The Canadian Seal 'Hunt' 2013 and the Namibian Cape fur seal slaughter 2013
Note: we reprint articles as they are written, complete with erroneous information. We urge those whocare about seals to educate themselves by perusing the various sections of our website.
Federal government announces quota for harp seal hunt, weeks after it began
Published on May 10, 2013
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The federal government has announced the quota for this year’s commercial harp seal hunt, weeks after it began.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says on its website that the total allowable catch for harp seals this year has been set at 400,000, the same quota that was set for last year.
The quota for hooded seals is 8,200 — also the same as last year.
The harp seal hunt off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador began about a month ago.
In past years, the department announced the quota before the hunt started.
Animal welfare groups say the hunt is inhumane and have called on Ottawa to support a buyout of the sealing industry.
But the government says the hunt is humane, sustainable and a source of revenue for fishermen on the East Coast.
Photos: 2013 Canadian seal hunt bloodies the ice off Newfoundland (warning: graphic images)
by Stephen Hui on Apr 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm
It's Day 9 of the 2013 Canadian commercial seal hunt.
Almost 60,000 harp seals have been caught and killed in the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Newfoundland, since April 9. According to the Seals and Sealing Network, the industry is aiming to "harvest" 100,000 seals this year, but the total allowable catch could be over 400,000 seals.
Meanwhile, Humane Society International/Canada is on the scene to observe the slaughter. The group wants to see the hunt end and a "federal buyout" of the highly subsidized sealing industry. It says it's irregular that this year's total allowable catch wasn't released by the Canadian government prior to the opening of the hunt.
HSI Canada captured these graphic images of the seal hunt from the air.
Sealers club, hook, drag, and skin harp seal pups on the Front in 2013. Photos by Frank Loftus, HSI 2013.
Seal fishery opening dates announced
Published on April 5, 2013
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced opening dates for this year’s seal fishery.
The fishery for harp seals will re-open in sealing areas four to eight, and 12, at 6 a.m. Tuesday, April 9.
This fishery will open for Front longliners, Area five to eight small boats and speed boats, all Area 4 vessels, and personal use, license classes N100 to N106, N300 to N302 and N400.
The department also advises Newfoundland and Labrador seal harvesters based in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, that the fishery for harp seals will re-open in the Gulf, in sealing areas nine to 23, and 25 to 27, at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, April 9.
The fishery will open for Gulf longliners, Gulf small boats, Gulf speed boats, and personal use, license classes N200 to N204 and N401.
The Department further advises seal harvesters having a homeport located between Big Brook to Noddy Bay inclusive, operating from vessels less than 40 feet, license classes N203 and N204, that a portion of Sealing Area 5 will also open for harp seals at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, April 9.
Seal harvesters are advised to check with their buyers to confirm a market for their seals before going sealing.
Province gives $3.6-M loan to boost seal hunt
Carino Processing will get the cash to buy pelts and blubber until rebound in market demand
Posted: Apr 5, 2012 3:42 PM NT
A hunter heads towards a harp seal during the annual East Coast seal hunt in this 2009 file photo. The Newfoundland and Labrador government is providing a $3.6 million loan to aid in the purchase of seal products this year. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
The Newfoundland and Labrador government is providing a $3.6-million loan for the purchase of raw material to boost this year’s seal hunt.
“Through today’s announcement, our government is providing financial support for the seal-processing industry in order to protect the future viability of the province’s seal hunt,” Fisheries Minister Darin King said.
Carino Processing Limited will get the cash.
King says the loan will “ensure adequate raw material is available to Carino to address market demands as they arise, and will ensure hundreds of harvesters secure an income this year.”
The money will allow Carino to purchase seal pelts and blubber or fat.
The government said the company will make a matching contribution for processing and marketing activities.
“Uncertainty around market access and political risk has made it increasingly difficult for companies trading in seal products to secure financing from traditional sources,” said Dion Dakins, chief executive officer of Carino.
“Therefore, the support of the provincial government is essential to secure our future in Newfoundland and Labrador. This industry can continue to make a significant contribution to the economy once the external political issues are resolved over the next year or so. We are confident this will occur.”
In December, King said Ottawa must do more to protect the industry after Russia — a major customer of Canadian seal products — signalled it would impose trade restrictions on those imports.
Canada has filed a challenge with the World Trade Organization over a 2009 ban imposed by the European Union.
Newfoundland provides loan to seal-processing plant
DILDO, NFLD. — The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, Mar. 27 2013, 5:26 PM EDT
A seal processing plant in Newfoundland and labrador will get a $3.6-million loan from the provincial government this year. Fisheries Minister Derrick Dalley says the money for Carino Processing Ltd. will allow the Dildo facility to buy seal pelts and blubber from this year’s hunt.
A seal-processing plant in Newfoundland and Labrador will get a $3.6-million loan from the provincial government this year.
Fisheries Minister Derrick Dalley says the money for Carino Processing Ltd. will allow the Dildo facility to buy seal pelts and blubber from this year’s hunt.
