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Seals (of the animal variety)

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21. Posted by Belize Me (Full Member 137 posts) 10y

Quoting mimulus

The seal thing...this is a sport/tradition? and are they seriously proposing that its for the sake of saving a population of fish?

I need to know more but I think so far its all sounding a bit wonky...

The seal hunt is a tradition. Newfoundlanders say that if it is stopped, they will lose about 20 million dollars a year in income. Seal pelts are sold to foreign markets for use in the garment industry. It's not a question of using the meat for food.

The fishermen say that seals must be culled every year because they are depleting codfish stocks. However, the seal hunt was stopped several years ago, and it didn't help the codfish population very much at all. I believe the story about seals eating all the codfish must have been started by some Canadian government official who was challenged to do something about Portuguese fishing trawlers depleting cod stocks by over fishing just inside our territorial waters. It was easier to blame it on the seals than confront the Portuguese Minister of Fisheries...that's what we Canadians are noted for....not making a fuss.

I did hear the debate between the McCartney's and the Premier of Newfoundland and would have to say that they (the McCartney's) did have the facts straight. Instead of debating like an adult and utilizing a prime opportunity to convince the world that a seal hunt was necessary (NOT IMO), the Premier just kept hammering the McCartney's about their eating/dressing practices and how he was not going to let them come over here and tell us what to do. He sounded very ill advised. It was obvious that the McCartney's had done their homework. It also sounded like the Premier didn't even know that the 'Red Lobster' restaurant chain was boycotting Canadian fish because of the seal hunt. I don't know the dollar value of that boycott, but given the size of the restaurant chain, I'm sure it must be costing the Canadian fishing industry millions not to mention the millions of dollars lost from thousands of tourists that are now boycotting Newfoundland and Labrador because of the hunt.

The McCartney's (love em or hate em)were trying to bring to light the fact that there is an alternative BILLION dollar industry (*proprosal by UN just recently) that would allow the people of Newfoundland to wallow in money, but their Premier didn't seem to want to hear about it...obviously it's his way or his way and nothing is going to change his mind.

  • I have a link to this article...just have to find it if anyone is interested.

Belize Me

22. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 10y

Yeah! Link us up!

23. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 10y

The documentry is being shown here in the UK this week - BBC i think

24. Posted by Belize Me (Full Member 137 posts) 10y

Quoting Brendan

Yeah! Link us up!

Here's the link...from Merco Press
http://www.mercopress.com/Detalle.asp?NUM=7518

Quote: "... 'many wild animals were “worth far more alive than dead,' according to a U.N. report released today." (March 25, 2006)

When you compare these $figures to the piddley $20 million that Nfld is making on killing seals, it doesn't make sense.

Not only would it benefit Newfoundland, but Canada as a whole...once the tourists are here, we could offer polar bear watching, and Rocky Mountain big horn sheep etc. There is no end to the eco tourism that could be developed up here.
It would be a real education...folks would realize that Polar Bears
don't drink COKE no matter what the commercial would have us believe.

25. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Belize Me

Not only would it benefit Newfoundland, but Canada as a whole...once the tourists are here, we could offer polar bear watching, and Rocky Mountain big horn sheep etc. There is no end to the eco tourism that could be developed up here.

Sounds like "Let them eat cake!".

Let me be a devil's advocate. Consider the fact that Eco-tourism takes special skills (ie. customer relations skills). Any idiot can take a club and go "bonk". Not everyone has the temperment to deal with pesky tourists.

26. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 10y

I like where you are going with the idea of tourism... but what which one is honestly worse? Tourism is one of the main factors in most environmental destruction. Some examples being Hawaii, Mt.Everest, Bali, Kilimanjaro, Ocean Cruises, Ski Resorts, Water Sports, All Inclusive Exclusive Adventures!

I don't think we should make Newfoundland another one of the worlds toilets... that could just be me though.

27. Posted by Belize Me (Full Member 137 posts) 10y

[quote=Q-Tip
Sounds like "Let them eat cake!".

Let me be a devil's advocate. Consider the fact that Eco-tourism takes special skills (ie. customer relations skills). Any idiot can take a club and go "bonk". Not everyone has the temperment to deal with pesky tourists.[/quote]

Hi Q...I don't really understand your 'cake' analogy.

Who am I appeasing and what am I appeasing them with?

