“It is a big decision, so we just need to keep talking.”
Maxine Westhead, DFO’s oceans and coastal management division,
LOUISBOURG — A Department of Fisheries and Oceans official says the vessel Cape Mariner IV was scratched but suffered no other damage when it struck an uncharted rock Wednesday morning.
DFO spokesman Stephen Bornais said the vessel was on route from Louisbourg to Hay Island, where the season for a grey seal hunt opened Monday, with several conservation officers aboard at 9 a.m. when the incident happened.
Following DFO procedures, the vessel returned to Louisbourg to be inspected by a diver who found a two-foot scratch on the bottom of the keel but no greater damage.
“ The vessel is fully operational,” he said.
DFO has authorized a Feb. 8 to March 15 season for the grey seal harvest on the island although if and when a hunt occurs will depend on the sealers and weather. Sealers weren’t at Hay Island, Wednesday, but anti-seal hunt activists, who are also standing by to document it, did make a trip to the island to observe the animals.