An internal government memo obtained recently by the Blacklock's Reporter and marked "SECRET" confirms that there is no scientific link between grey seals and fish stocks, completely destroying Canada's claims that grey seals need to be culled to protect groundfish.
The main argument of those who oppose the grey seal cull is that there is no market for seal-derived products. But this market is so successful that Canadian products were exported to 35 countries between 2005 and 2011, bringing in US$70 million. It is more ethical to humanely and sustainably harvest animals and subsequently market them, then it is to harvest them only to let them rot.
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.
The Canadian Senate, our Senate, has just released its report on the "management" of grey seal populations on Canada's East Coast and recommends spending millions in taxpayer dollars on an "experiment" that is so incredibly flawed that, whatever the result, it will be entirely unreliable.
UPDATE: The Senate committee has recommended a seal cull, CBC reports. The cull will affect 70,000 in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Senate's fisheries committee is expected today to endorse a...
There was plenty of evidence presented to the Senate Committee that a cull of grey seals would be scientifically risky, unethical, and expensive. Yet, on Tuesday, the senate recommended one anyway. In addition to scientists and sealers -- most Canadians are also opposed to a seal cull.
First, It is unlikely that a cull in Eastern Canada would have a substantial positive effect on cod populations. Second, that the majority of grey seal diets consists of fatty forage fish such as herring, sand lance, and other small fish, and therefore they would not expect much, if any, benefit of culling seals on cod.
OTTAWA - Canada should pay hunters to kill 70,000 seals off the East Coast to help the recovery of cod stocks even though there's little scientific evidence to support a large cull, a Senate committee...
HALIFAX - As Canada's fisheries minister contemplates whether to approve a five-year cull of 140,000 grey seals on the East Coast, his own department has released a study that concludes there's little...
HALIFAX - Two of Canada's leading marine biologists and a conservation group say a five-year proposal to slaughter 140,000 grey seals in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence is being driven by politics,...
HALIFAX - An advisory panel is calling on Ottawa to approve a cull that would result in the killing of 70 per cent of the grey seals that feed in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence -- a plan derided by...