Bill tabled to end Canadian seal hunt

- May 3rd, 2012

 fur-institute-logo

(Fur Institute of Canada Logo)

 

A private members Bill is threatening the future of Canada’s seal hunt!!

 

Representatives of Canada’s sealing community have responded to this legislation; introduced in the Senate this week by Mac Harb to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada.

 

“Mr. Harb’s claims are unfounded.  The Canadian sealing industry is very much alive and well,” said Dion Dakins, Chair of the Seals and Sealing Network. “Consumer demand remains strong.  And with positive results at the WTO and the European General Court, we feel there will be a level trading field for seal products.”

 

Exports between 2005 and 2011 were over $70 million (US) and seal products were exported to 35 different countries. The price for seal pelts has increased from 2009 levels at $15 a pelt to $20 – $25 a pelt in 2010 and 2011 and $32 in 2012.  

 

“The Canadian sealing industry is crucial to the economies of Quebec, the Maritimes, and Canada’s Inuit populations,” added Rob Cahill, director of the Fur Institute of Canada and a leading actor in international relations for the Canadian seal industry.  The seasonal source of income can account for up to 35 per cent of a sealer’s annual income, and is available during a time of year when other rural employment opportunities are virtually non-existent.”

 

Estimates from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador estimate that between 5,000 – 6,000 people acquire an income from the seal hunt for their families, communities and businesses. This amount is approximately one per cent of the total provincial population, and two per cent of its labour force.

 

“To put these statistics into context, this is similar to other locally-important industries such as crop production or forestry that each account for less than one per cent of Canadian GDP, but their local economic importance is undisputable,” said Cahill.

 

Denis Longuépée, a sealer from the Magdalen Islands added, “The animal rights groups are harming our communities and this bill is just another attempt to crush a viable industry. The facts don’t support their claim that our industry is disappearing.” “The animal rights groups and Senator Harb do not understand the people in these communities.”  Longuépée added, “Seal products harvested in our province and in parts of Atlantic Canada provide significant economic benefit to the regions, as well as other parts of the world. “With continued market demand for Omega-3 oils and emerging markets for the use of other seal products in research and development, as well as the traditional uses in furs and leather, we expect the market demand to keep growing.”

 

Should the seal hunt remain part of our Canadian heritage? I beleive it should without question!

 

What do you think?

 
Outdoorsguy

Categories: Tradition

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40 comments

  1. Rick Poulin says:

    Thank goodness private members bills rarely pass. This one has no chance.

  2. sureshot-dave says:

    Typical politician who knows nothing about it, trying to put a stop to it because he is being pressured by other people who know nothing about it. 5,000-6,000 people depend on this industry for their livelihood. Ending it would surely mean these people would have no other means to make a living. By all accounts, the seal population is growing and can sustain a closely monitored hunt. I for one think it should continue.

  3. jeff.morrison says:

    So sureshot-dave, you and Mac Harb gonna do lunch sometime..hehe

    Outdoorsguy

  4. jeff.morrison says:

    That’s right Rick…thank goodness!

    Outdoorsguy

  5. John P says:

    Glad to see the government is still trying to find a way to screw the hunter. Mabey they should stop wasting millions on, oh I don’t know immigration , billingualism , and other pet projects to get there name in the paper. Let us hunters be ! We have more knowlage of the outdoors than all government workers put together.

  6. keebler says:

    The other problem not mentioned is the affect of no seal hunt on the fish population. Like it or not, humans intervened years ago for survival by fishing and continuing to fish. We’ve severely impacted the fish populations – particularly the cod if I remember.

    So, sure…kill the bill, allow the seal population to explode and watch as they further dwindle the already shrinking fish population.

    I don’t have any specific numbers whatsoever, but I remember reading about this years ago – when there was talk of stopping the hunt back then.

  7. LeGrand says:

    Hope it doesn’t pass. How are we Fly-Tiers going to use seal fur from now on.

    ;)

  8. Hunting mom says:

    I totally agree that the seal hunt should continue. It is an important part of our Canadian heritage, as all hunting is.

    I remember when the outrage over the seal hunt started. It was back in the 70s and media outlets filmed some seal hunters using inhuman methods to kill the seals (skinning them while they were still alive, etc. ). That, unfortunately, gave seal hunters and all hunters a bad name.

  9. jeff.morrison says:

    Hunting mom, I’m not sure if you are aware..but animal rights groups like PETA are behind many of those disturbing propaganda videos. These groups have been suspected (& I believe even charged) of hiring vagrants to carry out disgusting and inhuman practices like skinning animals live, just so they could film it and use the footage for its shocking propaganda value.

    You’re right though..films like these really did a lot of damage to the hunting image and I can recall some of them as a child.

    Ask Chessy, he has a lot more information on who was behind them.

