I used to be so opposed to it. Really, really, really against it. I knew people who were sealers and would argue with them almost constantly! This was also during the period when I refused to eat meat, mind you, so my mind wasn’t exactly clear.
Then, in my junior year of university, I had to complete a mathematical model studying the effects of the hunt on harp seal populations. My mind was blown - these fuckers could not give two shits about us hunting them. The population is growing at a ridiculous rate every year, even with the hunt, and they eat so much that it’s almost unbelievable. Even with an average cull of 350,000 seals per year, it’s still growing at ridiculous rates!
I have to also say that there are a lot of common misconceptions that should be cleared up.
- The cull is limited by the federal government, who determine quotas by studying changes in ice flows and population growth so that the species won’t be put at risk.
- Seals are assholes. They would literally kill you and eat you alive if given the chance. I read a news report from Vancouver in which a little girl was pulled off a wharf and dragged underwater by a seal, and she only lived because she was wearing a life vest. Imagine being eaten by a seal.
- The little white seal pups that Peta uses in all it’s campaigns are not legally allowed to be included in the cull. There are strict terms on the age of the seals that can be included, and if a sealer is found going against these regulations he will most likely lose his license.
- Profits from sealing make up, on average, 30% of a sealer’s annual income. This means a lot for people who live in small, isolated areas where the only local jobs are those involved in the fishing industry, which only runs for anywhere from 25-50% of the year.
- The growth in the seal population has never allowed the Atlantic Cod population to fully recover from near extinction. Cod are still extremely undersized and face a number of other issues, and hardly any grow to full term because seals guzzle them up whenever they have the chance.
So, think about it! It’s easy for someone to dismiss it, but there are people that depend on it, and if they weren’t taking part in that, you would be paying their unemployment.
Huzzah! finally some one who actually researched. The Harp Seal hunt isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually needed and many families depend on it to survive. Please stop the misconceptions and actually research and spread the truth.