Canadian Seal Hunt


EARTH MATTERS - weekly environmental news segment on KPFA's news magazine, FLASHPOINTS. This week: headlines, followed by an interview with REBECCA ALDWORTH, via satellite phone from the ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where 20- 30,000 baby harp seals are being slaughtered every day.
audio: MP3 at 14.1 mebibytes

Rebecca Aldworth is the Canadian Wildlife Issues Director for the Humane Society of the United States. She has witnessed the seal hunt for the past seven years. She spends time with the baby seals before the hunt begins every year, on the gorgeous, pristine, silent ice floes off Canada's Atlantic coast. She then witnesses and documents the invasion of 70 sealer ships full of "men without mercy" who barbarically murder tens of thousands of baby seals, some as young as 12 days old. 40% of these baby seals are killed inhumanely, left for hours on the ice, badly injured and struggling in agony, only to be skinned alive, while conscious, in flagrant violation of federal law. The Canadian government not only subsidizes the seal hunt to the tune of $20 million, they also allow the gratuitous brutality of it to continue, in fact rewarding it by upping the quotas for seal pups every year.

Rebecca talks about the scapegoating of seals for crashing cod fisheries in the north Atlantic. Contrary to what the government and the sealers claim, depleted cod stocks are the direct result of overfishing, draglines, huge drift nets and the like. The harp seals may in fact be vital to the recovery of these cod fisheries, since they eat so many of the cod's natural fish predators.

Rebecca and her film crew have been repeatedly attacked by the sealers, and she is chased by several armed sealers during the course of this interview. On Thursday, March 31, 6 Sea Shephard videographers were savagely beaten and the arrested while trying to return to their ship, The Farley Mowat.

Rebecca also talks about the recently launched BOYCOTT OF ALL CANADIAN SEAFOOD. Please urge your listeners to visit
//www.protectseals.org to find out how they can help, and to view the video footage that these courageous activists are risking their lives to obtain.

mp3, 15:25 minutes


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April 2005

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