The Farley Mowat is Alone with the Seals - Sealers have Fled the Killing Grounds
Report from the Farley Mowat
1600 Hours AST
Position 46 Degrees 49 Minutes 9 Seconds North
61 Degrees 41 Minutes 33 Seconds West
"It is a beautiful sight. Here we are in the ice surrounded by seals and not a sealing vessel in sight," said Captain Paul Watson on board the Farley Mowat in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaker Amundsen led a parade of a dozen sealing vessels out of the ice this morning. The ice-breaker Earl Grey was seen a few hours ago towing a broken- down sealing vessel through the floes towards port in the Magdalen Islands. The Farley Mowat is the only ship in the area for as far as the eye can see.
"They have fled the floes like the felons they are," said Farley Mowat Engineer Dave Nickarz, who is also the Canadian Green Party representative on board. "They all came out into this ice to make a quick buck by butchering seals but they were unprepared for the weather, the ice pressure, and for us. Some of them did not kill a single seal," Nickarz observed.
Only 25,000 of the 90,000 seals allotted for the Gulf quote have been taken. The sealers had bragged on the opening day of the hunt that they would have the quota in the bag in three days. That was five days ago. It is safe to say that the seal slaughter in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has been a disaster for the sealers this year. The money for vessel repairs and vessel losses alone should take away from any of the ill-gotten profits they may make from the seals they took.
The crew of the Farley Mowat have been enjoying watching the seals pups learn to swim. Every day they live buys them time to get into the water to escape their killer.
Some of the sealers are also regretting that they attacked Sea Shepherd and IFAW crew on the ice. The assaults are under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the video evidence of the attacks is irrefutable proof of the viciousness of the attacks and proves that the sealers' claim that they were defending themselves has absolutely no credibility. Charges are expected to be laid in connection to the assaults.
The eleven Farley Mowat crew arrested yesterday have been freed without bail. The Federal prosecutor demanded $1,000 bail for each person arrested. However, one of the arrested crewmembers, Sea Shepherd Director Dr. Jerry Vlasak, told the court that no one was interested in posting bail. "Hold us if you will and we will go on a hunger strike until you release us. We intend to challenge a law that prohibits the witnessing and documenting of an atrocity. We have no regrets for our actions and we are here to say, ‘this cruel and horrific madness must be ended. Stop slaughtering the seals.'"
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans refused to return the crew to Farley Mowat. The Sea Shepherd rented a helicopter from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to return the crew to the ship in the ice. They are expected to arrive back onboard within the hour.