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Save The Seals Now

POLITICIANS & SEALERS

REST OF CANADA

4,000 to 5,000 sealers living primarily in Newfoundland and Labrador who carry out sealing for several weeks each year.

508,944 people living in Newfoundland and Labrador and more than 33 million Canadians who are not sealers.

Less than 0.015% of people in Newfoundland and Labrador are sealers. Published reports indicate that the money made from sealing contributes to less than 5% of the gross domestic product and about 2% of the fishery revenue for all of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Less than 1 out 10 Canadians kill wildlife (less than 5% of Canadians hunt wildlife). 

Repeated government surveys have found that 9 of out 10 Canadians support the protection and not the killing of wildlife

Sealers are causing and will continue to cause the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars because of a tourism boycott to Canada; and the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver which is hoping for over 2.3 million visitors, more than 5,000 athletes and 14,000 volunteers along with 10,000 members of the news media.

The rest of Canada is being affected and will continue to be affected through the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars because of the tourism boycott caused by the seal hunt.  Last year more than 30.3 million tourists visited Canada and in 2006 spent over $ 11.5 billion. 

Tourism generated $357.4 million for the Newfoundland & Labrador economy in 2007. 

Canadian tourism experts are already concerned that a new U.S. law requiring travelers to show only approved identification documents and passports will decrease the number of tourists visiting Canada.

Sealers are causing and will continue to cause hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to a boycott of Canadian seafood products.

The rest of Canada and is being affected and will continue to be affected through the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars because of the seafood boycott caused by the seal hunt.  Organizers of the seafood boycott claim that over the past year alone this has already cost Canada more than $174.89 million in lost revenues.

Politicians say that the 2007 seal hunt contributed $11.4 million to the economy of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Compare this with the $467 million contributed in 2007 to the economy by other seafood catches. The seal hunt revenue only generates 2% of the total landed value.

A Canadian study from the Gallon Environmental Newsletter prepared by the Canadian Institute for Business & the Environment which was headed by Gary Gallon showed that between 1995 and 2001 alone, that tax payers from the rest of Canada subsidized the seal hunt to the tune of at least $ 20 million. Politicians did not fully cooperate in the release of this information, and we believe the actual tax payer subsidy is even higher. If the rest of Canada did not pay for it with our hard earned tax dollars, then the seal hunt would have ended years ago. A full copy of the report can be found here. The politicians’ ongoing unfair subsidy of the seal hunt will eventually provoke a trade dispute before the World Trade Organization and Canada will lose such a dispute and could be required to pay compensation.

The figures used by politicians about the value of the Canadian seal hunt do not include the actual operating costs for each sealer (i.e. his time, fuel for his boat, etc) nor do they include the costs to taxpayers for the politicians to promote, defend and monitor the hunt, in addition to costs incurred by rescue efforts, (for example, in 2008, four sealing vessels were destroyed off the coast of Newfoundland, and off the coast of Cape Breton, a disabled trawler had to be towed home by the Coast Guard. During the rescue, the boat sank resulting in the deaths of 3 sailors.  In 2007, sailors in the 100 fishing vessels that became stuck in the ice during the 2007 seal hunt and needed to be rescued) – and the figures do not include the loss to the Canadian economy because of tourism and seafood boycotts.  When all of these costs are taken into account, the cost of the rest of Canadians who do not club baby seals runs into the millions of dollars each year.

The Humane Society of Canada proposed a Made in Canada solution to end the decades old slaughter of seal pups.

The Humane Society of Canada called on the Harper Government to create an intergovermental taskforce to establish and maintain a fund to buy back sealing licences and launch new initiaties to promote ecotourism and other sources of income. To this end we donated $10,000 to help create this program - this is the response that we received from the Prime Minister, and this is the response that we received from the Department of Fisheries & Oceans.

The Humane Society of Canada has also continued to pledge to enlist the support of caring people to match dollar for dollar the funds established by government to buyback sealing licences.

Sealers in Newfoundland and Labrador represent less than 0.00015 % of all tax payers in Canada.

Finance Canada reports that $1.5 billion was sent last year, and since 2005, $6.1 billion has been sent by taxpayers from the rest of Canada to help the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

4,000 to 5,000 sealers living primarily in Newfoundland and Labrador who want to continue the seal hunt.

33 million Canadians who pay the price for their decision to continue the seal hunt.

This year's quota has been set at 338,200 seals, an increase of 55,000 seals from last year.  Last year's quota was increased to 275,000 an increase of 5,000 seal pups take in 2007 after warm temperatures melted the ice flows before the pups were able to survive in open water. The Canadian government predicted up to 90% pup mortality rate in some areas.   335,000 seals were killed in 2006.  If the politicians continue to allow this number to be killed then the seal hunt management plan for 2006 - 2010 will result in the killing of more than 1.3 million seal pups.  The last time politicians allowed this many seals to be killed was during the 1950s and 1960s and it nearly decimated two thirds of the species.

