Commentary by Paul Watson
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is without a doubt the most incompetent, most mismanaged, and most ridiculous bureaucratic department of the Government of Canada.

For years, I have referred to them as the Doofus Department or the Department of Fishy Business. With their bevy of biostitutes and their legion of swivel servants, the DFO have overseen the near total destruction of commercial fisheries on both the East and the West coasts of Canada.

I call DFO scientists "biostitutes" because they provide the "science" to justify the political policies of DFO.

It was these biostitutes who said that the Northern cod populations were healthy right up to the day the fisheries crashed. The cod fishery was so devastated by overfishing that it will never recover the result of a combination of bad science and bad politics.

They had not learned their lessons from the sixties when the DFO experts said the same thing about the pilot whales that Canada was slaughtering by the tens of thousands to feed to mink. One day, the pilot whales disappeared and the biostitutes mumbled something about fluctuations of ocean currents leading to a temporary movement of the whales elsewhere. The trouble is, no one else ever saw them elsewhere and they never returned to Newfoundland.

It is this same Doofus Department that we are now expected to trust to "manage" the harp seals.

And now we have another shallow-brained Doofuscrat by the name of Roger Simond graciously stating that Sir Paul McCartney and his wife Heather "will not" be charged with harassing a baby seal by petting it.

"When disturbance is of such a minor nature, you wouldn't bring someone to
court on something like this," Simond said. "Somebody would say that the Canadian government and the Canadian taxpayers must have better things to do than haul Paul McCartney into court because he touched a seal."

Interesting. Last year, the Canadian government spent a great deal of money prosecuting eleven of my crew for the "crime" of approaching a seal being killed.

You see, in Canada, it is illegal to photograph, film, or witness a seal being killed without permission from the Doofus Department.

Last year, film crews from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the Humane Society of the United States and the International Fund for Animal Welfare were all physically attacked by sealers. Sea Shepherd crew were struck with clubs and bloodied.

No charges were laid because the Mounties said the sealers were provoked into violence because of the presence of anti-sealing people on the ice.

It would look pretty ridiculous indeed to charge Paul McCartney with petting a seal after letting sealers off the hook for clubbing people.

Already the Doofus Department has cost the Canadian fishing industry tens of millions of dollars because of the growing international boycott on Canadian seafood products. How many hundreds of millions is Canada prepared to lose in order to continue defending the indefensible slaughter of seal pups?

The Minister of the Doofus Department Mr. Loyola Hearn did not have the guts to defend the hunt himself on CNN's Larry King program that featured Sir Paul McCartney and his wife Lady Heather Mills McCartney.

Instead, they unleashed the embarrassment of Premier Danny Williams who was clearly out-classed and out-maneuvered by the McCartney's.

Williams denied that the club was used to kill seals as video footage was simultaneously being shown, illustrating quite vividly the seals being clubbed. He kept trying to deflect the topic to other issues including a lame attempt to remind people of Newfoundland's support for America after 9-11. In other words, "we allowed your planes to land in our province after 9-11 (because they had to land somewhere) so how dare you Americans feel guilty for even thinking that the seal slaughter was cruel."

Williams described himself as an animal lover who also by the way supports bashing in the heads of seal pups. He also clearly demonstrated that he himself knew less about the seals and the seal hunt than Paul McCartney who he kept insulting by calling him a stooge for the terrorist anti-sealing organizations.

Doofus Spokesperson Roger Simond repeated this insult when he said that Sir Paul's knowledge of the seal hunt was limited to "a crash-course, Humane Society of the United States brainwashing thing."

The most glaring indictment of the DFO as an incompetent bureaucracy is the fact that they were out-maneuvered, out-classed, and left looking ridiculous by a former Beatle and his wife.

How much longer will Canada continue to defend the cruel and bloody massacre of hundreds of thousands of seal pups every year?

How much destruction must the environment suffer, how many more fisheries must crash, and how many more species decimated before something is done to stop the ecological mayhem inflicted upon us by the arrogant bureaucrats of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans?

Captain Paul Watson is a Canadian and the Founder and current President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, co-founder of Greenpeace, and a National Director of the Sierra Club of the United States. He is also the author of Seal Wars! He had been defending seals for over thirty years.

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