Sea Shepherd Conservation Society took advantage of the large shopping crowds on Memorial Day weekend to send another message to Costco executives to cease and desist from marketing baby harp seal capsules in their Canadian stores.
Sea Shepherd hired Ads Aloft to tow a large and very visible banner around Seattle on Saturday afternoon, May 27.
The message was clear - BOYCOTT COSTCO - SAVE BABY SEALS.
The plane flew over six Costco stores in the King County area.
The flight originated from Paine Field in Everett and flew over the Everett store first then on to and over the stores at Woodinville and Kirkland. From there the plane flew to and circled Costco headquarters at the store in Issaquah and then flew back to Seattle crossing the downtown area and up Interstate 5 to cover the stores at Aurora Village and at the Lynnwood Business Center.
Pilot Wayne Adair reported that all of the Costco stores were packed and hundreds of people were looking up from Costco parking lots at the plane and the banner. He could see many people taking pictures of the plane also.
Costco is hoping that the controversy will go away. Sea Shepherd is committed to having the seal oil capsules removed from the shelves of Canadian stores.
"We have been contacted by many Costco members who are appalled that Costco is marketing these capsules," said Sea Shepherd representative Stephen Thompson of Vancouver. "This product obtained from the cruel mass slaughter of over 325,0000 seal pups this year also contains mercury, PCB's, DDT, and arsenic and Costco is marketing the capsules as a 'health supplement'."
The product is manufactured by the Barry Group in Newfoundland. Last year, this company produced over 900 tons of baby seal oil. The companies own website admits that the oil contains toxic elements.
"How can a product that even the manufacturer admits to containing poisons be sold as a health supplement?"
Paul Watson asked this question to Costco executives. They have refused to answer.