– by Rod Marining –
In the middle of what is presently called “The 6th Extinction”, the DFO, our Ministry of Fisheries and a few westcoast First Nations individuals and Chinese Government officials are entertaining a massive west coast seal slaughter.
You would think that such an idea would not be possible in the midst of a bio-diversity collapse. We are experiencing mass extinctions at a rate greater than any witnessed since the Dinosaurs were wiped out. Yet somehow, politicians like Jonathan Wilkinson, the present Federal Environment Minister and the Former DFO minister, and our resource extraction BC NDP government are all turning a blind eye to what is happening around us.
Reduce BC’s seals by 50 percent, says Ken Pearce
Ken Pearce, co-chair of the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society, said that, “the quickest way to reverse declining salmon numbers is to kill tens of thousands [of the seals], reducing their numbers by 50 per cent.”
The present population of seals and sea lions is about 200,000 from the Washington border to the Alaskan Border. In an interview with CBC, Pearce said, “they are cute, I’m the first to agree, but when you see 80,000 seals (Pearce was referring just to the Salish Sea) are they cute anymore? No, they’re a nuisance.”
Leri Davies with Fisheries and Oceans Canada confirmed that the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society submitted a proposal to commercially hunt pinnipeds under the “New and Emerging Fisheries Policy”. Davies said the DFO takes an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries and oceans management to ensure that the best science is reflected, in consideration of the role seals play in a healthy aquatic ecosystem.
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has physically opposed the slaughter of seals and sea lions around the world since 1977 – from Newfoundland and Labrador to Namibia, Norway, Russia, Finland and Scotland. We cannot ignore any seal killing program in the place where Sea Shepherd was born: British Columbia.
The proposal to kill seals is simply a program to demonize and scapegoat seals for the mismanagement of the fisheries by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Seals are not a threat to the Orcas or to indigenous salmon. Salmon farms, over-fishing, logging, mining, pollution and dams are the primary threats to the Orcas. It has been scientifically proven that seals have never been a threat to fish on the East coast or the West coast. The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has a history of scapegoating seals and sea lions for their own incompetent and failed policies.
The DFO knows that killing seals does not benefit healthy fish populations. Seals are an important part of a healthy eco-system and killing seals can actually harm salmon and orca populations.
Seals prefer hake to salmon, and hake are serious predators of juvenile salmon. Lower seal populations unnaturally and hake populations will rise. Fishermen are always screaming about killing seals because most fishermen believe in the unscientific myth that seals are eating all of “their” fish. The DFO scientists know better but the DFO bureaucrats tend to cater to the bias of the fishing industry.
Declare a seal kill and we will come.
There are many ways to help Sea Shepherd defend, conserve and protect our precious oceans. Join a campaign on the high seas, volunteer in your hometown, help keep our shores clean and safe, or contribute the funds and equipment that keep their ships running. Visit seashepherdglobal.org
Rod Marining is a Director of Sea Shepherd Canada Conservation Society