Proud of my prov­ince, but not the seal hunt

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Re­nee Gosse writes from St. John’s

I am writ­ing to voice my con­cern about the New­found­land com­mer­cial seal hunt.

Since I’ve learned about the seal hunt, I’ve come to re­al­ize that it re­flects poorly on our beau­ti­ful prov­ince. I un­der­stand that the seal hunt was once an im­por­tant and vi­tal part of New­found­land history and cul­ture, but it does not hold the same value to­day.

Cur­rently, New­found­lan­ders slaugh­ter be­tween 30,000 and 66,000 seals per year, al­though the quota is set at over 400,000 seals. Clearly, there is a lack of de­mand and in­ter­est in the prod­uct, seal meat is not a sta­ple in the New­found­land diet, and it is a fact that most seals are killed for fur. Why do we al­low this to hap­pen? We should stop killing young seals. In­stead, we can start in­vest­ing in tourism and in­cor­po­rat­ing seals into our tourism in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Black­lock’s Re­porter, the seal hunt ran a $2-mil­lion deficit af­ter cal­cu­lat­ing the ex­port value and the cost of mon­i­tor­ing the hunt. The seal hunt is very un­sta­ble, as year af­ter year mar­kets for seal prod­ucts get smaller. Ten years ago the num­ber of landed pelts ex­ceeded 300,000, a num­ber that is no longer achiev­able since the Euro­pean Union banned im­ported seal prod­ucts.

Our gov­ern­ment still con­tin­ues to spend money lob­by­ing against the ban, but it is ev­i­dent that coun­tries are will­ing to de­fend their ethics and hold the ban for many years to come.

I have tried to con­tact my MP, Nick Whalen, twice on the topic but have not re­ceived a re­sponse. It is dis­ap­point­ing to see think he will not sit down and have a dis­cus­sion with his con­stituents on this ssue.

I love my prov­ince, I take pride in where I am from, but I am not proud of the com­mer­cial seal hunt. Seals need their skin more than we need do.

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