March 3rd, 2010 by Webmaster
Thanks to your letters to the European Parliament concerning the seal hunt in Canada last year, the European Union (EU) responded with a landslide vote to prohibit the sale of seal based products. The great news is it goes into effective this year! With that measure in place, we must now continue our focus on flooding Canadian Ambassadors or High Commissioners with letters supporting the Harb Bill, which would end the seal hunt in Canada. The Canadian government must continue to hear how much we still want the seal hunt to end. In order to help push this bill along, we need to make a concerted effort to educate others to take similar action as well.
We have the unique opportunity to maximize our efforts this year as there are other significant factors helping to reduce overall incentives for sealers to kill. The price for pelts last year was terrible ($14/ each) and proved to be reason enough for many sealers to stay home. Ice conditions were also poor and provided less than optimal conditions necessary for sealers to run around beating seals. Under similar circumstances this year, if sealers are really interested in the hunt, they will have to spend more money on fuel to travel further north in order to find more seals and suitable conditions to slaughtering them. On top of those factors to consider, they also now have to contend with an EU ban on seal products, so there aren’t going to be too many buyers for seal skins.
This year, ice conditions are reportedly lower than they have been in decades. While this will deter many sealers from going out to kill animals, poor ice conditions also have a negative impact on seal populations. Harp seals require compacted ice in order to give birth and nurse their young. Without ice in their normal birthing range, seals have to travel farther north to find suitable habitat or give birth on beaches that can be easily accessible by man. Others may not have time or the physical capacity to make an extended journey and will be forced to give birth underwater where the pups will die.
The majority of Canadians are in favor of the seal hunt ending, as are so many others compassionate people around the world. The Canadian government must continue to receive pressure both from within Canada as well as the international community if the hunt in Canada is ever to end permanently.
For more information on how you can help, please go to: http://www.idausa.org/marine_mammals.html