It is fast becoming apparent that the Newfoundland government "investment" in the commercial seal slaughter is simply a make-work project. Encouraging fishermen to make economic decisions based on markets that will never materialize serves only the executives of the seal processors. More than 35 nations have already prohibited their trade in the primary products of Canada's commercial seal slaughter and there is no future in commercial sealing. It is time the Canadian and provincial governments put their support behind a fair sealing industry buyout.
I am a scientist who has studied marine mammals off eastern Canada for the past 35 years. The concept of a seal cull to improve Maritime groundfish stocks is not scientifically defensible. It is simply not known whether seals have a positive or negative effect on groundfish populations. A large cull of grey seals in the Maritimes will not help our understanding. Removing native species is scientifically indefensible, and, from my perspective, morally wrong.
Bill Maher wrote to interim Liberal leader Bob Rae expecting the Liberals to do better than the Conservatives in their blind support of Canada's commercial seal hunt. Sadly, the response was typical of what's usually seen from politicians: excuses and sad attempts to deflect from the issues at hand.