'Game over' for Norway’s seal hunt

Norway’s northern city of Tromsø used to be a major port for Norway’s controversial seal hunters, but they’ve now faded into the history books. For the first time in several hundred years, not a single Norwegian boat is heading out to hunt seals this season, and proponents of the hunt now blame climate change. “It’s over. Game over. The ice has shrunk,” Norway’s last seal hunter, Bjørne Kvernmo, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on Friday. Kvernmo, skipper of the seal-hunting boat Havsel, was active in the hunt for more than 40 years. Now he says there have been “drastic changes” in the sea ice where seals congregated, and where hunters slaughtered them for their furs and meat. “Last year there was damn little ice,” Kvernmo told DN. “We found hardly any seals. It was a wasted trip, a huge downturn.” He lamented Read more

Feds put up $5.7 million to market seal products

The federal government is putting $5.7 million toward marketing the sealing industry, despite the hunt grinding to a halt. The money, announced in the 2015 federal budget, will be dedicated to opening up new products and markets for the sealing industry. The quota for the 2015 hunt is 400,000 seals, but in 2014 there were only 60,000 seals harvested. The last seal pelt processor, Carino Processing of South Dildo, N.L., was subsidized by the provincial government to buy pelts. Carino announced this year it will not buy seal pelts or fat this year, leaving a $1-million provincial loan on the table. That leaves the industry effectively dead. Anti-sealing groups no longer bother to fly to Newfoundland and Labrador to monitor the seal hunt. But the government is hoping the $5.7-million investment over five years can open up new markets, particularly in Europe. That may seem an Read more

Carino not buying seals this year

CEO calls decision 'short term pain for long term gain'; says market access key for future Carino Processing will not be buying seal pelts or fat this year, but company CEO Dion Dakins says the decision is geared to improve the industry's and the company's viability in the years ahead. Dakins said the company has inventory from previous hunts on hand. New player in this year's seal hunt promising to shake things up However, he said they will be purchasing a limited amount of seal meat from harvesters who are participating. As a result of the decision, Dakins said Carino has also decided not to access any of the $1 million loan announced last week by the provincial government. "At this point we just want to focus our efforts on the sale of our existing inventory," Dakins told CBC's Fisheries Broadcast. "It just falls into Read more

Canada Seal Hunt - Newfoundland And Labrador Opens Annual Hunt On Sunday

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The annual seal hunt off Newfoundland and Labrador will open Sunday. The federal Fisheries Department says sealers on the Front off northeastern Newfoundland and southern Labrador, as well as those based in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, can take to the water at 6 a.m. Fisheries says seal harvesters should check with their buyers to make sure there is a market for the seals before they head out. The department is also advising fishermen that they must do humane harvesting training before taking part in this year's hunt. The start of the season comes days after the Newfoundland and Labrador government contributed $2 million to two different processing plants to support the provincial sealing sector. An animal rights group condemned the financial aid, arguing the government is propping up a dying and inhumane industry. The Canadian Press Source: Read more

Swedish seal culls hit by new EU trading rules

The rules for selling seal products have been tightened. An exemption allowing the trade of products made from seals culled as part of wildlife management has been revoked by the EU, which could affect seal trade in Sweden. The EU commission made the decision after pressure from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which in November 2013 called the exemption discriminatory. Sweden is one of six countries in the world that allows the hunting of seals, though only as part of wildlife management and with permission from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket). Around 300 seals were killed in 2014. The EU decision does not forbid the culling of seals. But rather than selling the fur or the meat, the products must now be destroyed. Swedish MEP Christofer Fjellner, member of the Moderate party, was among those who hit out at the new rules Read more

‘Nail in coffin for Norwegian seal hunting’: Govt cuts subsidies

Norway has cut a 12 million kroner ($1.8 million) subsidy for seal hunting from next year's budget. Environmentalists have applauded the move. Some businesses say it is putting an end to a historical and eco-friendly practice. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries say stripping the seal industry of subsidy has been dictated by "economic priorities." The government is aware of how vital the financial support has been for the business. "Seal hunting businesses are run by 80 percent subsidies," State Secretary Amund Ringdal of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries told the Norwegian news agency NTB. "When they are removed, the consequences will clearly be big. But we cannot say whether it's the final nail in the coffin for Norwegian seal hunting." The opposition has criticized the government for yielding to pressure from the EU. "In reality the government gave in to Read more

Ground-breaking WTO decision puts animal welfare before Free Trade, based on morals.

