKPI1PFIqE&b=1477703



Article:

Quota for seal hunt reduced sharply

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/story/3927328p-4538990c.html
Updated at 1:30 PM

OTTAWA (CP) — Canada’s decision to allow a reduced seal hunt despite the deaths of many pups this year is being condemned by animal rights groups as a recipe for the eradication of the East Coast harp seal.

Federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn announced Thursday that this year’s quota for the seal hunt is 270,000 animals — a reduction from last year’s catch of 335,000 seals.

Fisheries officials said during a telephone briefing from Ottawa that hunters will be able to kill seals in all traditional hunting areas, including the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, where thin and broken ice has led to the deaths of many newborns.

Fisheries Department spokesmen Kevin Stringer and Mike Hammill told reporters that pup mortality in the southern Gulf could be as high as 90 to 100 per cent this year.

Nevertheless, Stringer said the southern Gulf is open to hunters who want to look for seals amid the thin ice and already decimated population.

“It’s an appropriate number,” Stringer said of this year’s quota. “It’s consistent with our precautionary approach.”Fisheries officials insisted the harp seal herd is healthy and abundant at about 5.5 million animals.

However, the department is accelerating a population survey of the herd, which will be carried out next year instead of 2009.

“This is an important resource for Canadians and we take the sustainable management of it very seriously,” Stringer said.

The 2007 quota and management plan was greeted with howls of protest by animal rights groups who have made the annual East Coast seal hunt the focus of international condemnation.
Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society of the United States said in an interview that seals are being subjected to the same kind of political mismanagement that led to the collapse of the cod fishery.

Aldworth said Hearn, who is from Newfoundland and Labrador, has it in for harp seals.
She said Hearn and the Fisheries Department appear determined to eliminate the seal, a marine mammal despised by many Atlantic fishermen as a competitor for dwindling fish stocks.

“I don’t believe the harp seal population can withstand this kind of mismanagement much longer,” Aldworth said.Sheryl Fink of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said she’s shocked Ottawa is allowing a commercial hunt in the southern Gulf despite the fact that officials acknowledge the high pup mortality.

“We could be looking at wiping out what is left of the Gulf herd this year,” Fink said.

Newborn seal pups can’t swim and need solid ice on which to survive.

Although Canadian hunters no longer kill the newborn whitecoats, the vast majority of seals killed in the hunt are between three and 12 weeks of age.

Fink said figures provided by the Canadian government’s own scientists show that any catch limit set above 165,000 will see the harp seal population continue to decline.

“With harp seals facing a growing threat from global warming and poor ice conditions, continuing the hunt at the unsustainable level announced today is nothing short of irresponsible,” Fink said.
Stringer said the reduction of the quota by 65,000 animals is substantial.

The vast majority of the hunt this year, as in past years, will take place off the northeastern coast of Newfoundland in an area called the Front.

Seventy per cent of the quota will be taken on the Front. The remaining 30 per cent will come from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, mostly the northern Gulf where ice conditions are better than they are in the south.The one-year quota includes allocations of 2,000 seals for personal use and 4,860 seals for aboriginal initiatives.

Stringer said there will be no change this year in the rules for observers who want to watch and report on the hunt.

However, it is much more difficult to observe the hunt off Newfoundland because of the greater distances involved.

Traditionally, animal rights groups and news reporters observe the hunt in the southern Gulf, between Iles de la Madeleine and Cape Breton Island.

Stringer said the department has had fewer applications this year for observer permits, which are designed to keep observers and hunters at safe distances from each other.

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