From: Anthony Marr
Date: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:18 am
Subject: West coast seal hunt on the horizon?
There is a ominous dark band sitting on the western horizon. It has
been brewing there for several years. Yesterday, one of the dark clouds
rolled over, and cast a shadow upon us.
During the anti-seal-hunt demo in Vancouver (in which over 80 people
participated), a native person in a native straw hat approached me and
handed me a pamphlet. I thought he looked vaguely familiar. Being the
polite person that I am, I thanked him for coming without looking at the
pamphlet first. Next minute, I realized that the pamphlet was in praise of
the health benefits of seal oil. Then, it dawned on me that he was none
other than Roy Jones, one of the hereditary chiefs of the Haida Nation in
the Queen Charlottes Islands.
Back in about 2000, I received a call from Rafe Mair, then the leading
talkshow host on CKNW, inviting me to go on his program to debate Roy
Jones for a full hour on his proposed West Coast Seal Hunt. The Harbour
seal population on the entire west coast number only about 110,000, and
Jones proposed to "harvest" 50,000 annually, and "bring $7 million into
the Canadian economy". He was blatant about making it a commercial seal
hunt, but of course he used the justification of protecting salmon from
seal predation. Thankfully, I had done my homework beforehand, and
presented to the listening audience irrefutable evidence, extracted from
government documents themselves, that the populations of seals and salmon
are in direct proportion, i.e., more seals, more salmon; fewer seals,
This was demonstrated beyond doubt in river after river, from the 1930s
to the 1990s. Between 1939 and 1969, there was indeed a west coast seal
hunt. By the 1960s, the seal population had become decimated, and so did
the salmon runs in the rivers. The hunt was ended in 1970, and by the
1990s, the seal population had recovered, and so did the salmon runs. I
presented hard figures river by river, until Mair halted me and said that
he himself was convinced.
In our 2005 Vancouver anti-sealing demo, Jones took advantaged of our
labour of love, placed himself in front of the CBC-TV camera during the
demo yesterday, and, as it worked out, he got more air time on the CBC-TV
coverage of the demo than we did. He was still saying the same things as
he did on the Mair debate five years ago, only that he seemed more
determined than even to get the hunt started.
We ignore him at our peril, and the seals'.
Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Compassion for Animals Road Expeditions (CARE)
604-222-1169, toll free 1-866-822-1169
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