Below is a selection of opinion letters and essays submitted to our site or links to online publications expressing personal viewpoints in support of our industry. If you would like to send us your views or opinion that is based on facts and reality about the sealing industry and processing of products related to it, please feel free to send us an email with your thoughts. The CSA reserves the right to edit your submitted messages and opinions for reprint here.
Jim Winter writes a reflective look back at the early days of standing up to the sealing propaganda war inflicted upon our industry in the late 1970’s in this wonderful article he put together for a local magazine called The Downhome. It highlights the formation and times of a group called “CodPeace” to counter the falsehoods spread upon our province by the likes of anti-sealing protesters, such as Greenpeace and celebrities Brigitte Bardot, who “had pushed too many culturally sensitive buttons by maligning the province and its people. It was retaliation time – with satire. ” You can read the full article here
Sealing industry is much more than sealers
by Jim Winter, former CSA president
The sealing industry is like most industries in that it employs many more people than simply the primary producer.
Read the full article on The Telegram’s website here
Below is a recent letter from Jim Winter of St. John’s to The Hill Times, an Ottawa magazine on all things political in Canada. Jim writes about the missed opportunity by our leaders to address and abolish the unfair import of seal products and ban imposed by the EU parliament
Dear Sir / Ms.,
I understand that many Canadians approve of the CETA free trade agreement as the reduction in tariffs has the potential to increase Canadian exports to Europe and thus improve both our GDP and balance of trade figures and this would be a good thing.
I also understand that many Canadians are against the CETA agreement because of the fact that should an international corporation deem that internal Canadian laws inhibit their profits they can appeal to an unelected tribunal to have those Canadian laws changed or demand a financial penalty from Canada and thus influence our sovereignty.
What I do not understand is why the Canadian bureaucrats who negotiated CETA on behalf of both the Harper and Trudeau governments left off the table the ultimate tariff: a trade ban on certain Canadian products. A total ban on Canadian seal products. A ban based – as stated in the EU Parliament and many of the member states’ Parliaments – on protecting the morals of EU citizens from those immoral Canadians. These laws codify Canadians – not specific Canadians but simply Canadians – as an immoral people based upon the propaganda of the multi million dollar American headquartered animal rights corporations who own European politicians. These laws are not based on protecting endangered species (we have about 7 1/2 million Harp seals) as none of the seals Canadians kill are, nor have ever been, on any reputable list of endangered or even threatened species. Canadian laws and quotas ensure a humane sustainable hunt that provides income to families in many parts of our country. The World Trade Organisation (an unelected tribunal) confirmed to the Canadian Government that these European laws were in violation of WTO rules but would stand to protect the morals of European citizens.
I understand that many will argue that CETA is a case of “the greater good”. But as most philosophers and political scientists will tell you rarely, if ever, has any good, let alone a greater good, come from decisions based on this concept.
It would appear that Prime Minister Trudeau accepts the immorality of Canadians as legislated by EU politicians and confirmed by the WTO as he has signed off on the CETA agreement as it stands.
However, it is up to the ladies and gentlemen of both houses of our Parliament to ratify CETA through their votes before it can be law. Their votes will tell Canadian citizens if they accept or do not accept the condemnation by EU politicians of Canadians as an immoral people.
I suggest to the members of both houses of Parliament that they vote to send the CETA agreement back to the Europeans – like Wallonia did – and demand the removal of the seal ban and in doing so remove the EU condemnation of Canadian citizens as an immoral people.
And then consider CETA on its merits as a financial agreement that could benefit Canadian business and tax payers: or not.
St. John’s, NL
Congratulations to Scott Simms and to Our entire Canadian
by Bernie Halloran, Owner of Always in Vogue, St. John’s, NL October 11, 2016
Government for finally taking a Positive stand on our Amazing Seal Industry. We are all so proud and looking forward to Seal Products Day May 20th, 2017. AIV will be there in full support.
After reading some of the negative comments below it makes you wonder what Planet these nay-sayers actually live on. All the facts and information are available today with just a touch of a finger to make an intelligent opinion. Do your home work people..