Every time a seal pup is clubbed, stabbed or shot, the shockwave is felt across the Canadian economy. Seal populations are not just placed at risk by the direct killing operations carried out by sealers. They are also affected by manmade environmental impacts like global climate change, pollution and overfishing. Acting in concert these can have a devastating synergistic or multiplier effect on wildlife species. Historical studies have repeatedly shown that by the time scientists realize that any species has reached the brink of extinction then it is almost always too late to save them. The destruction of the cod stocks because of overfishing is but one recent example.

Norway, Russia and China are the primary fashion markets for the fur of seal pups; and the penises of adult seals are sent to China for use as aphrodisiacs.

Already 27 countries around the world ban the import of seal pup fur from Canada and others are considering similar bans. Although Canadian politicians continue to lobby against such bans, they abandoned a legal challenge before GATT which was the forerunner to the World Trade Organization because they believed they would lose such a challenge.

In the past Canadian politicians have also strongly supported the horrific drowning of dolphins in tuna nets and the use of cruel steel jawed leghold traps at WTO.

Sealers could promote ecotourism instead of killing seals.

Whale watching tours generate more than $1 billion per year worldwide; attracting more than 9 million people from 87 countries.


Ecotourism provides an economic boost to many additional parts of the economy and improves the lives of people and animals.

Throughout the animal’s lifetime, a single African elephant contributes over $1 million through ecotourism revenues.

4,000 to 5,000 sealers who could consider any alternatives such as a buyback of their sealing licences and ecotourism.

The long term cost to 33 million of their fellow Canadians and Canada’s reputation because of the seal hunt:  Priceless.

Offering no proof that they actually even enforce the law, politicians claim that no whitecoat harp seal pups are killed any longer.

The term "whitecoat" refers to the stage of development of a pup, and means the pup is 14 to 21 days of age. Instead, sealers simply wait less than a day until the seal’s fur begins to moult before they club, stab or shoot the seal pup. Published reports indicate that last year alone, 98.5% of all seal pups killed were less than two months of age. At this age, the seal pups are not able to find food, and cannot swim or escape from the hunters.

Politicians claim that the seal hunt is good conservation.

Lagging behind many other countries in the world because of political infighting between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, it took over 30 years to finally pass the federal Species At Risk law in 2003 to protect endangered species – which many believe contains too many loopholes and is poorly enforced.  In the past, species in Canada have already been driven to extinction.

Politicians and sealers claim that seals ate all of the cod fish.

Canadian studies have shown that cod make up less than 3% of a harp seal’s diet and that seals also eat other fish which prey on the cod. These same politicians allowed the commercial overexploitation of the cod fish and now the lobster, crab and other shellfish stocks which was a focus of concern in the 1999 Report by the Federal Auditor General. The mismanagement by politicians of the cod stocks is a tragic tale of hook, line and extinction. More than 200 major commercial fisheries around the world are in a downward spiral. Even the World Bank and the World Trade Organization agree that the global fishing industry is heavily overly subsidized with tax dollars in the amount of $30 billion. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization reports that there is a global overfishing crisis with 52% of stocks fully exploited and a further 25% of stocks depleted due to overexploitation. According to  the FAO, the Northwest Atlantic is one of five major fishing areas with the highest proportions (69-77 percent) of fully exploited stocks.

Each year commercial fishing fleets throw away 63 billion pounds (28.7 million metric tonnes) of unwanted fish which is over 20% of the total global catch. It is likely that these numberes are underestimates as by-catch figures are often under-reported, and statistics do not include fish lost to spoilage, undetected mortality and ghost fishing through lost equipment that continues to catch fish. There are simply too many vessels, catching too many fish, using too many destructive methods.


Politicians claim there are more than 6 million seals.

While it sounds good on paper, in reality there is no scientific way to accurately verify the total number of seals living in the ocean.

Politicians says that laws are necessary to prevent protestors from interfering with the seal hunt.

Politicians rarely if ever fine or suspend sealers and instead retaliate against anyone whose views differ from their own including threatening charities who disagree with them Although every Canadian is guaranteed freedom of expression and movement anywhere in Canada by law under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, most Canadians would be surprised to learn that it is illegal to attend and view the seal hunt without first obtaining permission from politicians and that they can refuse to grant such permission for any reason they choose. Further, if you do not have permission from politicians that it is illegal to come within one nautical mile of a single seal. Even if a person is granted permission by politicians, unless you intend to shoot, stab or club a seal pup then it is also illegal to touch any seal. The penalties for disobeying the politicians who created these laws includes fines ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 and a term of imprisonment of between one to two years or both; and whatever forfeiture of goods, services or other restitution that politicians order. Because Department of Fisheries and Oceans civil servants refuse to verify this information we have provided a direct link to the politicians’ website which can be found here.

Premiere Danny Williams of Newfoundland & Labrador is demanding that unless a person is slaughtering seals pups, no one, including Canadians should be allowed to attend and observe the hunt, even with a permit because it poses too many problems.

This is not the kind of police state mentality Canadians want or expect from politicians.

 

 

 

 

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