Great Canadian Seal Hunt - Big Deal Or Non-Issue

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by wotan, Mar 29, 2006.

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  1. Canada has recently had Sir Paul McCartney visit and condemn the annual seal hunt. As well, Brigitte Bardot has visited and caused a bit of a stir in denouncing the hunt. Now, Pam Anderson is determined to deliver a petition asking that the seal hunt be stopped. Each of these celebrities has indicated, and the press here keeps repeating, that the international community, especially Europeans are "horrified", "sickened", "disgusted", etc, etc about the seal hunt. Each of these folks has gone on at some length about the black-eye this gives Canada and Canadians and that there are severe economic and other repercussions awaiting us.

    Setting aside whether or not the seal hunt is right or wrong, justified or not, I'm a little doubtful that any Canadian issue is a big deal outside of our borders. Are Europeans (or anyone else) really up in arms about the seal hunt? Or is this just the Canadian media being "star-struck" by the visit of some celebs?

    Personally, I have never taken part in the Great Saskatchewan Seal Hunt, but I have done my fair share of beaver hunting, a sport I very much recommend to every man (and most women) out there. Cheers.
  2. but they're sooooooo cute...
  3. what's the justification for the hunt is there a need for control of numbers or is it just sport ?
  4. Yeah, the pups are cute, but they have been illegal to hunt since 1987. As far as I understand it, there are about 6 million harp seals on the East Coast, about thrice the number there was when seal hunting first became an international issue.

    The adults are mainly hunted for their coats, the fur being sold to China, Russia, Korea and a host of other countries. Some of the meat is certainly used by the hunters and I believe some of the Inuit and other aboriginal tribes still take part in subsistence hunting. Population control of the seals is a factor, but a lesser one that obtaining the pelts. To the best of my knowledge there is no "sport" factor in seal hunting as they aren't exactly speedy on the ice.

    So, is the hunt an issue over in Europe with ordinary folks? I know we heard a fair bit about the UK banning fox hunting, but I think that was more due to the fox hunt being a "symbol" of the English way of every Englishman has gone fox hunting.
  5. If it's just for sport then I'm totally against it! Don't like any kind of hunting for 'sport'.
  6. Im supprised he didnt have his wife there hitting the hunters with her false leg!!!!!! :lol:
  7. From what I was reading in the times they can hunt young seals, just not those under 3 weeks or something. The times had a lovely photo of a cute seal lying dead streaked with blood. Apparently to preserve the pelt they attach them with spiked clubs, so they don't put a bullet hole through the valuable skin. I think it's not especially humane...
    There are claims the seal population has trebled, I have no idea if that is supported scientifically. However if the population has risen remember that those extra seals will be putting even greater pressure on limited cod stocks, reducing the income for those in the area.
    Myself I'm mainly against it, if they do do it it'd be nicer if it was a wee bit less painful for the poor cuties... (sound like a woman :p)
    Doesn't come close the Norway/Japan whaling, but perhaps the media are bored of that?
  8. Canada hunters head for seal cull

    The justifcation for the cull given by the Canadian Government in the story above states that, the seals need to be culled to controll their numbers as well as providing income for the local economy through the sale of seal pelts and meat.

    I would suggest that the cull is almost entirely for economic reasons. As well as the money generated through the sale of seal products, the seals are going to prey upon the fish these guys fish for. So, if there are fewer seals there will be more fish for the fishermen when they go out to sea. These people need to make a living somehow, and I don't think there is much else for them to do in that part of the world.

    This is similar to the problem fishermen in this country face. The fisheries managers tell the politicians that only a certain amount of fish can be caught. Generally this amount would not be economically viable for the fishermen concerned, so the politicians allow them to catch more fish. It's not good for the fish stocks, but fishermen are still able to earn a living and support their families and the local economy.
  9. I think you can see from the posts so far, that most people have very little knowledge of the seal cull, so it doesn't seem to be a major issue for europeans.

    There has been some mention of it on the news, but nothing major. It certainly hasn't been a talking point for anyone I know.

    Perhaps you should try dressing the seals in Mohammed costumes, then I'm pretty sure that half the world would be up in arms.

    Let me know how you get on.......

    on second thoughts don't bother I'll just watch the news!
  10. I don't disagree with the economics of seal hunting. However don't relate this to fish stocks around the UK, those have been exploited beyond their maximum sustainable yield and so are seeing reduced populations and reduced returns (then quotas as well etc). The seal hunting purely seems to be aimed at leveling the number.
    What I do disagree with is undue suffering of an animal. I believe an animal, if it needs to be killed (I'm no veggie) should be killed quickly and with as little suffering as possible. Remember if it wasn't the seals it would be something else with some of these environmentalist nutcases, they give the rest of us a bad name :?
  11. As long as they are not being hunted beyond their viable limits as a species, I have no issue with it. People are so hypercritical when it comes to killing animals. Man (and woman) slaughters untold millions of furry critters, on the road, by accident, and in the fields with combine harvesters etc, again by accident.
    Every single living creature is going to die at some point, I'm sure fluffy bunnykins has no concept of the tragedy of his early demise at the age of three, when he could have lived to the ripe old age of, perhaps, five.
    I blame Disney, oh, and the industrial revolution.
  12. Traps or guns? In my admittedly limited experience running a trapline seems more like working than sport.
  13. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Fur doesnt seem to bother the krauts theyve always been into their fur coats and jackets, hats etc etc. I dont think that in most european countrys it rates much of a mention in the media.
  14. Having family in Canada who know more about the economic and moral issues with the annual seal cull than I do has made for one or two interesting conversations when the cull comes around on the media calendar and the British newspaper's often inaccurate reporting of the subject filters back to the Canadians. I'm certainly no bunnyhugger, vegetarian (moral or otherwise) or ALF emapthiser but do carry fairly strong opinions when it comes to animal welfare. If a viable ecological and economical balance is to be maintained between man and beast then the cull is a reality that has to be accepted; from the little I know this practice has been working well for years. What I do object to though is the method employed. As these mammals can't flee I don't see why a bullet or captive bolt to the head can't be delivered instead of repeated clubbing. Making use of the pelt is definitely necessary to avoid waste but I don't see how an extra hole at the tip of the pelt could make much of a difference to value - especially if every pelt is the same.

    Always will be a contentious issue but one that is essentially driven by the undeniably cute image of said pups rather consideration for the bigger picture. Afterall, no-one ever gets on their high horse about fish, crustacean, reptile, insect welfare almost certainly because they're not fluffy and cute, despite scientific research apparently revealing that fish, for one, have much more of a concept of pain/fear etc. than originally thought. 8O
  15. Its freakin disgusting and TOTALLY unneeded. I say ban it and ban it now!!! I rarely get off on liberal agenda's, however, this is one I FULLY support.