Target: Keith Ashfield, Minister of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans — Canada
Goal: End seal slaughter in Canada or face a US boycott of Canadian seafood
Canadian sealers, those who club seals each season when the Canadian government authorizes the killing, gain about five percent of their yearly income from this practice. Catching seafood makes up the rest of their profits. To prevent seal slaughter, activists have decided to boycott Canadian seafood. This method will force Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans to end seal slaughter, an action it will not take unless the fishing industry supports it. Facing a loss of income due to the boycott, sealers are expected to forego killing seals in favor of more profitable fishing activities.
Hundreds of thousands of seals are estimated to die each year in the annual Canadian seal cull. In the face of this injustice, 750,000 people and almost 6000 US companies have joined the seafood boycott. This includes major natural foods corporations like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market. Similar initiatives in the 1980s have been successful at ending animal cruelty.
Activists in the US are particularly important to this process, since 60% of Canadian seafood is exported here. While sealers make about $16 million collectively each year, Canadian seafood exports to the US are worth about $3.3 billion annually. Boycott Canadian seafood and urge the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to end seal slaughter.
Dear Mr. Ashfield,
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has stated that it will not outlaw seal slaughter until the Canadian fishing industry supports the action. This being the case, I will boycott Canadian seafood until the fishing industry decides that the US seafood market is more valuable than the petty killing of hundreds of thousands of seals each year.
Sealers make only five percent of their yearly profits from the culling of seals. The rest they garner from catching seafood. Sixty percent of that seafood is exported to the United States, earning the Canadian fishing industry about $3.3 billion per year. I will now join 750,000 other individuals and nearly 6000 US companies in boycotting Canadian seafood. I hope that this action will end the cruel and unnecessary slaughter of seals each year, which is currently legal in Canada. To end the boycott, I ask that you outlaw seal slaughter in Canada once and for all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: San Diego Shooter via flickr