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SealWatch.org is dedicated to the general well-being of harbor seals and to vigorous enforcement of applicable law for their protection. Alerts will be posted here of documented instances of continued disturbance or threats to harbor seal safety and habitat; Cheers will be posted when new efforts have been made to extend protection.
updated 8.3.18

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ALERT: BRITISH COLUMBIA HARBOR SEAL CULL PROPOSED TO "PROTECT" SALMON FISHERY

Although Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) statistics show that from 1990-2010 the B.C. aquaculture industry had shot and killed around 6,000 harbour seals, in recent years these numbers have been radically reduced due to improved management. Now, a new call for seal "culling" (killings) has come from a mix of sport-fishing, commercial, and indigenous interests, who say "their" wild salmon are being eaten by the seals.
RACE ROCKS
[ photo courtesy Rachael Griffin ]
 
The leader of one such group is quoted as advocating that hunters, "Go out, harvest those seals, utilize the whole carcass so the meats are going to markets in Europe and China, the fat is being rendered down for the omega 3s." This despite the fact that Canadian law has banned the random cull of seals on the West Coast since the 1970s. And, unlike Alaska natives, British Columbia supports no indigenous subsistence seal harvests.
 
The claim that the return of the harbor seal populations to pre-cull levels threatens salmon numbers is questioned by many scientific authorities, with Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program researchers explaining that because of complex predator-prey relationships, the proposed cull could actually reduce the harvest of salmon available for human fishing.