Misinformation about the seal hunt abounds
The snow and ice are here and the termites are coming out of the woodwork — what I call the ill-informed bleeding hearts. I am referring to the seal hunt protest that took place in St. John’s in front of Jen Shears’ store, Natural Boutique, on Dec. 11.
Renee Gosse, one of the protesters, was interviewed by CBC Radio’s “On The Go.” When asked why she was protesting the seal hunt, she stated we are trying to educate the people of this province about the seal hunt; it is cruel, wasteful and unnecessary.
I have been hunting and eating seal for more than 70 years. I have watched my grandfather kill pigs, goats and sheep, and chickens when they could no longer lay eggs and, yes, seals; also seabirds, because if he didn’t we would not have survived.
Killing any animal is not a pretty sight, especially killing seals on white ice, the pan red with blood. Seals are shot with high-powered rifles, with the shot aimed at the head, so as not to damage the most valuable part of the seal, the pelt.
The pelt will always be the most valuable part of the seal. It is a beautiful skin used for clothes, the same as mink, fox, beaver and other animals.
The fat is used in a lot of food products, as well as in Omega-3 capsules. For health purposes, I consume eight every day.
As to the claim that 95 per cent of the meat is thrown away, that is not true. Ninety-five per cent of seals killed today are less than a year old. All the flippers are brought ashore and sold, which would account for half of the meat. The rest of the carcass would produce about five pounds of meat after the bones are removed. While not all carcasses are brought ashore, they are put back into the ecosystem to feed other things, the same as a farmer does when the part of the crop he can’t sell is plowed back into the ground and used as fertilizer for next year’s crop.
Gosse said the hunt is unnecessary and taxpayers subsidize it. That is also not true.
It is necessary because we have hunted most things in the ocean almost to extinction, and we have allowed the seal population - 2.2 million prior to 1990 - to explode be- cause of people who are ill-informed and want to impose their values on others. We have lost seal markets and the population of seals has exploded to approximately eight million or nine million seals.
All the fish in the ocean have predators that feed on each other, and the seal, which no longer has a predator thanks to the anti-sealing groups, is the biggest predator and will eat whatever it can get.
We need to have a seal hunt to restore the balance of nature. Unless the seals are kept in check our oceans will never be able to produce their full potential.
We need a seal hunt to bring in much needed money for our coastal communities to survive.
In Gosse’s letter to the editor on Dec. 5, she stated: since I’ve learned about the seal hunt, I’ve come to realize that it reflects poorly on our beautiful province.
Renee Gosse, you have learned nothing about the seal hunt.