Can someone Please explain intelligently to me the difference between a Seal, vs Cows, Sheep, Chickens, Pigs, etc. Why target one Species? Why bully the Seal Industry? As Paul Watson once said on the CBC Barbara Frum Show. The Seal Industry is the easiest to target.. ( Look It Up ) google it. Thats facts, not lies. So Where is the difference? Haven’t you figured out Yet? The PETA s’ and IFAW’s of the world are all about the MONEY and send your donations. Wake up. HELLO!!!, Send your donations and we will buy a new Yacht and check this our for you..LOL. Are People that stupid? We understand the propaganda years ago but not today. With respect to some of the negative opinions below. The word Hypocrite jumps to mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a closer look at their day to day lives..Wouldn’t it be nice to expose these bullies for what they truly are..They are only one of two kinds of people.. They are all Hypocrite’s or they are ( as we say on the ROCK ) a bit Stunned. As AIV has always said and will continue to promote, if the Seal Industry is wrong, then the whole world is wrong.. What arrogance..they possess, what stupidly to bully such an amazing Industry and manageable Natural Resource.
Today the the Seal Industry is all about promoting full utilization of the animal, Our Seal Industry is all about Ocean Management and renewable resource. We are the stewards of our Ocean. Who better to manage our Children’s Heritage and future ? The truth be know the Fashion Side of the industry is growing in leaps and bounds. Some of the new Products and Fashions are incredible. But fashion is taking a back seat to the intriguing new development of Seal Oil ( omega 3 ) and the Meat side of the Industry. If People are not using Seal Oil in their diets today, they sincerely should be. Our bodies and diets have changed through the years and need Omega 3 for so many disease preventive measures. The Seal Meat is so high in protein and becoming more and more sought after world wide.
Scott Sims, Congrats to you and your fellow MP’s and our entire Canadian Government for finally making a positive stand and supporting this amazing Industry and Natural Resource. Let’s take on the bullies together with facts and Knowledge.. Who can argue with that. Good on you Ottawa.
P.S Newfoundland and Labradorians have been bullied now for over 40 years on this issue. We have stood proud behind our Industry and Heritage. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians GET IT .. We will never back down. We know we are on the side of Right. We predict USA in the future removing Seal Products from there Marine Mammal Act legislation. ( Only because they will want our Seal Oil ) That should have never been a part of their Legislation in the first place. ( Direct from a retired USA Supreme Court Judge that purchased a Seal Jacket for his wife many years ago in defiance of the ridiculous imposed Law..) The Law was put in place for Dolphins and Wales and never intended for Seals.. Seals are not endangered. Wake up USA.. We predict Europe welcoming with open arms all Seal Products once again in the Future. They will find a way to justify there bully tactics of the past. Mark it down,They will find someone to blame. The Truth is this.. Seal Oil is the Game changer. If your not taking Seal Oil Capsules ( omega 3 ) you should strongly look into it today.. Just our Opinion but its a very good opinion.
AIV St. John’s NL
January 14, 2016
Letter sent to us from Terry P. of Pasadena Newfoundland and Labrador, regarding Bill S-208, National Seal Products Day and was also addressed to our new federal MP for Labrador’s Long Range Mountains region.
Good morning, Gudie,
Congratulations upon your election as our MP and your appointment as parliamentary secretary for Small Business and Tourism.
As a constituent, I want to declare my support for Bill S-208, National Seal Products Day.
Many of the fishers in our small coastal communities continue to depend upon the economic benefits of the seal fishery, as did generations before. The harvesting methods used today are humane and sustainable. It is also reported that seals consume an estimated 12M tonnes of commercial species a year; that is money lost to small business and small communities. The seal hunt is currently worth just $1M to our economy, but it has the potential to be worth so much more thanks to the marketing efforts of the Canadian Sealers Association.
I encourage you to support Bill S-208 and the small business opportunities that can be supported by formally recognizing May 20 as National Seal Products Day.
