WHY ?

*About the hunt
*The animals
*Video & photo archives- (graphic)


*Letters and emails
*Strategies on effectiveness
*Letter targets
*Organize a protest or media event
*Phone & faxes

*Harp seal "tours"
*Government lies
*Press Releases

...needless to say, the seal didn't survive...
Harp seal faces his doom...
Photo: IFAW
      Writing about the plight of the Canadian Harp seal is a difficult and heavy hearted task. These beautiful and gentle creatures have the unfortunate status of anually suffering the largest slaughter of any wild animal species on the planet. The details of this government subsidized occurance are both cruel and horrific and go far beyond what words on this page could possibly convey...
        There have been numerous books, articles and documentaries describing their plight. This webpage attempts to utilize the power of the WWweb as a tool to consolidate like- minded seal kill OPPONENTS, information, solutions and STRATEGIES for ending this annual slaughter.

      If you're not angry about this one, you're not paying attention- the seal kill quota for 2003 is the highest in the history of the hunt- 350,000 animals!

See more photos...
Live Harp seal baby-
Photo: Sea Shepherd
Why Harp seals, one may ask? What is it about this particular species of animal that has made it the target of such an intense campaign of slaughter every year for hundreds of years? The answer is complex and varies depending on the time of history being discussed.
      The exploitation and commercial slaughter of the harp seal is one of the most tragic stories ever known to mankind, and in particular, to people who care about such things. Before the advent of "modern technology" and hunting methods, the harp seal was an honored animal playing an invaluable role in thevery existance of human beings on the eastern seaboard of Canada. Fur, meat, and bone were utilized in every conceivable fashion by the native peoples and were necessary for sustaining daily life in the arctic...
      Although the SUSTAINABLE killing of harp and hooded seals for food and fur has indeed been occuring for thousands of years by native peoples of northern lattitudes, the past 300 years brought about a new reason for the taking of the seal: commercial exploitation, and with that, the end to any shred of earlier, necessary sustainment by the animal. An incessant desire and greed for the profits to be made from the seal's oil and pelts drove many men and businesses into a pathetic circle of death and despair for most involved. (Sealing was an extremely dangerous business throughout history and many sealers lost thier lives while pursuing their sealing livelihood.) Only a few aristocratic families earned immense wealth and profits from the hard work and uneducated despair of the average man trying to earn a living the only way he thought he knew how... from the slaughter of seals.

History of the seal hunt in North America- 16th century to present: *Online Resource-(credit: website)-
    The "Seal Wars" of the past 2 and 1/2 decades changed the political landscape of the once strong commercial market. Today, due to a European ban on the importation of seal pelts in the 1970's, (thanks to the hard work and creativity of a few hardcore activists and volunteers) there is no more valid market for seal furs, (many are currently stored and rotting by the millions in wharehouses) and no real market for the few pounds of meat they actually process with the exception of the pet food market.

     Todays typical modern day Canadian sealers are ignorant, unfeeling, and, more often than not, unwitting participants in the corporate profit machine of a select few businesses and the government that subsidizes their cherished lifestyles.
Sealers speak out- Extreme cruelty at the hunt: *Online Resource- credit: Global Action Network (GAN)

See more photos...
Skinned Harp seal baby (meat not used)
Photo: Sea Shepherd
     Todays modern seal "hunt" isn't really much of a hunt at all... In fact, depending on the condition of the ice flows, the sealers can have varying degrees of difficulty in getting to the seals. Methods include: walking from their trucks, driving up to them with their snowmobiles, or taking commercial icebreaking boats to distant ice flows, then getting out of the boats and walking to them.      

      Once they find the seals, the
 true horrific nature of this bizarre event unfolds. The "hunter" usually tries to dispatch the seal before killing and skinning them (a "regulation" put forth by the ever caring government to appease the "fokking seal lovers") by stunning them first. Stunning methods include: kicking in the face and/ or beating the babys on the head with clubs or hakapiks. Once stunned, the sealer proceeds to skin the animal. The facts show that nearly 40% of the seals are actually skinned alive. Adults and resisting mothers are shot and/ or clubbed and skinned and in the case of males, have their penis bones removed. If convenient to do so, some of the bodies are then recovered and processed into pet food.

     If you have the heart and stomach for it, visit IFAW's archived collection of Harp seal video and still photos recording the REALITY OF THE SPECIES AND THE REALITY OF THE HUNT:

*Live and beautiful baby Harp seal still Photos-(credit: IFAW)- Pictures of the animals before being slaughtered- living on the ice, being babies, breathing, bleating, existing, etc...

*Dead, suffering, and dying baby Harp seals. (best to view the live ones first for perspective): Still Photos- (credit: IFAW)- Pictures of the animals while and after being slaughtered- being hooked and dragged, clubbed, skinned alive, etc, by the seal "hunters" of the ice.


