Atlantic Canada sealing starts off Nova Scotia
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2008:
The 2008 Atlantic Canadian sealing season started with a
mid-February cull on Hay Island, off Nova Scotia, demanded by
fishers who blame seals for the failure of cod to recover despite 16
years of fishing limits.
“Nova Scotia already has a yearly quota of 12,000 grey seals,
but in recent years hunters have rarely taken more than a few hundred
annually,” reported John Lewandowski of Canadian Press.
Acknowledging that the primary purpose of the Hay Island cull
was to try to stimulate commercial sealing, Nova Scotia fisheries
minister Ron Chisholm authorized participants to kill up to 2,500
seals. They actually killed about half that many.
The main part of the seal hunt is due to open in late March.
The European Food Safety Authority in December 2007 published
a report on the Atlantic Canada seal hunt that essentially agrees
with the view of animal advocates that sealing is inherently
inhumane. The European Parliament has favored banning imports of
seal pelts and products, but the European Union commissioned another
report by a Danish consultant that is expected to oppose a ban.
Belgium unilaterally banned imports of Canadian seal products
in April 2007. Canada contends in a protest to the World Trade
Organation that the ban violates international trade rules.