"He must have an awesome slap shot."
Although the purpose of National Seal Products Day is supposedly to celebrate the importance of the seal hunt for Canada's indigenous people and coastal communities, politicians have inexplicably chosen to focus on seal "products" rather than the people, culture and traditions that have been historically involved in seal hunting.
That is all the time the Canadian government afforded seals to give birth to and nurse their pups. The sealers claim they will target adult seals in this section of the hunt. But for mother seals and their very young pups, it spells disaster. Sealing boats crashing through the ice, gunfire and the cries of dying seals will shatter the peace of the nursery.
Allowing the commercial seal slaughter to proceed while helpless pups are still nursing from their mothers is absolutely unacceptable. Harp seals are already facing threats from climate change and commercial exploitation; we should not be removing one of the few remaining protections left for this species.
There is neither scientific evidence that grey seals are impacting salmon stocks, nor anything to indicate that a seal cull would improve salmon recovery. In fact, scientists warn that killing off top predators such as seals could make the situation worse, resulting in unexpected and undesired consequences on salmon and other species.
Proposing a research project under the guise of science to provide cover for an ongoing illegal slaughter of wildlife in a protected area and allow individuals to profit financially from it -- and then pretending that this has anything to do with "sustainable development" -- is a joke.
The comment was made that National Seal Products Day "makes a statement, not a holiday." But statements will do little to benefit Inuit sealers who could use real and tangible assistance in accessing the markets for products from their full-use seal hunt. They also fail to provide viable alternatives for fishermen in Atlantic Canada.
A powerful new documentary delves into the conflict between the Inuit hunt and animal rights and environmental groups.
Despite tens of millions of dollars in government support, the hunt is at one of its lowest points in history. Processors have relied heavily on government loans in recent years in order to purchase sealskins, but with 35 countries now banning the import of seal products few commercial markets remain.
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.