Seals and the Seal Hunt in the News in 2016
Sealer drags harp seal pup. From HSUS/HSI video, 2014.
The slaughter of seals in Canada continues to decrease, thanks in large part to the national bans on imports of seal products in dozens of countries around the world.
In 2014, over 54,000 harp seal pups were killed in the commercial "seal hunt." in 2015, over 35,000 harp seal pups were killed. This is the smallest slaughter since 1993. See the historical kill figures here.
Canada has a new government, for the first time in almost a decade. This is an opportunity for seal activists in Canada, as well as around the world, to pressure the government for an end to commercial sealing once and for all.
In other sealing news of 2015, Namibia's government continues to allow a brutal massacre of Cape fur seals each year. The government makes it difficult to find out how many of the 80,000 seal pup and 6,000 seal bull quota were killed, but we continue to work on obtaining these numbers..
In Australia, tensions were high as several fishermen demanded that fur seals be culled due to their consumption of fish and birds. Killing seals is against the law in Australia, but some government officials were considering taking some type of action against the seals.
In the U.S. and U.K., many seal pups were found starving or in need of help. Rescue organizations were overwhelmed. In the U.S., the blame was placed on a very warm ocean, due to El Niño and/or climate change, which caused sardines and other prey for seals to migrate northward, out of the seals' usual range.