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Mar 03

Ludicrous seal hunt quota from Canada’s foolhardy DFO

Canadian Fisheries Minister Gail Shea releases 2015 seal hunt quota, violates policy, ignores warnings from government scientists and rubber stamps mass cruelty without so much as a thought to the devastating environmental impact of climate change.

This year a total of 468 000 harp. hooded and grey seals are set to be brutally slaughtered as part of the Canadian seal hunt. This is thanks to the whims of an unscrupulous sealing industry and an arrogant and incompetent Fisheries Minister,  Gail Shea.

As an organization, we condemn in the strongest of terms Minister Shea’s actions regarding this hunt and we wholeheartedly object to the unscientific approach employed in setting such a ludicrous figure. We question what underhanded deals are being made that would entice the Minister to continue to act in a grossly irresponsible manner when her own government has acknowledged the mass mortalities of seals due to climate change.

Melting sea ice causes havoc with seals

Seals need stable ice platforms to haul out and breed on. Global warming has destroyed their habitat by turning sea ice to slush. To continue with a seal hunt is to ignore the environmental impact of climate change and is nothing short of being completely irresponsible . An entire species is at stake

On the 26th of February 2015, the Canadian government announced Canada’s Action on Climate Change. Point number three of their policy manual clearly states the government is committed to the following:

  • World-class scientific research to inform decision-making and the development of policies and programs;

Sadly, the reality is that science is being completely ignored. The government has failed to come up with a single convincing peer reviewed argument to support their wanton act of cruelty. Instead, they continue to bleat out old wives tails, industry lies and blatant propaganda. Destructive and unsustainable fishing practices are protected by politically connected corporations while seals get unfairly blamed for depleted resources. Instead of the government being sensible and spending revenue on a federal buyout of the sealing industry, millions of tax payers money gets frittered away in a desperate attempt to rescue a failed, uneconomical industry which is universally despised. The situation is utterly scandalous and is a grave insult to every single Canadian.

To make matters worse, The Houses of Parliament embarrass the entire nation by celebrating their foolishness with “Seal Day on the Hill”, a day when politicians pontificate up on Parliament Hill on the “humaneness” of the hunt. They indulge themselves by wearing seal skins and publicly scoffing down on mercury laden seal flipper pie. Government claims these queer shenanigans are in support of tradition. We have news for them. Just because cruelty has been practiced for centuries does not suddenly make it acceptable. If this were the case then perhaps government should celebrate other outdated and unpopular traditions too. Racism. Whaling. Homophobia. Rape. Why limit themselves to celebrating cruelty alone? Calling the seal hunt humane is an insult to humanity.

On the DFO website, DFO ice researcher Ingrid Peterson (a marine biology graduate of Dalhousie University with more than 30 years of experience as an ice researcher) explains how the condition of sea ice is closely connected to the successful rearing of harp seal pups.

sea ice needed for baby seals

Ice platforms are critical to seal pup survival

“Once they haul themselves onto the ice to rear their young, the security of their ice platforms, which can be at the mercy of weather and climate change conditions, becomes paramount. Little is known about the vulnerability, sensitivity, or adaptive capacity of ice-breeding seals to changes to pack ice over time.”

Peterson continues and warns of the following

“the seal pups generally need about at least four weeks on the ice, otherwise they drown. The pack ice upon which the 2007 herd hauled out did not remain within the Gulf for more than a week, resulting in a high seal pup mortality rate. The environmental parameters, including ice extent, are expected to change due to global warming, and thus are likely to affect future pup morality rates.”

Minister Shea, with her conspicuous lack of qualifications beyond high school, has chosen to be impulsive, foolhardy and blatantly reckless in ignoring the dire warnings from a qualified, highly experienced, government employed specialist scientist. Shea’s random quota of 468 000 animals was derived by sucking it out of her thumb so as to further her own selfish political agenda. It is our opinion that Shea has shown an alarming level of incompetence. She is an embarrassment to her position and needs to be replaced before being given any further responsibilities. She is neither qualified or capable to be the Minister and deserves another pie in her face. Gail Shea, without a doubt, gets our vote of no confidence.

  • 468 THOUSAND seals to be brutally killed in 2015 Canadian #sealhunt

Gail Shea from Canada gets a pie rammed in her face

DFO Minister Gail Shea gets slammed in the face with pie over seal hunt