After spending hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to fight a ban put in place by the EU, the Canada and Norway governments received its answer from the World Trade Organization that countries can, in fact, ban products they consider to be inhumane. More money is spent on promotion, peddling, and fighting trade bans than the commercial seal hunt, which is performed by off-season, full time fishermen, could ever bring in. Since Canada's government can't prove that Northern economy depends on the seal hunt as they claim, a representative of Inuit was sent to trade ban hearings. This was irrelevant since Inuit are not included in the ban, and clearly the WTO thought so, too. There are still some Inuit who perform substantive hunting, and the EU and Taiwan international markets remain open to them. View the WTO Read more

Kaley Cuoco Latest Celeb To Oppose The Seal Hunt

In what is becoming a familiar refrain, a celebrity took to Twitter to post her thoughts on the Canadian seal hunt, and the "disgusting" practices carried out every year. Kaley Cuoco (who recently added her husband's last name, Sweeting, to her Twitter profile), star of "The Big Bang Theory," began her missives on Twitter on April 15, with this tweet: "@FriendsForSeals: http://t.co/CmkJUJYXOa pic.twitter.com/CDDcgaCiGu #sealhunt video" this is SO disgusting and needs to stop NOW please!— Kaley Cuoco Sweeting (@KaleyCuoco) April 16, 2014 The California native has continued since then, noting her disgust when people have defended the Canadian seal hunt: I'm disgusted hearing the Canadian seal hunt is "humane". It's so "humane" I'm unable 2 post any pics it's so grotesque. My heart breaks— Kaley Cuoco Sweeting (@KaleyCuoco) April 16, 2014 The Humane Society has clarified its position on the seal hunt, making Read more

"Why do some people say seal pups aren't killed?"

When harp seal pups are born, they are known as "white coats". This is the fur popular for non-essential fur items only. When they are about 12 days old, they begin to molt the fuzzy baby fur they were born with. At the thought of defenseless seal pups being killed, public outcry was enormous. But Canada government, still wants that beuatiful white fur, which is gone forever when at approximately 3 months old it's replaced by light gray with dark spots. What to do? Thinking they would appease the world, they decided that "technically" when the fuzz begins to shed (and the pups still have white fur) now being "ragged jackets", they aren't pups anymore. Counting on the public to just believe what they're told, Canada's government continues to declare that seal "pups", "babies", and "white coats" aren't skinned. In reality, and Read more

Gail Shea says animal rights activists stopped seal meat sale to China

HALIFAX - Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says a trade agreement to sell seal meat in China has been largely thwarted by animal rights activists. Shea announced the deal in January 2011 in Beijing, saying that gaining access to the world's most populous country would breathe new life into an industry crippled that year by a new European ban on seal products. But the Chinese government later said it had called for a review of the deal, which has remained stalled ever since. Shea is now blaming the animal rights movement for pressuring the Chinese government to back away from the deal over concerns the Canadian seal hunt is inhumane. She says those opposed to the sealing industry have succeeded in spreading misinformation about the slaughter of seal pups, a practice that was banned in the 1980s. The annual East Coast hunt started Monday Read more

Harp Seals

Culling seal to save cods is nonsense

Toronto Sun - Culling seal to save cods is nonsense

It’s a predictable response, replete with arrogance, ignorance, rationalization and insensitivity.

