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The 2009 Seal Hunt Report

Sealers piling up bodies of seal pups
Sealers piling up bodies of killed seal pups. (c) Andrew Vaughan 2009

Though sealers from the Magdalen Islands of Quebec killed over 19,000 seal pups in just 3 days, reaching their quota in the first phase of the seal 'hunt', the second phase of the seal hunt began more slowly in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence on April 10th. The sealers of Newfoundland and Labrador, who are fishermen most of the year, were hampered by some bad weather and discouraged by the low price offered for seal pelts - a direct result of the European Union's efforts at banning imports of all seal products. The passage of the EU ban resulted in the lowest number of seals killed since 1994.

The DFO's unrealized plans for 2009

The Canadian government set a quota on killing harp seals of about 280,000 animals in 2009, with 70% of the quota of seals to be killed in the second phase of the seal 'hunt' on 'The Front' (waters east of Newfoundland and Labrador and also in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence). The first phase of the seal hunt took place in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The slaughter of harp seals is in addition to a quota of 8,200 hooded seals and 50,000 grey seals, also pups. In February, hundreds of grey seal pups were killed in Cape Breton when a buyer was found for their fur.

These figures do not include seals who are 'struck and lost' (i.e., injured by sealers, but escape, probably dying in the ocean).

Read more about how the seal hunt happens and why here. Read news about the seal hunt here.

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