The Canadian Slaughter of the Unicorns
An Animal Rights Article from


Commentary from Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
December 2008

Before reading this, please understand that I write this essay with a smoldering rage deep within my heart. Canada, my country, a nation in which my family has resided since 1648 has just committed one of the most savage and disgraceful crimes against nature imaginable, and once again they have spilled innocent blood into the sea and filled the air with the screams of the most gentle and social of animals... this time it is the Narwhal, the unicorn of the sea.

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans is the most evil, insidious, incompetent and dangerous bureaucracy in Canada. Nothing in our oceans is safe from the cold, calculating, greed motivated bureaucrats that control Canada's most destructive governmental department.

What they have done in the past with the destruction of the fisheries, the slaughter of the seals, the damage to marine eco- systems and their abuse of the laws of the nation has been trumped this week with their decision to murder 500 trapped and defenseless Narwhals.

500 whales trapped in Arctic ice. Could they have been saved?

The answer is absolutely, they could have been saved. But hearts as dark as the foul breath of demons from the bottomless pit of hell have prevailed and where Canada could have delivered the gift of life, they have instead unleashed a torrent of violence that has spewed the hottest of blood into the frigid seas of the high north.

The government of Canada has a fleet of powerful ice-breakers. They have the money, they have the means. They could have reached the whales and they could have broken a path for them to freedom.

And the government's response to this humanitarian solution was that "the noise of the icebreakers would have been stressful to the whales."

WTF! Insanity reigns supreme in the Department of Fishy Business. Instead of noisy slightly irritating icebreakers delivering mercy, we had dozens of ruthless Inuit killers blasting away with high powered rifles at screaming whales frantically trying to escape the bullets, desperate in panicked horror as they dove and surfaced, frustrated with no place to go. All around them the bodies of their comrades floated on the surface, gurgling blood and thrashing in frantic mortal agony.

This was a Dantean canvas of horror from the deep depths of hell and a reminder of just how utterly ruthless humanity can be.

To the Inuit it was like shooting fish in a barrel - literally.

And the Inuit were quite happy to pull the triggers. Narwhal tusks sell for thousands of dollars and this bonanza was four times their allowed "legal" kill. This was an opportunity to put hundreds of valuable "unicorn horns" on the market and to bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the economy of the far North. That was the motivation for the decision to kill the whales and that is why the DFO chose not to save them.

It was a completely unregulated bloody massacre. Not a single DFO officer was on the scene and the Inuit killers roared and laughed barbarously as they inflicted torturous death upon these gentle creatures. The DFO displayed incredible insensitivity and utter stupidity to suggest that icebreakers would stress the whales, yet can they honestly believe that what the killers were doing was not stressful?

"Local hunters shot the narwhals as they surfaced to breathe in the only leads of open water," said Rebecca Aldworth, director of Humane Society International/Canada. "The DFO has tried to defend its unconscionable choice not to break the ice and free the whales, claiming that the noise of the icebreaker would have been 'stressful' for the narwhals. Clearly, the deafening blasts of the rifles, and the volumes of blood filling the water in the only breathing holes available is far more stressful."

The DFO spends millions sending icebreakers to break paths for seal killing ships every Spring. The spent over a million dollars dedicating a single icebreaker to trail the Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat to prevent documentation of the harp seal slaughter. Millions spent to subsidize slaughter and not a penny to help break a path for 500 trapped whales.

As a Canadian I am deeply ashamed to be a citizen of a nation that can so willfully condone the lethal destruction of 500 endangered and incredibly unique sentient creatures.

The Narwhal is on the red list of endangered species published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and this means that they are at the highest risk of global extinction. The Canada-Greenland Joint Commission on the Conservation and Management of Narwhal and Beluga and the International Whaling Commission have both stated that narwhal hunting is not sustainable.

Canada this week just pushed the Narwhal 500 animals closer to extinction.

Every Canadian should hang their head in shame at this atrocious environmental crime. That a bloody disgrace for a nation my country is!

For more from Captain Paul Watson, visit Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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