Consider: Because the Atlantic cod has declined drastically in numbers and can no longer sustain a once-flourishing fishing industry, a Senate committee wants to cull some 70,000 grey seals “to preserve remaining fish stocks.”

This last quote from P.E.I. Sen. Elizabeth Hubley at Fisheries and Oceans committee hearings.

Isn’t that a typically human response — blame seals for the demise of the cod and other food fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Grand Banks and North Atlantic?

From the days of the Vikings, a thousand years ago, the cod was the fish that was the staple of Europe. It was so abundant that the supply seemed inexhaustible — like the bison once seemed on the Prairies of North America.

Yet cod fishing in Newfoundland collapsed, and in 1992, Fisheries imposed an indefinite moratorium on cod fishing.

In 2000, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) declared the cod to be an endangered species, whose numbers had dropped by 70% in 30 years. Unless something was done, the cod would be extinct in 15 years.

So what is to be done? The Senate proposal blames seals — both harp seals and grey seals. This is nonsense. In past centuries, there were infinitely more seals in the fishing areas, yet the fish were in seemingly limitless supply.

We all acknowledge that overfishing has caused the demise of cod numbers (and haddock and flounder and hake), but we still prefer to blame seals. Perhaps this is because there is a small profit in killing seals for their pelts — and pretending we are doing it to save the fish!

Click here to read the full Toronto Sun article.

Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

Robert Miller Green Party Representative calls animal activists “douche bags.”

The name-calling wouldn’t be important if it weren’t for the fact that Robert Miller is part of the Green Party, whose basic tenets are touted to be against Canada’s seal slaughter.

Our original tweet, not directed to anyone, containing only that which has been proven.


Liliana Danel
Montreal Animal Advocacy Examiner
EXAMINER.com
CANADA SEAL HUNT | FEBRUARY 11, 2012

Robert Miller, part of the Green Party Federal Council representing Newfoundland and Labrador, took twitter to insult animal activists by calling them “douche bags.” After the organization Friends For Seals tweeted “Seal hunt brings: Lost trade deals, taxpayer subsidies, lost safety council seat, poor world reputation, lost tourism, animal suffering#cdnpoli” Mr. Miller responds the following “No, you douche bags did that with a fantastic smear campaign.”

It seems that Mr. Miller did not read the commercial seal hunt stand of the Green Party. The Green Party does not support the current industrial, commercial seal hunt in Canada. It is more than obvious that in order to win seats in parliament all parties in Newfoundland and Labrador all support the seal hunt in order to take the seats. But the outburst of Mr. Miller is beyond disrespectful not just to animal activists but to the party itself.

As you all know, I am an animal activist and just last year I was at the protest of the seal hunt that took place in Montreal. Deputy Leader of the Green Party Georges Laraque, stood with us to protest the massacre of the seals. It has not been the first time that he has been part of demonstrations and protests, animal activists in Montreal are happy to see his friendly face each time he has an opportunity to give his voice to defend the seals or any other animal. Are we to conclude that Robert Miller has just insulted the Deputy Leader of the Green Party by calling him a “douche bag?”

Denise Perrin, founder of the organization Friends for Seals, is a tireless advocate with a great passion for her noble work. She does not deserve that kind of disrespect from Robert Miller. His comment not just attacks her but one of the main principles of the Green Party. He claims the following on the Green Party’s website “Newfoundland and Labrador has passionate individuals dedicated to Green values and Green policies that are directly associated with the Party, but most simply share the same compass” Therefore, I would suggest to Mr. Miller to excuse himself to Mrs. Perrin as well to all animal advocates that call upon the end of the seal hunt. If his heart is to stand for the seal hunt and promoting the Canadian Shame…then I suggest he should change parties.

