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Slaughtering Seals As a Precautionary Approach

Slaughtering Seals As a Precautionary Approach
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The fishing waters off Newfoundland and Laborador are some of the most closely watched in the world. On every community’s mind is the question: When will the fish come back? They watch the seals grow fat, their bank accounts grow lean and they want action. They want the seals to go.

Now that finally may happen. The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) has just released a report entitled Towards Recovered and Sustainable Groundfish Fisheries in Eastern Canada. Though overfishing crashed the population of groundfish such as cod, haddock and flounder, the seals will pay.

To come up with their recommendations, the Council talked with industry, biologists, fishers and Aboriginal communities. Two things nearly everyone agreed on: Fisheries and Oceans Canada is taking too long to complete the Sustainable Fisheries Framework they hope will put the fishing industry back on its boats, and seals are eating the fish.

So the report calls on the government to complete its work and to become a whole lot better about working with the industry. One red flag is a warning “that the top-down, prescriptive nature of the Species at Risk Act will largely remove industry from participation in management of the resource, and will counter initiatives towards stewardship and co-management.”

The same warning appears any time an industry objects to government regulation of a resource. In this case, the Species at Risk Act is one small, government voice for endangered wildlife. The fishing industry’s earlier record with stewardship and co-management nearly wiped out the groundfish. If the fish are ever to recover, they need non-industry voices guarding their interests.

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Photo from Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel, Second Photo from Sam Beebe, Third Photo from bikehikedive (nugun) via Flickr Creative Commons

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159 comments

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10:30AM PST on Nov 11, 2013

Leave the fish for the inhabitants of the sea - end of

12:48PM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

The small catches and depletion of fish is caused by overfishing which in turn is caused by human overpopulation. The Canadians are hollering that the seals are eating all of "their" fish as an excuse to kill seals. The Japanese are doing the same thing with whales and dolphins: Japan is getting very small catches due to overfishing/overpopulation but are blaming it on the "greedy" whales and dolphins eating all of "their" fish. Birth control bitches, birth control! There are just so many humans on this planet that the species we use for food cannot keep up with us because we are far outbreeding them. Blaming other species for the overconsumption of the fish is disingenuous and will not solve the problem. There are not too many seals or whales or dolphins; there are way too many of US, and until that problem is fixed, the puny fish catches will remain a problem, seals or no seals.

7:13AM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

11:09AM PST on Jan 1, 2013

Canada needs to wake up and stop this erroneous approach to the depletion of cod. Stop killing the seals and find a better way to restore the cod.

8:58PM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Canada is far behind when it comes to taking compassionate decisions on behalf of the Planet earth. Massive slaughter of seals in eastern coast lines have given Canada the name of one of the Cruelest Governing country in the world. No sympathy for the environement or the Animals, sea or land creatures. Canadians governing parties need to be educated in most of the current issues in respect of the Planet and it's inhibitants. This is 21st century. PM need to wake up and change the olden days brutal practises by culling innocent animals and need to introduce new laws to protect the seals in the east coasts. Shame on Canada for the way they massacre such defenceless animals in such brutal and Barbaric ways. Don't buy any products made in Canada which involvs body part from those majestic seals.

12:15AM PDT on Sep 17, 2012

Excuse me but let's not forget that the seals home is the sea. It provides for their every need. It is not them who plunder the oceans but us who in fact don't even have the right to be there. We live on land and these **************** people are tooo lazy to plant vegetables and fruit trees.
Canadians you are already thought of as a disgusting country for not protecting the seals - get up off your lazy bums and get planting!!!

10:23AM PST on Dec 13, 2011

Drastic reduction in Human Overpopulation is the only answer to this ecological ,conservational and environmental collapse.

We are living much, much longer and we breed much,much more. Plus, the mortality rates are lower.Human population is increasing now at exponential rates, world population has doubled since 1970.

5:24PM PST on Nov 28, 2011

The seals used to be controlled by the orcas (killer whales). We put the killer whales in Zoos. The seal population exploded here on the Pacific...parasites exploded in the bottom fish...parasites moving through the food chain. Over fishing of herring for the roe. So called excess roe that broke loose and ended up high on the beach, rotted, and with each high tide went back to sea as fertilizer, caused the seaweeds to flourish...hidey holes for juvenile fishes and returning adult salmon. Now we have a salmon problem, fewer and stunted seaweeds and the seal invading the tidal part of the rivers with impunity and the salmon in trouble, herring in trouble, orcas in trouble, seaweeds in trouble, and damn if I'll eat sushi again. It's kind of freaky finding a fish tapeworm hanging out your ass about a foot after your morning constitutinal!

4:19PM PST on Nov 28, 2011

I am out of words. So how it was going for centuries when there were more seals and the fishes did not perished? How all the species used to survive one next to the other? May be because ther were less humans on this crowdy earth.

11:21AM PST on Nov 25, 2011

My question, or one of them anyway, is why isn't there more publicity on this type of horrible, unecessary massacre? Seals slaughtered, dolphins murdered, horses cruelly rounded up & put into horrific "holding facilities", wolves & pups being shot and/or gassed, and most of this conducted by our federal government, with the apparent approval of our President! Why isn't the public irate over these horrible, cruel acts? They aren't being committed by one or two people, but acts committed regularly with the full approval of, or by, government officials. Has humanity reached it's lowest level? I can't even imagine how things can get much worse.

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