Stop the Canadian Grey Seal Cull

Target: Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Goal: Stop the proposed plan to kill 70,000 grey seals in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Before overfishing in the 1990s devastated the population of Canadian Atlantic cod, their numbers once stood at an amount of 1.5 to 2.5 billion. The ban that was subsequently incurred on fishing of the species has since failed to help their numbers recover. Now, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is blaming the absence of these fish, and others like American plaice, winter skate and white hake, on excessive consumption by grey seals. Their logic is that up to 7% of a seal’s diet is cod, with 1-2 tons eaten every year.

Now the Canadian Senate has approved a multimillion dollar plan to kill 70,000 grey seals next year in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with a bounty system as an incentive. Opponents are pointing out a number of flaws in the proposal. Marine scientists from Nova Scotia have stated that “there is no credible scientific evidence to suggest a cull of grey seals in Atlantic Canada would help depleted fish stocks recover.” The effect on cod is in question, with a potentially negative impact being suggested by many experts. Furthermore, some researchers say that cod, in fact, only make up a small part of a grey seal’s diet as they prefer fatty fish (cod having only 1% fat).

These researchers suggest that among the reasons that cod stocks have not been able to recover is the fact that some fisheries continue to catch cod in spite of the ban, along with the ever-present possibility of by-catching. The most popular theory is that other species, such as Northern shrimp, merely filled the cod niche when their numbers declined. Demand that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada be made to see the folly of this plan, which will result in the pointless death of thousands of seals for which no substantial evidence of a cod resurgence is guaranteed.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada,

You recently pushed for Canada to hold a grey seal cull in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Your plan would ensure the destruction of 70,000 seals, with the help of a bounty incentive. Your justification for this mass killing is the apparent over-eating of Canadian Atlantic cod by the area’s grey seals. However, the plan’s biggest flaw lies in the lack of any substantial proof that this cull will have any effect on the cod population.

Many other experts and researchers have pointed out that cod actually make up a small part of a grey seal’s diet, and that there are many other factors contributing to the low number of fish. Among these are the continuing fishing of cod by some who have ignored the ban against it, by-catching, and replacement through the growth of alternative species. Please consider the possible negatives that may come about as a result of a cull that has yet to guarantee your desired result. Hundreds of thousands of Canadian harp seals are already slaughtered every year — please do not add yet another species to the senseless massacre.

As you are in a position to decide the fate of your country’s wildlife, avoid cutting corners and continue the research necessary to devise a more reliable plan for bringing back cod.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: spencer77 via Flickr

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21 Comments

  1. All fur has to go. Animals are not to be worn as an obscene, obsolete display of so called fashion. We have plenty of alternatives.

  2. Michael Hendricks says:

    This is such a disgusting practice done by your countrymen. It is truly a black eye for Canada’s reputation in the world. And for what? Fur? This is 2012, not 1812. Live and let live before your murdering of defenseless animals destroys not only that species, but Canada’s reputation.

    • Elizabeth Goudge says:

      Well Canada is now high on my list of where not to visit. I am also checking food stuffs to see if they are Canadian, in order not to buy anything from a place where such evil goes on, with a government ‘rubber stamp’.

  3. Carol Dibbens says:

    I cant believe this is still happening I went on protest marches to save Canadian seals in the 1980 s never thinking that it would still be going on now Wake up Canada You have had a bad reputation for long enough just to get furs and make money Time to right that opinion Its all about greed at the end of the day and the senseless killing of such beautiful creatures that should be left alone to live naturally in the wild Please dont give excuses We have heard them all before over the last 40 years or so How many have you killed in this time You are barbarians in my eyes and i have never held a good opinion of Canada for this reason alone and never will while the slaughter goes on

  4. Marcos A. D. Campos says:

    Nos seres humanos devemos respeitar ums aos outros e toda a forma de criação sobretudo os indefesos animais.

  5. apoio a parada imediata dessa animozidade.

  6. temos que lutar por esses seres indefesos

  7. mauricio oliveira says:

    DESDE OS MEUS IDOS TEMPOS DE COLÉGIO, SEMPRE ADMIREI ÊSTE GRANDE PAÍS QUE É O “CANADÁ”, FAUNA E FLORA MARAVILHOSAS, LINDAS PAISAGENS. ME RESPONDAM POR FAVOR SENHORES DONOS DO PODER CANADENSES, DE QUAL INFERNO QUE VOCÊS BROTARAM, PARA TRANSFORMAR ÊSTE BELO PAÍS NO MAIOR
    “HOLOCAUSTO” DE ANIMAIS DE TODOS OS TEMPOS? DEPOIS DAS
    INOCENTES “FOCAS” QUAIS AS RAÇAS DE ANIMAIS VOCÊS ARRASARIAM? SENHORES DAS ” SS “.

    • mauricio oliveira says:

      SEMPRE ADMIREI ÊSTE BELO PAÍS QUE É O CANADÁ. FAUNA, FLORA, PAISAGENS MARAVILHOSAS. PORQUÊ OS SENHORES DO PODER DESTA GRANDE NAÇÃO IRÃO TRANSFORMÁ-LA MUNDIALMENTE
      NA CAMPEÃ DO “HOLOCAUSTO” DAS FOCAS?

  8. Aline Tarôco says:

    Vamos nos unir e defender os inocentes !!!
    Pena de morte para os q matarem animais ou aprisionarem.

  9. This is just so barbaric and disgusting I can’t believe this is still happening in this day and age. I will never visit Canada as this just puts me off and everyone else just boycott it. A really really cruel act that just turns my stomach every year…nothing but a bunch of violent pratts out there

    • Why do you say you will never visit Canada? Why are you blaming the whole country for what my government does. These are good people who fight everyday for change. I,as well as most of this country,DO NOT condone the seal hunts,the transporting of whales from Iceland, etc. The abuse of animals, and people is not tolerated in this country. There are many groups fighting to end the tragedies that take place, but it takes many more people to make a difference. There are also good people in government but they are out numbered by those who only seek money and power. Every country has governments like this and abuse of one kind or another. If your going to point fingers, point them at your own country as well.

  10. CABAR COM ESTA ATROCIDADE POR SIMPLES E FALSO PODER Q ALGUNS SERES HUMANOS FAZEM CONTRA SERES INDEFESOS.

  11. When is this lunacy going to stop? Majority of Canadian voters want it gone, so what is the problem, Canada? Stop the extreme animal abuse and violence. It is deplorable. I have no desire to visit or buy your exports, I am so repulsed. SO DISGUSTING!!!

  12. É um absurdo. Chega de violencia aos animais…isso é uma vergonha .
    Que chegue ao fim a matança das focas na nambia e no canada .

  13. pelo amor de deus isto tem que acabar, que dor eles sentem, que maldade. ajudem a salva-los.

  14. Maria de Lourdes Ximenes Bastos says:

    Vamos assinar galera, por favor, para o bem dos animais.

  15. go vegan !!!

  16. guylaine chevrier says:

    Canada, please stop this animal abuse, this has been going for too long. I AM COMPLETELY ASHAMED TO BE CANADIAN.. JE SUIS UNE FRANCOPHONE ET JE DETESTE LA TUERIE DES PHOQUES ARRETER

  17. Juliano Gambini says:

    Está na hora de mudar estas leis brandas e ultrapassadas que não punem quem maltrata animais. Vamos começar a fazer a mesma coisa com quem maltrata animais, seremos como vingadores.

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