European lemmings line up on sealing issue
IT is a pity that Newfoundlanders, Inuit from Nunavut and other Canadian sealers cannot vote in European elections. If they could, the European Parliament, one of the world’s most fatuously powerful organizations, might have an entirely different perspective on the Canadian seal hunt that has limped off to such a slow start this year.
One of the reasons that this hunt is expected to have a dramatically lower yield than usual is the weather, which is keeping some sealers at home. The main reason, however, is a ban on importing seal products imposed by the European Parliament last July to appease groups such as Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, the World Wildlife Fund and the green goofs who blindly follow them and can vote. Since it is, ironically, the Europeans who traditionally buy most of the products of the Canadian seal hunt, this has eliminated most of the market and many sealers are not bothering to put out their boats this year.
Irony piles upon irony here, hypocrisy upon hypocrisy. As a recent article in The Economist pointed out, most Europeans, and hardly any European politicians, actually give a rat’s patootie about seals. If they think about them at all, they think of them as kind of locusts of the sea, a plague that devours fish stocks and deprives uncontrolled European fishing fleets that scour the seas from whitecap to seabed of part of their profits. Because of that, some of Europe’s fishing nations were until recently encouraged to kill seals to save the fish stocks.
The European Union even publishes a cookbook on how to prepare seals in various allegedly delicious ways, such as herb-stuffed seal schnitzel or seal Wellington with Madeira sauce.
The cookbook was part of an almost $500,000 campaign by the EU to encourage seal hunting in Europe where, as in Canada, the seal population growth has been rampant and is ravaging fish stocks.
The final irony of all this nonsense — aside from the mouse-that-roared trade war that it sparked between Europe and Nunavut; no Madeira for the seal Wellington in the Meta Incognita Peninsula from now on — is that the EU’s ban on seal products has also shut down Europe’s sealing industry and rendered the cookbook a quaint anachronism. A lot of Europeans are angry about that. A lot more Canadians should be
angrier than they are.