TIGNISH -- It’s been about 15 years since Northport fisherman, Franklyn Fraser sailed out to join the Canadian seal hunt. It was hardly feasible even then, he said.
The hunt is even more necessary today because the herds are becoming over-populated, Fraser argues, but he feels it might never be feasible again. “You can’t get insurance; you can’t get anything,” he said.
“When I was a young fellow, you’d hardly see a seal,” he recalls. “Now you see herds of seals when you’re fishing. “
He shakes his head at the latest protest in the states against Canada’s seal hunt. Some chefs south of the border have said they will boycott Canadian fish products to protest the seal hunt. “The States have enough problems without worrying about a few seals in Canada,” he suggests.
Federal Fisheries Minister and Egmont MP Gail Shea said it’s unfortunate that this issue is still being talked about today and suggested it is a result of misinformation about Canada’s seal hunt, including allegations that baby seals are being clubbed to death. “Canada has not killed a baby seal in over thirty-some years; we changed those regulations decades ago, but, unfortunately, they’re still putting that information out there,” she said.
“It’s just the movie stars that we put there that turn around and come back against you. The ordinary people who put them there, made them the people they are today, and they take our money and then go against us,” Fraser said.
Shea termed the anti-sealing activists a political group that raises funds in support of their cause.
“It’s unfortunate that this issue is still being talked about today,” Shea said, calling the anti-sealing activists a political group that raises money in support of their cause and use misinformation in doing so.
Shea said the harp seal population in Canada has mushroomed to 7.3 million and is healthy and growing. She said the Canadian government will continue to stand up for Canada’s fishing industry and for Canada’s northern people who have had seal meat as part of their diet for centuries.