My Sea Shepherd


Russia Bans the Slaughter of Baby Harp Seals

March 6, 2009

Russia Bans the Slaughter of Baby Harp Seals

The baby harp seals of the world have now found at least one civilized place on this planet to be born where they can be spared the greed and cruelty of humankind.

The Russian government has banned the hunting of baby harp seals in the regions surrounding the White Sea.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called seal hunting a "bloody industry".

"It is clear that it should have been banned a long time ago," said Putin at a meeting with the Minister of Natural Resources.

This leaves only Canada and Norway as the remaining baby seal butchers and both of these nations should be ashamed of themselves in light of this decision by Russia.

Putin acknowledged the importance of the hunting industry in the region and said that he would require the government to compensate incomes of the White Sea people in connection with the ban on hunting.

"This is one of their means of existence. Therefore, simply banning is inadequate. A system of support measures must be worked out to secure employment and income of those who live and work there," said Putin.

The people of the White Sea area are far more economically disadvantaged than the people of Newfoundland and the Magdalen Islands yet Russia has found a way to compensate the hunters and to provide protection for the seals.

"The slaughter of seals in Canada remains one of the blackest marks on the reputation of all Canadians," said Captain Paul Watson. "How sad it is that Russia can find a way to end this slaughter yet Canada continues to subsidize the largest seal massacre on the planet."

The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources is preparing proposals to ban the hunting of seals up to the age of one.

Professor Aleksey Yablokov, an associate professor at the Russian Academy of Science, believes that the seals could soon number no more than 150 thousand.

"This is a real biological catastrophe. At the current rate, in a few years the seal could become a rarity in the White Sea," said Yablokov.

Currently around 800 thousand inhabit the White Sea.



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