Is our fate sealed?
That’s the thanks we get for helping liberate Europe
On March 2, I attended a sealers’ meeting in Baie Verte, sponsored by the Fur Institute of Canada.
We were discussing how to make the seal hunt more humane and more acceptable to the European Union where there is a proposed ban on the importation of seal products transported through their countries.
Halfway through the meeting we got the bad news that the fight was going against us and the ban could go into effect this year.
These are countries where thousands of our people gave their lives for the freedom they have today. I had two uncles who fought in the Second World War, one of whom did not return. And now these same countries are being manipulated by a bunch of so called do-gooders that are spreading a bunch of lies as they have been doing for 20 years. No one over there wants to know the truth. Now they are turning against us with this ban.
The other bad news I heard Friday, March 6, which was no surprise to me, is that a lot of our cod stocks are at an all time low.
These two events are very much tied together.
There are two main predators in the ocean on the east coast of Canada. Man is the largest followed by seals.
Prior to 1980 there was a balance in the ocean with the harp seal herd at approximately 2.2 million. In the 1980s, because of the anti sealing groups our sealing industry was shut down for a period of approx 20 years. In that length of time the harp seal population exploded to approximately six million. We still don’t know how much the hood population has grown and DFO has shut that down completely.
Because of quotas set by the Canadian Government, when the seal market did come back we were never able to reduce the seal population.
With the explosion in the harp seal herd, no hunting for the hood seal, and the explosion in the gray seal, we have way too many seals. Now with a proposed ban in the European Union, we could very well lose the seal hunt, which would have disastrous effects on our depleted fish stocks and have dire consequences, which could see the end of a commercial fishery on the East Coast of Canada.
We are surviving mostly on lobster, crab and shrimp.
The seals did not put us in the predicament we are in now — we have over fished our oceans worldwide. In Canada we have fished heavily the herring and caplin, the main species the harp seal feeds on and the seal being a predator will eat whatever is available. Now with our oceans being over fished so heavily combined with an ever-increasing seal population, I don’t believe the ocean can recover without removing some of the predators.
It has come down to a choice, man or seal. My choice would be to reduce the seals. I know it’s going to be hard to get the powers that be to understand. There are people in government in this province who will still argue the coyote is not destroying our caribou herds, although the proof is there that since the coyote appeared on this island the herds are disappearing.
There are also people in the Canadian Government that believe seals don’t eat cod. As the late Capt. Morrissey Johnson used to say,“they don’t eat turnips.”
If we as voters and politicians don’t stand up and do something to rectify the balance of nature in our oceans, the Northeast Coast of Canada is going to die because we don’t have enough other renewable resources to sustain us. Not only will the East Coast of Canada suffer but so will the rest of the world because we will have allowed to be destroyed the greatest bread basket in the world and without bread we cannot survive.
This is the time for all politicians to stand up and be counted. The time for lip service is over, its time for action.
I can be reached by email: email@example.com.