    Outdoorsguy

  10. Hunting mom says:

    Chessy

    I would be interested to know if it was actually PETA behind the shocking news clips back in the 70s. I did not think PETA had been around that long (or been around as long as I have….).

  11. chessy says:

    Jeff &Hunting mom
    there were over 200 charges of sealers not killing properly in 2006 with that said as a hunter i know that a CO can charge almost ever hunter that enters the woods to hunt somewhat like the highway traffic act there can be a charge on everything we do .
    as far as the skinned alive video . they may appear to be alive but are surly dead ..

    (Regarding the “skinning alive” charge, the DFO says appearances can be deceiving. “Sometimes a seal may appear to be moving after it has been killed,” the DFO says. “However, seals have a swimming reflex that is active, even after death. This reflex falsely appears as though the animal is still alive when it is clearly dead — similar to the reflex in chickens.”)

  12. chessy says:

    Changes to the Marine Mammal Regulations (MMR) in 2009 further enhance the humaneness of the annual seal harvest. These changes include the three-step process (stunning, checking, and bleeding the seals); and require sealers to first verify death, then bleed the animal for a minimum of one minute prior to skinning.

    as far as the videos go i can not confirm or deny them.. but there is good and bad in all hunters. with all the seals that are killed i am sure you can find a few that are killed illegal

    when you are brain dead your heart still beats , some say if heart is beating then your alive so i guess that makes there claim to be true???

  13. Hunting mom says:

    Thank you for that info Chessy. I did not realize that. I have also seen that reflex in grouse.

  14. chessy says:

    As any abattoir worker or hunter will explain to you, based upon experience, that skinning an animal is difficult enough when they are dead and near impossible to do when they are alive. Additionally, common sense tells you that when the value of the pelt depends on the quality (straight cuts improve the value) it makes no sense to ruin a pelt by trying to skin the animal alive. Unless, of course, you accept the animal rights fanatic’s contention that sealers are some kind of barbarian sub-humans and not your neighbours who live in the villages and towns strung along shores of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Bearing and Arctic Seas. And the same condemnation applies to your neighbours who work in abattoirs, hunt or slaughter animals on farms throughout Canada, the USA and Europe. Not to mention those hired by the governments of the above-mentioned societies to kill animals determined to be pests by urban dwellers.

    Study after study by reputable, international veterinarians have shown time after time that skinning alive is a lie perpetrated by so called independent studies conducted, paid for and written by the staff members of animal rights groups and never peer group reviewed for methodology or accuracy.

    What looks ugly is not wrong. If ugly is portrayed as wrong and pretty is portrayed as right there is a large segment of the world’s human population which needs to seek cover. Ugly and pretty have no moral value, they are simply in the eye of the beholder.

    I Love The Last Paragraph BEAUTIFUL

  15. Hunting mom says:

    Chessy

    I love your last paragraph — so true.

  16. Trapper says:

    Sealing is on my bucket list.

  17. Iggy says:

    QUOTE:John P says:
    May 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    Glad to see the government is still trying to find a way to screw the hunter. Mabey they should stop wasting millions on, oh I don’t know immigration , billingualism , and other pet projects to get there name in the paper. Let us hunters be ! We have more knowlage of the outdoors than all government workers put together.
    ==================================================================================
    This is not “the government”
    the government is the Canadian Conservatives and they have, and never will have, anything to do with Mac Harb, Mac Harb is a slimy, slippery, elusive, rat infested LIEberal that has no place in our parliament, neither the House of Commons nor the Senate, but there he is, being as UN Canadian as possible

  18. jeff.morrison says:

    Iggy, you still turkey hunting?

    Read the turkey comment I just left.

    Outdoorsguy

  19. Iggy says:

    I am still hunting turkeys, because I havn’t shot one yet, only been out once and froze my @$$ off, but I’ll get out again, going to have to buy a thermocell though.
    I was wondering this morning on my way to work, how come there are so few blackflies in the city yet so many as soon as you get out of the city limits. Weird what people think up eh

  20. jeff.morrison says:

    Yeah, I’m wondering about bugs too..you heading to the Park this spring, Iggs?

    Outdoorsguy

  21. Iggy says:

    No Algonquin this year, really have to spend some time at the cottage plus there is a problem with one of the guys.
    Funny story

    I’m always bugging the main guy that organizes the Algonquin trip not to tell anyone about the “good” lakes
    but a couple of guys here at work with no experience decide they want to try it out. So they came to me and asked me to recommend a couple lakes to go to, where to rent a canoe, where to stay, what bait and lure to use, and so on.
    So against my better judgement I give them a couple of secret lake X’s show them on the map and away they go.
    Well on their way out of one of the lakes, on the portage, they come across a small group heading in and start talking to them, it turns out that this guy is the guy who leads our expedition, they get talking, and put two and two together, and tell the guy that “oh ya, Iggy sent us in here”
    damn, caught red handed
    hahahahaha
    He was ok with it but he did rub it in a bit that I’m always on him to keep it secret
    Seriously, what the chance of that, and even if they did pass, talking enough to figure it out, usually it’s just a hi
    and on you go, but not these chatty kathy’s, they have to stop and chat

  22. jeff.morrison says:

    I would get burned at the stake for a move like that Iggy!