1:) The majority of the Canadian public opposes the seal kill.

2:) Over 40% of the seals are skinned alive.

3:) The kill quotas put forth every year by the government are disputed by credible biologists and scientists worldwide, forewarning the industry of an unsustainable harvest at present day quota rates.

4:) The 2003 seal kill quota is the largest in history- 350,000 animals. This is the government response to an overharvest of 32,000 animals last year.

5:) The reported numbers of the seal kill are far less than the actual number killed.

6:) There is no viable market for Harp seal pelts as the demand for fur is far less than the stockpile of pelts in Canadian wharehouses.

   For a great summary of the situation, read: PAUL WATSONS ARTICLE-"SEAL WARS"
*An assortment of video clips easily viewed, recording many aspects of Harp and Hooded seals, and the hunt that is decimating their species: Video Archives: (credit: IFAW)- (yes, graphic, but necessary for the oppositions cause. Try to view these and NOT get angry!)

So why then do they do it?
What IS the purpose and reason for the continued killing?
See more photos...
Slaughtered seals- Photo: IFAW
   Not so surprising for those who study such things, the truth behind the reasons for the modern day Harp seal slaughter lies in politics and profits. A few words come into play when attempting an explanation at something so pathetic and inexcusable:scapegoats and dirty profit. Because of the recent collapse of the cod fishery of the eastern seaboard DUE TO OVERFISHING THE PAST 50 YEARS, the Canadian government is now using the harp seal as the official explanation for this tragedy.

    Although the amount of Cod that Harp seals eat is a debatable issue, no matter what the numbers are, the fact of the matter is agreed by all credible scientists and biologists involved: the seals didn't cause the fishery collapse and the seals aren't going to keep it from coming back! Healthy fisheries need healthy seal populations to prosper.

*Marine Ecosystem Basics: (Excerpt from "Seal Wars" by Paul Watson)

*Harp seals and cod - questions and answers: (Article & Credit: IMMA website)

*Who killed the cod and what should we do about it? (Article & credit: IMMA website)
     The bottom line is simple and needs to be said again: In an aggressive propaganda campaign contrary to both science and reason, the Canadian government is now using the Harp seal as a scapegoat for their own failed attempts at managing what was once a strong fishery. They are saying "as long as there are seals around, our fisheries will never be able to regenerate"... yada, yada, yada... all the while viewing the Harp seal population as one last resource to exploit before its all gone. And such is Canadian fisheries politics...

      And to make the matter even more tragic and pathetic, the government propaganda/ bullshit machine continues to dupe an unwitting and uneducated sealing population (much the same way the rich sealing families did to the uneducated poor "working sealers" for so many years) into believing that sealing is the only way they can earn a living for their families. Although the MAJORITY OF THE CANADIAN PUBLIC OPPOSES THE SEAL KILL, and there have been numerous viable alternatives offered to the seal "harvest" in the past 20 years, (like ecotourism and the bedding industry utilizing seal hairs as a form of high quality "down"), the Government just isn't listening, much less interested...

needless to say, they should be...
See more photos...
Making a "living"- killing seals... Photo: GAN
*Harp Seal Population likely declining: (Article & credit: IMMA website)

     It all makes one wonder why? Which brings us to one more modern day reason for sealing: The seal penis bone. Although not officially admitted to by the government, the seal penis bone has become more valuable than the price of an unwanted pelt. Asian businesses eagerly seek out these penis bones as aphrodiasics for a booming quack industry commonly utilizing rare or endangered animal parts. (proven by countless scientific studies to be non-effective) These businesses contract with Canadian businesses sponsored by the government... (wouldn't want to implicate themselves direct now would they?)... hmmm... sound fishy? Although penis bones certainly aren't the only reason for the seal kill, they are just one more reason the goverment justifies the slaughter of the innocents.

Although many "talk" about the issue of the annual harp seal slaughter, there are a few key organizations that standout from the rest when it comes to direct action fighting and saving SEALS LIVES. SEE THE LIST NOW

There are numerous other quality organizations, groups, and individuals passionately involved in opposing the annual Canadian Harp seal kill in one way or another. Some are more actively involved than others and fight with different levels of intensity and strategies. Others utilizing time proven methods of activism. No matter what they are doing, all recognize there are many aspects to stopping an atrocity as deeply entrenched in politics as this one is... and each does their own part...
See more photos...
You CAN make a difference in
saving lives-
Photo: GAN

Information and public knowledge about the situation are always the first steps toward making a difference, then comes action... salutes all those companies and individuals doing ANYTHING in their power to stop the killing.

 There are several ways to get involved in helping stop or limit this barbaric annual slaughter of the Harp seals. Send letters to relevent politicians and newspapers, make phone calls and faxes, take part in petitions, or volunteer with an organization making a difference. See our special HELP section for ideas and suggestions.

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