We Will Crush and We Will Bury the Sealing Industry
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
I have been fighting the cruel sealing industry all of my life. From the day when I was 10 years old and saw a harp seal pup clubbed to death on the beach in New Brunswick, I have pledged to myself to do everything in my power to eradicate the obscene industry of sealing.
The clubbing of seals has no place in the 21st Century. It must be eliminated as an industry and seal populations must be allowed to restore in order to recover the prey-predator balance that has been lost in our oceanic ecosystems.
Five hundred years ago, there were 45 million seals off the Eastern coast of Canada: Harps, Hoods, Greys, Harbour, and Walrus. Today the Walrus has been extirpated and the populations of the other species reduced to less than 10% of their original numbers.
When there were 45 million seals on the Eastern seaboard, there was no shortage of fish. Today, the Northern Cod is virtually extinct and other species have been decimated. The sealing industry contributed to this ecological devastation and recovery of marine ecosystems is not possible unless the practice of sealing is abolished forever.
Thanks to the ban on seal products by the European Parliament, we are hammering the final nails into the coffin of this despicable industry.
Less than 20% of the Canadian seal kill quota was taken in 2009. There is no market for seal products in Europe or the United States, and the movement to abolish seal pelts is being taken up in Russia and other Eastern European nations. Without huge government subsidies, there will be no reason for the baby killers of Eastern Canada to go to the ice in the spring. Canada may give in to the emotional blackmail by the thugs with the clubs, but this kind of wastage of tax dollars will not be tolerated for long in a world where the oceans are so seriously threatened.
Canadian politicians support sealing for the same reason that the Senators of pre-Civil War America supported slavery. Slavery then, like sealing today, made little economic sense and it was viciously cruel and immoral, yet the politicians sold their vote for political favors just as the whores of the Canadian Parliament are doing today.
The international public is becoming increasingly aware that we are destroying our oceans and the occupation of “sealer” and “whaler” is rapidly becoming more and more associated in the minds of much of the public with barbarism and uncivilized behavior.
Years ago, when I accused Newfoundland and Magdalen Island sealers of being baby-killing monsters, people were horrified. I am finding today that more and more people agree with that statement. The sealer is a thug, usually an uneducated and insensitive creature prone to sadistic tendencies. You pretty much have to be a sadist to take a club and bash in a defenseless seal pups head. It’s hardly what one would call a manly or noble pursuit.
We are presently witnessing the death of the sealing industry in Norway, and I for one am overjoyed at the news that I received today that two of the three remaining Norwegian sealing vessels are for sale.
According to a report by Norwegian TV2 this spells the end for Norwegian seal hunting.
The 45 employees of the sealing ships the White Bear and the White Kid have had their jobs terminated.
A historic time for the sealing industry is over, according to Signe Korneliussen, the operations manager of the White Bear.
“With two of the three sealing vessels now being offered for sale, this means in reality a winding up of the Norwegian seal hunting, " said sealing ship owner Jens Petter Kraknes.
Hopefully the third seal-killing vessel will be put on the block soon or conveniently sunk for insurance purposes.
The tragedy is that sealing is being ended because the fishermen and the sealers have been so ruthlessly efficient at their jobs.
The Canadian government is rattling their swords with threats to sue the European Parliament for banning seal products but it’s all posturing. The vote to ban seal products was overwhelming and will not be overturned.
The Canadian government should be investing money in finding alternative employment as a substitute for the glorified welfare program they call the “sealing industry.” The fact is that the seal hunt would have died a natural economic death if not for the handouts to the sealers from reluctant Canadian taxpayers.
In the meantime, I am gratified to see more and more Canadian longliners hauled up onto the shore to rot. The sealers can no longer even sell their floating abattoirs because the bottom has been knocked out of their dirty little industry.
My lifelong ambition has been to rid the world of whaling and sealing and I believe that we will be able to realize that dream and that we will soon be able to drop these two barbaric industries into the rubbish heap of history along with slavery.