Report from the Farley Mowat
On Friday, the government of Canada has officially opened the seal slaughter at the Front. The reports we have been getting state that the seals are scattered and hard to find, the ice is broken up and scarce, and gales continue to ravage the area. Severe weather is expected to continue over the weekend.
It is certain that some seals will die but it is not certain that the sealers will kill all the seals in their quota. The ice conditions and the weather will make that a difficult task.
Unfortunately, the Farley Mowat is unable to return to the Front. We were among the sealing vessels the day before the originally scheduled opening day of April 12th but four days of raging winds have driven us very far offshore and continue to prevent us from turning back towards the coast. We can't make any progress in the direction we need to go. The sealers had the advantage of a safe harbor and we did not.
Even if we could return, the only ice is in a thin band along the coast and badly broken up. The sealers will be shooting what seals they find in the water and will be widely distributed.
Thus our campaign which started on in the ice on March 6th is over. We can only trust that the weather will continue to hammer at the sealers and will prevent them from filling their death quota.
We have accomplished much considering that as a Canadian registered ship, we were ordered not to put to sea by the Canadian government, and we did. We were ordered out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and we stayed. We suffered two hull breaches and repaired them. We were locked into the ice and broke our own way out. We confronted sealers on the ice and documented their grisly trade when we were told we could not do so.