    Outdoorsguy

  23. Johan says:

    Iggy, funny story! I have to say that anyone I have ever met in the park especially on a portage likes to stop and talk, and it’s tough to hide a stringer full of specs when you are travelling light. It really is better to just not tell people if you want to ensure there isn’t a line up at your favourite lake. One guy tells 2 other guys, 2 guys each tell two, etc. The first two may not even go, but they have told 4 people…do the math. We always tried to find the most out of the way lakes, some were good, some sucked.
    Those Thermocell thingy’s work?

  24. chessy says:

    yes those thermocell thingy’s work and work well for mosquitoes … had them for years before in canada …. let me tell you sitting in a wheat field shooting yotes on a summer day.. you wont be happier

  25. bob m says:

    was up near Algonquin this past weekend.I was surprised there were no black flies to speak of. We only got out to fish for a couple of hours on Saturday and again Sunday. Stocked splake one day and creek brookies the other. Not a bite .When the bugs are biting the fish are biting ?

  26. jeff.morrison says:

    Johan, I’m very proud to say I own the VERY FIRST Thermacell unit in all of Canada…and yes, they certainly do work!

    I was doing a feature article about 5 years back for QC’s French mag Sentier Chasse-Peche, and needed some info, so I contacted the company. At the time, Health Canada hadn’t yet approved these for use here in Canada…but within a couple of month they received approval. Then about a year later Health Canada reviewed them again and pull them all out of the stores…only to have them reinstated a few weeks later. (Even ThermaCell didnt know why)

    All this to say, the inventers of ‘allethrin’ are no doubt very rich now!

    The only limitation I found with these units, and I’ve tried them all, is the ‘area of coverage’ they seem to work best in areas with little to no wind.

    You know, they even work on house flies if you can believe that!

    Outdoorsguy

  27. jeff.morrison says:

    For those (like me) who had trouble finding today’s Outdoors Column, here’s the link:

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/05/09/fishing-season-gets-going

    Hey..did anyone hear that silly bugger doing fish calls on CHEZ 106 FM’s Doc & Woody Show this am? Man, that guy was funny!

    Outdoorsguy

  28. jeff.morrison says:

    bob m, I will be anxious to see if the flies are out in my area this weekend..which is about the same latitude as Algonquin Prk but on the QC-side.

    I’m sorry to hear you had no trout action..that would break my heart. What was the water temperature like?

    Outdoorsguy

  29. Sen Harb knows this won’t pass. This is an historical steps. Fishermen are dumping carcasses back into the ocean, which is a violation of Marine Mammal Regs.

    You’re focusing on Mac Harb, but each party voted and it was UNANIMOUS.

  30. Iggy says:

    the good part of that story is that the friend going in, got his limits, and the two that I told about the lake caught squat, so my buddy wasn’t too upset and it stroked his ego a bit to know that it’s not just the lake, it’s a lot about the fisherman

  31. Johan says:

    Yes, I heard the fish calls this morning, sounded more like passing gas in a bathtub! Whatever works I suppose.

    I have never been to the park where we couldn’t catch fish but we always went into the interior and on the first week so not usually too many bugs. There were days of extreme sun, next day was snowing and then -10 overnight followed by sun again, you never knew. Some days were better for catching fish than others that’s for sure.

  32. Trapper says:

    I thought this was supposed to be about the future of the seal hunt LoL.

    Blackfly season is in full swing here…..Arghhhhhhhhh!!!!

  33. GPG says:

    Good job on Chez106 this morning… I’m going to have to try that walleye call!!! hahaha

  34. fishr says:

    I just hope the government does a better job of managing the seal hunt than they did with the cod fishery, which collapsed.

  35. Rick Poulin says:

    Come on Trap you must know by now these guys have a short attention span. LOL

  36. Iggy says:

    Have a good fishing weekend Jeff?
    Blackflies were out in full force at the cottage on the weekend, one more week then the dragonflies come out and feast on them, then they are gone for another year, but as some probably already know, they are very important in the grand scheme of things, after all they polinate the blueberry crop

  37. Iggy says:

    you take an extended weekend Jeff?
    I thought next weekend was the long one

  38. Iggy says:

    ah, finally back, how was the fishing, black flies out?

  39. jeff.morrison says:

    ughhhhh….I think we lost a pint of blood each.

    At least the fishing was pretty good and the water temp surprisingly not that bad..between 56-61 degrees.

    Brother-in-law caught a 22″ brookie! Posting the whole story soon.

    Outdoorsguy

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