Report from the Farley Mowat
Position: The North Atlantic Ocean
The Canadian government halted the seal slaughter on Sunday night so they could tally how many innocent baby seals were cruelly slaughtered since the killing began in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on March 29th.
The kill quota this year is 320,00 seals. If the average seal is one meter in length, then every thousand seals killed is a kilometer. In other words, if you line up the seals in this quota end to end, this amounts to a line of dead seal bodies 320 kilometers or some 200 miles long. How can such a remorseless slaughter be considered sustainable?
If each seal has 4 liters of blood, this means one million two hundred and eighty thousand liters of blood spilled onto the ice and into the sea in the past few weeks.
A veritable sea of blood, a horrific massacre blessed by the Newfoundland clergy and sanctioned by the government of Canada.
Recent reports from government officials claim that the quota is still one hundred thousand under the 320,000 figure.
According to the government, the nearly one hundred vessels in the Gulf of St. Lawrence killed 107,000 in three days. This means that the over three hundred vessels on the Front have been having a difficult time in killing the 110,000 they reported taking since Friday. With luck, the bad weather and ice conditions will prove to be a salvation for some of the seals.
The following media report regarding Sea Shepherd was made by CBC on Sunday, April 17th:
Bad weather blocked the Farley Mowat, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's protest vessel, from reaching the Newfoundland hunt. "We were there right in the area on the eleventh and then the storms came in and we were slowly pushed off and off ... so there was just no way to make it back," society head Paul Watson told CBC Radio by satellite phone from the Farley Mowat.
But the society, which has been opposing the hunt since March 6 when the boat first went into the Gulf, is claiming success in its media campaign.
"We've done hundreds of interviews from around the world, focused a lot of attention on this issue," Watson said.
The society said it will use court actions to challenge the constitutionality of regulations that it says prevent documenting the hunt.
It will raise the issue now that 11 of its members have been arrested.
It also backs a boycott of Canadian seafood started to protest against the hunt.
The Farley Mowat is not returning to port just yet. It's going to drop experimental "net rippers" on the ocean floor in fishing areas just outside Canada's territorial waters. The rippers are intended to rip drag-trawl nets which the society says are plundering the Grand Banks and other fishing areas. The group has called for thousands of net rippers to be dropped. When a drag trawl hits them, the devices dig into the bottom and their "arms" can rip the net.
To read more please visit the original article on CBC News. Sea Shepherd will continue the campaign against the Canadian seal hunt by utilizing strategies such as boycotts and protests until next year, when the Society will return to the ice once again.
The seas remain rough today as the Farley Mowat heads south. The ship will need some time for repairs to be done. The vessel requires dry-docking to repair the hull breaches.
"The Farley Mowat is an old vessel," said Captain Paul Watson. "It would be nice to have a more modern ship in better condition but there is little economic motivation in saving our oceans and plenty of profit to be made from plundering the sea. If we had a stronger, faster ship, we could chase the whalers, sealers, and fish poachers to the end of the world to intervene against their lawless and destructive activities. But we make do with what we have, as best we can and we have been doing so much for so long with very little that we have become quite resourceful in finding ways to intercept and challenge the pirates of profit. We do what we do because it has to be done and few are doing it."
Sea Shepherd continues to focus attention on protecting the Galapagos. "We are losing the fight against the poachers there," Said Captain Watson "If longline fishing is legalized in the Galapagos by the government of Ecuador, it will mean the death of the Galapagos National Park Marine Reserve. If we can't save the Galapagos, we won't be able to save anything."
[Note: Sea Shepherd has a ship permanently stationed in the Galapagos Island to conduct routine anit-poaching patrols]