East Coast grey seal hunt cancelled for lack of interest

It looks like this year’s East Coast grey seal hunt season might have already fizzled out due to a lack of markets.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada set February 28 as the official opening date, but Robert Courtenay, a spokesperson for Cape Breton sealers, told the Cape Breton Post on opening day: "We had to call everything off, so it doesn’t look good. I don’t think there will be anything going."

Courtenay said one buyer wanted a few hundred grey seals but couldn’t wait the necessary amount of time to deal with regulatory arrangements and paperwork.

In a release, Michelle Cliffe, Canadian spokesperson for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said: "We are relieved that…the grey seal hunt for 2013 will not proceed. This is the second year in a row that lack of domestic and global demand for seal products has resulted in no hunt, clearly showing that the sealing industry is dying."

Cliffe also stated that it appears that an unrelated proposed grey-seal cull on Sable Island is "off the table".

Last year, only about eight grey seals died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during a hunt that normally has a quota of more than 1,000 of the marine mammals. No animals were killed in 2012 on Cape Breton’s rocky Hay Island, a major killing ground for the seal hunters. Hay Island is off Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and is part of the protected Scaterie Island Wilderness Area.

Courtenay told CBC News in March 2012: "Some years we have taken up to 1,500 animals out of that area."

In January, Taiwan banned all marine-mammal products. At the time, that country was the world’s fourth-largest consumer of such goods. A Canada-China trade agreement that would allow export of edible seal products has not been ratified. In a January 2012 statement released prior to his China trip, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: "Our government will continue to vigorously defend this humane and highly regulated [seal] industry and to seek new international markets for Canadian seal products, including China."

Previously, the European Union, the United States, Mexico, and the Russian Federation have banned seal products.

According to the Humane Society International, Canadian seal processors admitted in 2010 that they have hundreds of thousands of seal furs stockpiled because they are unable to find buyers.

Responses to "Seal Hunt Cancelled For Hay Island In Nova Scotia "

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you!!! <3 ~Kim Tara Hays (No joke,our last name...)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yay thank goodness these little ones can grow up and not be slaughtered. I am very happy about this.

  3. Phoenix says:

    I'd rather see that barbaric industry die than even one more seal! The "hunters" will simply have to find another line of work - and maybe some psychiatric help to wean them off their violence

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am so happy this is happening ! Look at those can anyone with a heart kill them ???

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is longed for wonderful news >>> Could it be that Humans are eventually becoming more compassionate at last - Please God let it be. = These lovely Animals have the right to live alongside us without being butchered to death.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Absultely marvelous. Hopefully, China will tell Harper just where he can stick the seal hook.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Stephen Harper needs an update!!! Seals deserve a chance at life, too.

  8. John says:

    Thank God, such beautiful little animals!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good news for the beach-pupping GREY seals -- but what about the pack-ice pupping HARP seals with more valuable fur and traditionally hunted in far greater numbers?

    I note with appreciation that Taiwan is now banning the import of all marine mammal products but I would be (very pleasantly) surprised if China were to do the same. As a country, it appears to have an insatiable demand for wildlife parts - rhinos, elephants, lions, tigers, bears, seahorses, etc. In the 19th century, European sealers and their Canadian and American cousins critically depleted their traditional N Atlantic sealing rounds and went on to seriously deplete the Southern Ocean, nearly wiping out the Southern Elephant Seal species in the process. Much of the market for that frenetic activity was China. Seal populations have rebounded. Opposition to the hunt is not on conservation grounds but on ethical grounds; it is cruel and barbaric. Canada's Harper government is in cahoots with China, deforesting and destroying large parts of W Canada for pulp and tar sands oils, I do not expect it to have different ethics (lack thereof) in respect to sealing. Anything goes as long as it makes a fast Yuan or a fast Buck.

  10. Unknown says:

    So happy to hear this news, maybe the world will continue to change for the better after all??? Or should I say, in due time, after enough people get out there and make known the violence towards animals, as well as humans. So glad to hear this news.

  11. Perla says:

    I'm glad about this news. And I hope that animal rights organizations wil do something concerning slaughtering cats and dogs in china. I watched a video documentary about it and it's really heart breaking. These people should be punished...

  12. How on earth can anyone kill these lovely souls ?? !!
    WONDERFUL news indeed !!

  13. Unknown says:

    Did they say humane???? So beating a newborn in the head w a bat is humane?? Skinning them alive is humane???? Wtf

  14. Unknown says:

    I agree w u but in the same token India could say punish us for killing millions of cows

  15. Anonymous says:

    murdering these creatures is cruel and barbaric. how is it any different than killing and eating land mammals like cows and pigs?

  16. Anonymous says:

    The activists did make a difference.If enough voices are heard and pressure is put on eventually something will be done.China doesn't care about thier people,let alone animals.These sealers are total losers!!! How could you look in those precious puppy eyes of a baby seal and club it to death?? It takes a evil person to do that.God is looking over on these precious creatures.THANK GOD!!! LONG LIVE THE SEALS!!!

  17. Diane says:

    Does this mean the harp baby seals are not being slaughtered either? No seals at all were killed in Canada as of now 2013? Please reply back.Thank You

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