Sealers overkill quota, mob observers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2006:

OTTAWA–Atlantic Canadian sealers reportedly killed as many
as 16,000 more infant seals than their 2006 record quota of 325,000,
“yet not one sealer was arrested,” observed Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society founder Paul Watson.
Logistic problems kept the Sea Shepherds away from the
Atlantic Canada seal hunt in 2006, but Watson initiated a boycott of
Costco stores. Costco executives on March 1 told Sea Shepherd
volunteer Stephen Thompson that Costco would quit selling seal oil
capsules, Watson said, only to renege less than two weeks later
under pressure from Newfoundland politicians.

Animal Friends Croatia international campaigns coordinator
Bernard Vjeran Franoic enjoyed more success in persuading the
Croatian government to ban seal pelt imports. Other nations banning
imports of Canadian seal pelts, for a variety of humanitarian,
environmental, and commercial reasons, include the U.S., Mexico,
Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and
“With the threat of boycotts growing and with more countries
considering bans on seal products, officials with the Canadian
Fisheries Department are reviewing their options to protect the
hunt,” reported Chris Morris of Canadian Press on April 26, 2006.
“At the very least, they say there could be new restrictions placed
on hunt observers.”
Violence against the Humane Society of the U.S. observer team
led by Newfoundlander Rebecca Aldworth began on March 27 when sealing
vessels repeatedly charged the two inflatable boats used by Aldworth
and colleagues. Canadian fisheries minister Loyola Hearn then banned
Aldworth, two other HSUS observers, and two foreign reporters from
the ice.
Trouble flared again on April 12, after the hunt moved north
from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Labrador Front. At Cartwright,
Newfoundland, a mob of about 50 sealers and their supporters sat on
the floats of a helicopter leased by HSUS and the Franz Weber
Foundation of Switzerland, so that it could not take off. The next
day, at Blanc-Sablon, Quebec, about 60 people blocked a van that
the reporters accompanying the Aldworth team were trying to take to
their helicopter.
While the HSUS team was unable to reach the ice, an
International Fund for Animal Welfare helicopter flying out of Goose
Bay, Labrador, videotaped the hunt on both days, IFAW spokesperson
Regina Flores told Canadian Press. On April 14, however, the
Cartwright mob prevented the IFAW helicopter from refueling.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.