For a sustainable and profitable seal hunt

Every April, the ice-covered waters off Canada’s east coast come alive with a tradition rooted in the livelihoods and cultures of coastal communities for centuries: seal hunting.



Contrary to the narratives conveyed by groups opposed to the seal harvest for decades, this practice constitutes a testimony of resilience and an essential pillar of sustainability and economic survival. Despite numerous fear factors, some well-founded and some frivolous, coastal communities still rely on and responsibly support the seal hunt.

For coastal Canadian populations, the ocean remains a source of food, economic activity, recreation and livelihoods.

At different times, various marine species or resources have made headlines and been the subject of controversy and public debate, for example, cod, crab, seal and even oil. However, healthy debate finds its value when it leads to clear and precise conclusions based on science, facts and the common good – even in an imperfect world.

Nearly 15 years after the European ban on Canadian seal products and more than 52 years after the adoption of the American Marine Mammal Protection Act, a growing number of people, experts, governments and Business leaders see clearly the flimsy arguments and twisted rhetoric that led to these bans.

Outdated rhetoric

From a clothing perspective, seal is a warm, waterproof, natural material that fits into the trend toward sustainable, eco-friendly manufacturing. From a nutrition perspective, seals naturally produce high quality omega-3 fatty acid which goes beyond the practical benefits of fish oils and is certainly more effective than the commercial fishing industry when it comes to management. sustainable wildlife reserves.

PHOTO OLIVIER PONTBRIAND, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Seal meat is a true “superfood,” writes the author.

Finally, seal meat is a true Canadian “superfood,” particularly valuable in this time of food insecurity, health concerns and unsustainable food systems. Why, then, allow ourselves to be influenced by outdated rhetoric that claims the seal hunt is, all in all, bad?

Let’s follow the facts: the killing of seals is carried out using techniques designed by a group of international veterinary experts. Seals eat 53 times more fish per year than the entire Eastern Canadian fishing fleet. Government scientists have found that predation by seals is preventing the recovery of five listed fish species. Endangered Species Act.

The harp seal population has increased from less than 2 million to more than 7 million over the past 50 years, while the gray seal population has increased from fewer than 8,000 to more than 400,000 over the same period.

Like thousands of Canadians who work with and within the industry, I am convinced that the country’s seal hunt will continue to be sustainable and beneficial to coastal and indigenous communities, and that it will constitute an essential ingredient of quality products intended for the people of Canada.

For people who are physically removed from the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, but still want to support the vitality of the ocean and healthy, thriving coastal communities, the best thing you can do is purchase Canadian seal products .

They will not be disappointed. By bringing back quality clothing and accessories, as well as seal oil for human consumption and that of our favorite animals, we help maintain this important tradition and, at the same time, our marine ecosystem. Members of our communities still depend on the ocean, but they also depend on us.

What do you think ? Participate in the dialogue


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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