Mar 25, 2011 11:37 PM GMT
Harp seal quota set at 400,000 off east coast, prompting anti hunt outrage
Paul McCartney and his now ex-wife Heather pose with a seal pup on the ice floes off Iles de la Madeleine in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, Thursday March 2, 2006, as part of a high-profile protest against Canadas annual seal hunt.
Published on March 25, 2011
The harp seal quota for the hunt this spring off Canada's east coast has been set at 400,000 animals.
The total allowable catch set by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for hooded seals is 8,200, which includes some of the quota rolled over from last year.
Frank Pinhorn of the Canadian Sealers Association says it expects an improvement in markets this year allowing for the sale of up to 120,000 pelts, almost double the number sold last year.
Rebecca Aldworth of Humane Society International calls the hunt irresponsible, claiming that this year's numbers are the highest since quota management was introduced in 1971.
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The annual harp seal hunt is about to begin.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced Friday the hunt will start Sunday at 6 a.m. for all sealers from the Gulf, Maritimes and Magdelan Islands.
There will be three buffer zones around the coast of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The DFO said most of the activity will likely take place between North Cape, P.E.I. and Miscou Island, New Brunswick.
About ten boats from the Magdelan Islands are expected to take part in the hunt.
[b]Only one P.E.I. boat has expressed an interest in the hunt so far.
The Northwest Atlantic harp seal population is estimated at nine million animals, more than four times what it was in the 1970s. In 2010, 67,327 harp seals were harvested
DFO officials say there isn't a lot of ice so many seal pups are appearing on shorelines, but there will be no hunting on land.
DFO said hunting has to take place a few kilometres off shore.
Note - hunting seal pups( "white-coats") is strictly forbidden and the pelts are unsellable.