Un­nec­es­sary death?

LHFA pres­i­dent con­demns shooting of tame seal near as­so­ci­a­tions dock

The Labradorian - - FRONT PAGE - BY EVAN CA­REEN

Young seal shot, left to die in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay.

Who­ever shot a young seal near the Labrador Hunt­ing and Fish­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s dock in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay com­mit­ted an act of cow­ardice, ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion’s pres­i­dent.

Tony Chubbs, pres­i­dent of the LHFA, said the young seal that was found shot on their dock Aug. 30 was a fre­quent vis­i­tor to the dock and very friendly.

“This seal was very much an at­trac­tion for par­ents and kids there. It was very much a tame seal; you could walk up close to him and take his pic­ture. To me it’s pretty much an act of cow­ardice for some­one to shoot a young seal that is very tame. Ev­ery­body else ap­pre­ci­ated be­ing able to see a live seal in na­ture in a very public spot.”

Chubbs said who­ever shot the seal didn’t use the cor­rect ammo and that’s how it man­aged to get away and drag it­self onto the dock where it died, pos­si­bly hours af­ter be­ing shot, mean­ing the an­i­mal most likely suf­fered un­nec­es­sar­ily. Chubbs said that is an is­sue, but the big­ger one is public safety. He said the area is very much open to any­one.

“It’s very ac­ces­si­ble for peo­ple to walk around, a lot of peo­ple go down there bird­watch­ing or just watch­ing the boats go in or out,” he said. “It’s re­ally not a place you want to be dis­charg­ing any sort of a firearm.”

He said when this hap­pened there was a large freight boat de­liv­er­ing salt to the com­mu­nity so there were a lot of truck­ers work­ing around the clock on the dock, adding to the public safety con­cern.

“They prob­a­bly hunted by op­por­tu­nity and with very poor dis­cre­tion. Who­ever did do this, I wouldn’t call them a re­spect­ful hunter. In or­der to be a re­spect­ful hunter you have to re­spect those who don’t hunt.”

De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans of­fi­cials re­moved the an­i­mal that morn­ing and is­sued a state­ment say­ing they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter as this as a po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tion un­der the Marine Mam­mal Reg­u­la­tions and/or the Fish­eries Act and are un­able to com­ment fur­ther as the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing.

SUB­MIT­TED

A bearded seal like this one was shot re­cently near the Labrador Hunt­ing and Fish­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s dock in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay.

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