Sealers no experts on population biology
Sealer Robert Courtney is not a marine biologist and is not qualified to speculate on the sustainability of grey seals in our marine ecosystem (Two Sides Perform Delicate Dance Waiting for Seal Hunt to Start, Feb. 16).
Marine biologists tell us seals are highly adaptable to their environment. When conditions are not favourable, such as during a scarcity of food, reproduction rates drop. Seals control their own population growth in this manner without the need for human intervention. The CapeBretonPost welcomes letters on matters of public interest for publication over the writer’s name. Letters must state home address and phone number where authorship can be reached for verification. Letters must be no more than 300 words. Publication is at the discretion of the Post and all letters are subject to editing for readability, grammar, taste, propriety and length. To encourage a diversity of contributors and opinions, letters by same writer will not appear more frequently than twice a month. Copyright in letters and other materials submitted to the publisher and accepted for publication remains with the author, but the publisher and its licensees may freely reproduce them in print, electronic or other forms. For e-mailed letters, do not include attachments. Opinions expressed in letters are those of the authors. The Cape Breton Post, its publisher or publishers, and Transcontinental Nova Scotia Media Group Inc. do not necessarily endorse the views expressed therein.
There is no such thing as an “exploding” seal population. We must be mindful that grey seals were hunted to near extirpation by 1949 and are simply following a natural recovery path.
For Courtney, this is not about exploding populations, or fish stock protection, or even the very few dollars he puts in his pocket from killing baby seals each year. This is about exterminating a species he considers to be a pest.
His own words to media recently were: “ We should be able to get rid of a couple thousand animals” – referring to the grey seal pups on protected wilderness area, Hay Island.
Sealers are not marine biologists. They are merely fishermen armed with wooden clubs and knives. They are not a credible source of information regarding grey seals. Bridget Curran Halifax director, Atlantic Canadian Anti-Sealing Coalition