Brad Anthony, founder of the Global Animal Welfare Development Society (GAWDS), started a petition calling for the Green Party of Canada to fire Robert Miller. To sign the petition please click here

Continue reading on Examiner.com Robert Miller Green Party Representative calls animal activists “douche bags.” – Montreal Animal Advocacy | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/animal-advocacy-in-montreal/robert-miller-green-party-representative-calls-animal-activists-douche-bags#ixzz1mVdXy8dk

Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

Processors may be funded to stockpile seal products

Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries minister says loan guarantees a possibility

Newfoundland and Labrador may fund processors to stockpile seal products this year.

“The discussion we’ve had with the industry right now is around whether we are able to provide some short-term financial assistance so the hunt can continue and we can stock the products from this year’s hunt in hopes that the market will open up in the long term,” said Fisheries Minister Darin King.

Click here for full story

Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

Furlong | Death on the ice: Time to pull the plug on the seal hunt?

There’s no question in my mind that the commercial seal hunt is probably on the way out. So does anyone care?

The value of the Newfoundland and Labrador seal hunt all last year was less than $1.5 million. One million dollars directly, with another $400,000 in food, fuel, ammunition and other related spinoffs.

That might sound like a lot of money, but a busy department store in Corner Brook or a popular gas bar on the Trans-Canada Highway would do that in a month. In fact, the Costco box store in St. John’s took in $1 million in just one weekend before Christmas!

Click here for full story

Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

Seals blamed for lack of cod recovery

A huge seal population is preventing cod stocks from rebounding off Nova Scotia, two former directors of science at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography say.

The work of Bob O’Boyle and Mike Sinclair backs what fishermen have argued for years.

“We conclude that indeed the seals are responsible for the lack of recovery of the cod,” Sinclair told CBC News.

Sinclair retired as director of science at BIO in Dartmouth, N.S. He took over the job when O’Boyle left.

Click here for full story

Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

Min Fisheries/Oceans,Canada, Keith Ashfield still trying to make people believe seal meat to China is going to happen

Qingdao, China – Yesterday, the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, began a trade and cooperation mission in Qingdao and Beijing, China.

“China is the top consumer and producer of fish and seafood products in the world. Its importance as an export market for Canada is growing rapidly,” said Minister Ashfield. “While meeting with Chinese companies and officials, I am highlighting Canada’s ability to produce a variety of high-quality, safe and nutritious fish, seal, and seafood products and build on existing trade relationships.”

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Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

Proposed Seal Cull Draws Fire from Top Scientists

No professional hockey player likes the sight of blood on the ice — it’s a stark reminder that a career ending injury is just a senseless illegal hook away.

That’s why the hook on a sealer’s club makes me scratch my head. How can we condone the barbaric killing of a few-weeks-old seal pup for a fur trimmed coat when we all know how Canadians react to a cowardly hook on the ice? All of that blood for no good reason is just not Canadian.

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Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

CNEWS ~ Seal ban could trip up trade talks

While simultaneously fighting the EU ban of seal products at the World Trade Organization, Canada’s trade negotiations with the EU are put in jeopardy.  MEP David Martin leads the way in proposing that the EU refrain from trade talks with Canada until they stop the “barbaric killing of seals.”
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Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

CBC ~ Sluggish start to annual seal hunt

The largest part of Canada’s seal hunt opened Monday, but on a pessimistic note, as sealers say prices remain too low to turn a profit.

“You just can’t go at something and not make no money,” said Dwight Spence of Port au Choix on Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula.
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Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

CBC News ~ Canada to sell seal meat to China

China has agreed to buy seal meat and seal oil from Canada, according to the federal fisheries minister.

“[We are] natural partners in the seafood industry,” Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said Wednesday during a trade mission to China with Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman.

Shea said the deal between Canada and China will be signed Thursday.

“For the most part, our sealing industry derives its income from the sale of pelts,” said Shea, in Beijing during a conference call with reporters.

“They don’t get a lot of return from the sale of meat and oil, but what we are hoping to do because China is such a large market is work with our industry to support them in developing new products … so there is a lot of optimism in the industry today.”
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Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg