03/21/2012 07:46 EDT | Updated 05/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Animal rights activist says seal hunt quota too high

A critic is speaking out against the new harp seal quota set by the federal fisheries department.

The total allowable catch for this year has been set at 400,000 animals.

Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society International says taking that many would harm the stock.

The department has maintained the same catch as last year, despite warnings from scientists that it should be lower.

Sealers took less than 10 per cent of the quota last season.

It's uncertain how many seals will be taken this year because demand for seal products appears to be low.

Officials with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans estimate that as many as nine million harp seals live in waters off eastern Canada.