Subject: Case Study: Seals and Research and Hunting

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 18 Mar 1995 11:20:47

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Case Study: Seals and Research and Hunting
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From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 17-MAR-1995 10:48:48.56
Subj:	Re: Seals, fish and men (Generic term)
Date:         Fri, 17 Mar 1995 09:55:27 -0600
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         Anne Doncaster <>
Subject:      Re: Seals, fish and men (Generic term)
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
>Well, to jump into the fray.....
>Watson also states, for media sensationalism, that pups are to be
hunted.  This >is you-know-what!  The government has made it
deliberately clear that ONLY >adults are to be hunted.  Watson is
again playing his favourite game, by >purposely clouding the issue.
Most of the seals hunted since the DFO ban on killing whitecoats for
commercial purposes have been young-of-the year, that is harp seals
from the age of approximately 10 days of age (as soon as their white
coats are no longer "fast") and a few months of age.  DFO calls them
adult seals.  We call them seal pups or if you will, baby seals.
Norway calls them seal pups and baby seals.  Norway"s recent decision
(announcement, Mar. 15 Reuters) to take 2600 seal pups for scientific
purposes (the meat and pelts will be sold to avoid waste!) specifically
 states that unweaned pups will not be taken but the hunt will resume
for baby seals older than 12-14 days.  Therefore, Norway agrees with
our definition of "baby seals".
>There is an estimated 3 - 25 million harp seals alone, in the Gulf of
>St. Lawrence.
All I can say is that someone is counting by 8's plus.  Where on earth
did the figure of 25 million harp seals come from?  The DFO's own most
 recent report based on its 1990 survey, and distributed at the sealing
forum in St. John's estimates 3.1 million.
>Well, I suggest we as humans are NATURE, and the reason we
>screw things up so much is that we forget it by living in concrete
>jungles away from the ecosystems we claim to care about.
Excuse me, who screwed up the fishery?  The residents of concrete
jungles were, as always, left out of the decision-making process, and
the people with the economic stake in fish wreaked the havoc.
>Also, if clubbing was so cruel (even though various studies indicated
>massive brain hemmoraghing was one of the more "humane" methods of
>killing), is severe parasitism, herpes outbreaks, and starvation a
>less "cruel" way to cull herds ?
This is what a friend of mine calls the theory of "preventative
euthanasia"; kill wildlife to spare it the horrors of nature.
>We have to think long-term, and with logic.
Where was the long-term thinking and logic during the destruction of
one of the greatest fisheries in the world?
>However, the seals may be one reason the cod stocks are having such a hard
>time >in recovering
There is not scientific evidence to support this position.
>What would you say to that fisherman and his children?  How would you feel in
>>his position ?
I'd say firstly, there is nothing anyone can do to bring back the
fish you destroyed  and secondly, as a resident of this planet, I
deeply resent the environmental disaster you have precipitated.  The
fish did not belong to you.  The seals do not belong to you.  They are
part of the heritage of the natural world and, in my opinion, every
human being has a responsibility to protect them.
Anne D