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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Captain Paul Watson Responds to Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

On March 15th, Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn issued a statement applauding the seal killing celebrations in Newfoundland.

These celebrations of the practice of inflicting violent pain and death upon defenseless baby seals are nothing new. For well over a century, Newfoundlanders have celebrated the bloodlust of the slaughter with priests and ministers praying for the "decks of the sealing ships to be awash in blood and fat."

Lovely stuff, and there are a few rare Canadians who actually get off on celebrating this annual slaughter but this is the 21st Century and it's high time that the culture of barbarism be thrown into the wake of history so that Canada can become a civilized nation.

As long as hundreds of thousands of seal pups continue to be bashed and slashed on the ice floes of the harp seal nurseries, Canada will remain a nation of wood hewers, water carriers and seal clubbers, in other words a nation where the uneducated, the ignorant and the arrogant set the bar on morality to the level of dung on the ground.

In this age of computers and high tech industry we actually continue to have troglodytes subsidized by tax-payers bashing in the delicate skulls of seal pups, skinning them alive and selling their genitalia for voodoo snake oil virility potions and this year they want to make the ice run red with the blood of over 325,000 seals, representing the largest slaughter of any marine mammal population on the planet.

My comments on Hearn's statement is below. It is supposed to be the "Honourable" Loyola Hearn but that title simply does not fit a man who so emotionally defends pain and death to baby seals. The minister is a mass murdering monster from the point of view of a seal pup and he is a national disgrace to Canada.


Mr. Loyola Hearn's Statement on Slaughter Celebrations

For far too long, anti-sealing groups have tried to shine a negative spotlight on Canada's legal and humane seal hunts and in doing so have needlessly tarnished the reputations of our coastal communities, and our country. Their arguments, based largely on questionable studies and emotional rhetoric, have only succeeded in uniting federal, provincial, territorial and commercial efforts to defend this important cultural tradition and economic driver along Canada's eastern and northern coasts.

Captain Paul Watson: It is the seal slaughter that has tarnished Canada's reputation not the movement to protect lives from the brutal clubs of the sealers. I myself was raised in an Atlantic fishing community and as a child I was ashamed of the men who went out to slaughter seals. As one sealer once said to me, "every year we gets to go out on the ice, get away from the old lady, drink beer with the boys and whack seals."

What the hell is emotional rhetoric? I have seen seal pups sightlessly scrambling over the ice with their eyeballs hanging out screaming in pain. I have seen seal pups skinned alive. I've seen sealers kick seal pups in the face and I have seen sealers pick up pups by their flippers and bash them against the ice. I'm sorry Mr. Hearn, I tend to get a little emotional about seeing things like that, thank-you very much.

The seal hunt will be ended and we will never retreat from opposing it until it is ended. As a Canadian I fight not only to end the suffering of the seals and to protect the seals from extermination but also to restore my dignity as a Canadian. As a twelfth generation Canadian I cannot call myself a proud Canadian as long as this annual ritual of blood lust is allowed to obscenely stain the reputation of all Canadians.

I applaud the efforts of industry, as well as the governments of Nunavut, and Newfoundland and Labrador to up the ante in addressing the unfounded claims of anti-sealing groups. Through celebrations that acknowledge our sealing heritage we are succeeding in getting the real story about humane and sustainable sealing out to the public.

Captain Paul Watson: There is no humane way to kill a seal and the hunt is not sustainable. Where once there were 45 million seals (harps, hoods, grey, harbour and the now extirpated walrus) we have less than 3 million seals. Where once there was an abundance of cod living in harmony with tens of millions of seals, we now have less than 4% of the cod populations left after rapacious slaughter of both fish and seals. Our claims of cruelty and diminishment are very well founded and documented and this evidence cannot be negated by some slippery words from what is a paragon of deceit - a politician.

Today is not only a day to celebrate the important contribution that sealing makes to the success of fishing families, it is when we must ensure the truth about sealing is heard clearly around the world - above the din of anti-sealing misinformation.

Captain Paul Watson: Fortunately our din is louder and more powerful than the whining of people who believe they have a right to inflict suffering and death for profit. The truth about sealing is that it is profoundly cruel and it is a threat to the survival of the species and it is obscene.

The Government of Canada stands up for Canadian sealers and will continue to defend their interests at home and on the world stage. We continue to make improvements to our hunts using the best available science. We are challenging unlawful bans on Canadian seal products in Europe at the World Trade Organization and we will consider all available options to ensure the long-term sustainability of the hunt well into the future.

Captain Paul Watson: The government of Canada ignores the will of the majority of Canadians opposed to the seal slaughter. There is nothing unlawful about the Europeans and the Americans banning seal products. Europeans decide their own laws not Canadians. The civilized world is not obligated to trade with barbarians.