I'm advocating developing an industry that could parlay into billions (according to that UN proposal) and other countries that are have actually implemented animal watching as a tourist draw. Right now the seal hunt is only worth 20 million (govt. figure) to the sealers of Newfoundland. A seal watching industry could mean more money for everyone who lives there...not just sealers. They could look forward to a few of life's little luxuries instead of living from paycheck to paycheck as they say they do.
With regards to your devil's advocate anecdote, Canada plays host to millions of returnvisitors every year so we must be doing a fairly good job dealing with tourists, pesky or otherwise. The government spends big $'s trying to further develop Tourism Canada. They know where their bread is buttered...tourists are more likely to spend money at a vacation spot than they do at home, that's been proven, and the gov't wants to keep them coming back. Since we already have a thriving tourism business (some of it being the eco type), why not develop it further? I am not advocating letting people run wild, willy nilly on the ice floes. It's a difficult place to get to and could easily be regulated.

I agree with (and love ) your "bonk" theory. You're right, it doesn't take a huge amount of intellect to club a baby seal that is not yet developed enough to get away. That takes about as much skill as shooting rubber ducks in the bathtub at point blank range. As a matter of fact, if you do get to watch the program that Jase007 says will air on BBC, you'll get a sample of the intellect. They zoom in on a big, imposing looking Newfoundlander with a big grin on his face, smacking a huge club over and over again into the palm of his hand, posing beside the Premier of Newfoundland. Actually it made me wonder if he was thinking about clubbing the Premier.

All joking aside, this issue will not go away. I don't see either side giving in. I don't know where that puts Canada in the world's eye.

28. Posted by Belize Me (Full Member 137 posts) 10y

Quoting Brendan

I like where you are going with the idea of tourism... but what which one is honestly worse? Tourism is one of the main factors in most environmental destruction. Some examples being Hawaii, Mt.Everest, Bali, Kilimanjaro, Ocean Cruises, Ski Resorts, Water Sports, All Inclusive Exclusive Adventures!

I don't think we should make Newfoundland another one of the worlds toilets... that could just be me though.

Which is worse? I guess that depends on your outlook on life in general. I enjoy seeing as much of the world as I can and will continue to do so until I can't do it anymore. I cannot do a lot about jet fuel waste or oil tar on beaches, or other people that spit chewing gum into public areas and have it flatten out into ugly coloured circles in parking lots etc., but I do pick up after myself and try not to damage the places where I walk.

Brendan, are you advocating that we all stay home and not travel anymore in order to save the environment?

If there was no travel, you would not even know that Kilimanjaro existed so why worry about it? What good would it be to have Everest and the Andes and Table Mountain out there if no one could see their beauty? How would you describe the rest of the world to school children if you had never seen it? There would be no photographs, no travel books etc.

I don't think seal watching would turn Newfoundland into 'another one of the world's toilets' as you put it, but it might control some really cruel acts (towards seals AND people), make a lot of people a lot happier and allow the people of Newfoundland a chance to make enough money to relax a bit and not have to worry about the next seal hunt and what they are going to do when the protesters come. The golden ring is out there...Mr. Premier just has to open his eyes.

Ok folks, I'm off the seal hunt (I think I hear some sighs of relief! ). I hope I have not offended anyone but that's the way I see it.

29. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Wow - this argument has spread out all over the place. It's great! All your points are fantastic. I still think the McCartneys were way out of line - and that the seal hunt is being protested largely because seals are cute and cuddly, which appeals to our motherly/fatherly instincts. You've all given me lots to think about, though.

30. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Belize Me

Hi Q...I don't really understand your 'cake' analogy.

The reference is with respect to the French Queen Marie Antonette who infamously said "Let them eat cake." when she was told her peasants were too poor to afford bread.

That statement became infamous because while it is true the peasants could physically eat and digest cake, they obviously had no access to cake because they were poor.

While it is true that you can run ecotourism businesses in Newfoundland, there are numerous obstacles in turning the economy over. Everything from retraining, cultural issues, lack of a proven customer base, negative environmental impacts of tourism, etc.

Same way that the French Queen might not be able to feed the entire peasant population of France by opening up the royal kitchens, even if the UN or the McCartneys, put their money where their mouth was, and were to fund ecotourism tourism colleges in Newfoundland, they might still not stop the seal hunt.

I would like to see the last part happen (and there a number of organizations that do this, consider UNICEF and the RedCross). But I definitely have no respect for entertainers or political organizations that do nothing but talk and have photo-ops on an issue. ;)