Seals and the Seal Hunt in the News in 2015
Sealer drags harp seal pup. From HSUS/HSI video, 2014.
Sealing is on the decline. The number of seal pups killed in Canada in 2014, was the second lowest in over two decades.
Still, the massacre of over 54,000 harp seal pups in 2014, is a tragedy.
It is also environmentally reckless. 2014 was the hottest year on record, thanks at least in large part to climate change.
Climate change poses a grave threat to harp seals. Harp seal mothers give birth to their pups on sea ice. With higher temperatures, there is less sea ice available to the pregnant seals. When the ice floes are few and thin, seal pups drown to death before they are old enough to swim.
Over most of the past decade. tens of thousands of seal pups have drowned during the pupping season.
In Namibia, Cape fur seal clubbers killed far fewer pups than the government allows and the fewest in many years. About 26,000 of an 80,000 pup quota were killed. Fewer than the 6,000 quota of Cape fur seal bulls were killed.
The main licenseholder for Cape fur seal parts, Hatem Yavuz, is also now dealing in harp seal parts. Despite his interest in expanding his fur clothing line, he clearly is experiencing reduced demand for seal fur coats, as evidenced by the reduction in the number of seal pups killed in Namibia and in Canada.