Despite worldwide condemnation, the BBC reports that my Canadian neighbors have “given the go-ahead for what is expected to be one of the biggest seal hunts in the country for decades. The government says the hunt is now more humane and that more than 300,000 seals can be killed this year. …” More Below : : :
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe site for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a ticking clock — as I post this, little more than 3 days and 22 hours remain before the hunt begins. HSUS is asking everyone to sign up for a boycott of Canadian seafood, and has a guide for restaurant and seafood professionals.

Why does HSUS advocate boycotting Canadian seafood?

Seal hunting is an off-season activity conducted by fishers from Canada’s East Coast. They earn a small fraction of their incomes from sealing and the rest from commercial fisheries. Canadian seafood exports to the United States contribute $3 billion annually to the Canadian economy–dwarfing the few million dollars provided by the seal hunt. The connection between the commercial fishing industry and the seal hunt in Canada gives consumers all over the world the power to end this cruel and brutal slaughter.

Advocates of the hunt say, “Large-scale hunting will be allowed to continue until the number falls to under four million.”

One official told the AFP news agency: “We have to do our job responsibly. We are looking at the middle ground, taking into account conservation and the economic needs of the region.”

Tim Carnan, a managing editor of, gives a “portrait of the breeding grounds as natural art”:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMAGDALEN ISLANDS, QUEBEC, March 22—The harp seals’ breeding ground off the coast here is a world in motion. The ice floes, some as large as small towns, float imperceptibly as you stand on them. Spike your walking stick into the hard-packed snow that covers these thick slabs of ice and then fix the tip of the stick on some point on the horizon (if you can find anything on the pale-blue horizon that’s fixed). You’ll find, in a matter of minutes, that the fixed point has moved. …

For centuries, this isolated area provided protection to harp seal females about to give birth, but sometime in the early 16th century, European fishing settlers began killing these animals for food and fur. entury, European fishing settlers began killing these animals for food and fur. Some 500 years later, seal hunters have a different motivation—they’re trying to pocket some extra cash between fishing seasons. Sealers also have far better tools at their fingertips then their 16th century counterparts. Powerful ice-breaking boats and sophisticated aerial-spotting techniques allow hunters to pinpoint and access seals with relative ease. ….

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