International Day of Protest against the Canadian Seal Hunt
March 15, 2004
Sea Shepherd would like to thank the many supporters who held protests and sent letters condemning the seal hunt to the Canadian politicians and government officials on March 15th - International Day of Protest Against the Canadian Seal Hunt. These policiticans have the power to stop this cruel and unnecessary hunt. Your message of concern for the plight of baby harp and hood seals was a strong signal to the Canadian Government that opposition to the annual slaughter is international in scale and growing.
Very clearly, the Canadian government must seriously consider changing it's policies on seals and sealing and listen to it's own DFO scientists whose reports counter the Canadian Sealing Associations claims that seals must die so that cod population can increase.
Sea Shepherd encourages you to continue sending letters to those responsible for the Seal Slaughter, and also to reach out to your local/regional or federal representative asking them to voice your concern to the Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin.
In March, caring and concerned citizens around the world faxed and e-mailed Canadian Government politicians and officials voicing their strong opposition to the slaughter of 350,000 baby harp and hood seals.
This kill takes place off the east coast of Canada and is heavily subsidized by the Canadian taxpayer; the majority of whom are against the brutal killing of these beautiful marine mammals.
The Canadian Harp seal hunt is the largest single mass slaughter of a mammalian wildlife species anywhere in the world. Over one million Harp seals are condemned to be cruelly slaughtered over a three-year period.
The Seal Hunt methods of kill? Clubs, hakapiks, rifles and shotguns.
It is a grossly inhumane kill that goes mostly unregulated, as there are limited fisheries officer to watch and inspect the number of sealers on the ice. Credible witnesses have documented seeing seals skinned alive and tortured.
It is also an incredibly wasteful hunt where it is estimated that for every seal landed, another is shot and lost under the ice, not to be included in the quota.
The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) insists that the seals must die so that cod populations can increase. Their position is that the Harp seal is a major predator of the cod, yet there is little scientific justification for this position.
When the first European explorers landed on the East coast of Canada there was no shortage of cod, and there were an estimated 30 million seals. Today, there are under 5 million (some estimates as low as 2 million) and numbers continue to decline.
With cod populations at less than 1% of pre-Columbian levels, the seal has become the scapegoat for the excesses of the Canadian and foreign drag trawler fleets that plundered the Grand Banks for decades, and left very little behind.
Now the seals are the target for Canada's continued mismanagement of marine wildlife! This bureaucratic ordered destruction of the seals has no place in the 21st Century.