The government offered a loan of the same amount last year to Carino Processing, but the company only borrowed $2-million.
The government says that’s because poor ice conditions hampered the hunt last year, adding that the loan has since been repaid.
Mr. Dalley reiterated the government’s position that seal hunt is humane and sustainable, a statement that animal welfare groups strongly contest.
Humane Society International swiftly condemned the loan as a wasteful subsidy intended to prop up a dying business.
“Instead of providing financing to a doomed industry, our governments, both provincial and federal, should be pursuing a one-time buyout of the commercial sealing industry,” Rebecca Aldworth, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a news release Wednesday.
“That plan would put more money into the pockets of Canadian fishermen than the seal hunt ever could, and it would be a just and graceful way to remove the international stigma of being one of the last nations in the world to support commercial sealing.”
But Mr. Dalley said the seal hunt is crucial to the long-term stability of fish stocks.
“Coupled with the fact that opportunities for the seal products undoubtedly exist, our government is pleased to once again provide financial assistance supporting the long-term viability of this industry,” he said in a statement.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has yet to set this year’s total allowable catch.
Seal hunt on last legs with another slaughter cancelled, says anti-sealing group
The Canadian Press
February 27, 2013
SYDNEY, N.S. - An anti-sealing organization says the cancellation of the annual hunt on Hay Island off Cape Breton is another sign the commercial industry is dying.
Bridget Curran, director of the Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition, says international markets for seal products are shrinking.
Curran says she's delighted by news that a group of seal hunters in Cape Breton have decided against venturing out this year.
Robert Courtney, a spokesman for the hunters, says the hunt has been suspended because there is no market for the pelts.
It's the second year in a row the hunt for grey seals on Hay Island has been called off.
The hunt usually takes in a few hundred seals every spring.
Seal meat, sealers, but no McCartney on hand for seal hunt doc screening
By Graham Lanktree
February 20, 2013
Newfoundland and Labrador's fisheries minister says 70,000 harp seals were killed during the 2012 hunt, up from 38,000 in 2011.
If you’re a fan of former Beatle Paul McCartney, you may be uncomfortable at a screening of the documentary The Hidden Face of the Seal Hunt next Tuesday.
“The scenes of Paul McCartney and his unwillingness to engage with the local community are my favourite,” said Fred Litwin, founder of the Free Thinking Film Society of Ottawa which will screen the film about the controversial seal cull in the Magdalen Islands, Feb. 26.
“He flew in, but He’s not willing to talk to a leader from the community who is three feet away,” said Litwin of footage of a March 2006 trip McCartney took to the region with ex-wife Heather Mills to speak out against the hunt. “He knows nothing about this community and has no interest.”
Litwin said that when he watched a copy of the film he was floored by how good it is and that it convinced him, “Canada should fight back strongly,” against a ban on seal products the European Union imposed in 2009.
On hand will be samples of seal meat for the audience to taste, as well as a number of Magdalen Island community members who make 35 per cent of their living from the cull, Litwin said, adding that Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, is also slated for an appearance.
“It’s part of the aboriginal way of life,” he said. “I think people will walk away learning a great deal of how the seal hunt is conducted.”
The Hidden Face of the Seal Hunt will screen Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 395 Wellington. Tickets are $10.
Seals found on P.E.I. shore were bludgeoned to death
Some animals died slowly, says pathologist
Many of the dead seals bludgeoned to death last weekend were pups. (Name withheld by request)
Posted: Feb 1, 2013 11:06 AM AT
Necropsy results on 10 of about 50 seals found washed up dead on the shores of eastern P.E.I. last weekend show they were bludgeoned to death.
The seals were found by a group of veterinary students near Beach Point.
The 10 grey seal pups examined so far had severely fractured skulls, said Pierre-Yves Daoust, a wildlife pathologist at Charlottetown's Atlantic Veterinary College.
Radiological images were taken of eight of the pups and none showed metal fragments, indicating they were not shot.
Daoust said he has not seen large numbers of dead seals like this before, and he and fisheries officers were suspicious from the start that the seals were killed by people.
"It is a black eye … to Prince Edward Island, and to the Maritimes," said Daoust.
"Based on some of the observations that I made at the time of necropsy, that I do suspect that some of those animals, of the 10 that I looked at did not die immediately, and therefore leads me to believe that from the first blow to the head to the time that they died there may have been several seconds at least if not perhaps more than a minute going by before the animals died, which raises another issue about animal welfare for sure...These seals were still nursing their mother."-Pierre-Yves Daoust
The necropsy showed that not all the animals were killed instantly by their injuries, and that all were left to freeze.
"This cannot be done. This is not acceptable. This has nothing to do with the seal hunt. That is not what a professional sealer would do," said Daoust.
"A professional sealer would make sure that the animal is used as much as possible [and] would make sure that the animal dies as quickly as possible. When we see something like this, which is totally the opposite, … it gives such a poor image."
An incident such as this affects the whole industry, he said.
Officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are investigating.