Terry P in Pasadena
December 1, 2015
Paul Sparkes is a long time journalist intrigued by the history of Newfoundland and Labrador and remembers his research of the biologist Arthur Walter Mansfield who did a remarkable amount of research and reporting on sea creatures, notably the seal. Information from a Government of Canada coil-bound book by Dr. Mansfield “Seals of Arctic and Eastern Canada.” is reviewed by Mr. Sparkes in this recent Telegram article here.
April 7, 2014 – CBC.ca radio’s Jamie Baker from The Fisherman’s Broadcast radio show:
The changing tone of the seal harvest
Baker writes about how various anti-sealing and animal rights groups and the stakeholders in the sealing industry adjust their tactics as the never ending debate rages on. Click here for full article
Yvonne Jones, MP The Seal Hunt
Febraury 27th, 2014 – Yvonne Jones, Labrador member for Canada’s federal parliament in Ottawa, was a former provincial fisheries minister and the first woman to lead the Liberal Party of Newfoundland & Labrador, in 2007-10. Here she recalls for “Blacklock’s Reporter” what the seal hunt meant for her family growing up in Labrador.
January 23, 2014 Hypocrisy Reigns Supreme
Jim Winter wrote an editorial piece for the IWMC World Conservation Trust newsletter in 2008 and we are happy to include that here. Click each page to read. (Apologies for the quality)
January 21, 2014
Sealing a rightful rural occupation
Jim Winter wrote an excellent article in 2007 for The Fishing News International paper and he gladly shared it with us for your interest. Jim is a journalist and an Association of Canadian Radio and Television Artists best documentary writer award winner. He is also the founding president of the Canadian Sealers’ Association.
December 17, 2013 Letter from Gary W. in PEI
Hi from P.E.I. I have to admit that I have not closely followed the exact arguments and decisions regarding the ban on the seal hunt and the export of related products. However, I would like to offer a few suggestions (which you may already have considered) regarding strategy:
A list should be drawn up of participating EU members, showing controversial animal practices in each country i.e. The torture involved in the harvest of frogs’ legs for the French market. The widespread use of force-feeding for ‘foie gras’. The use of horse meat; the number of animals (some rare, as the bison) for clothing – visit Harrod’s of London for an example; the killing of deer (especially in the U.S.) for gloves, boots, whatever. Do many people know that it is legal to eat cats and dogs in Switzerland, and that animals are being raised for consumption? Also in that country there is a large demand for cat fur for blankets etc. List these countries one by one, with their cruelty and laws shown.
I feel that the Orient should be the main market for seal products – fish dishes are very popular, and no one can accuse anyone of scruples, what with sharks being ‘de-finned’ at sea, and the Japanese whale hunt. Perhaps oriental chefs should be invited to contests for the best dishes using seal meat. Large cash prizes, major media exposure in their respective countries.
As we all know, the vast numbers of seals and their effect on the marine environment must be checked. Too many seal-hunt objectors have watched ‘Bambi’ too many times. In a word – pretty animals live, ugly ones die. Where is the ‘Save the Snakes’ society, of the ‘Committee for the Preservation of Spiders’?
November 25, 2013 WTO / EU Ban – Opinion piece by Stuart L. Harvey
With the recent publicity surrounding Harper’s trade negotiations between Canada and the European Economic Community, discussion on the Canadian Seal Hunt has once more surfaced, because seal products are still banned and cannot be imported legally into the EEC. … You can read the full (November) article on his website here
The Deal With Seals by Jamie Baker
February 18, 2013 Cast your eyes on this blog entry on swiles and take it in — because I promise it is the very last time you will see me writing about the seal FISHERY (see what I did there? I didn’t say “hunt” – I said “fishery.” Suck on those apples). Read more…
Rex Murphy: On with the seal hunt!
I’ve written here before about the lumbering peril on the roads down in Newfoundland. Driving around the island can be something like a UFC fight between man and moose. Between the small second-hand car — a favourite mode of travel back home on The Rock — and the hairy mastodon (that would be the moose), there is no competition really. Read more…
Animal welfare respected in seal hunt: Study
November 6th, 2012. (Sun News Media) OTTAWA — A pair of researchers — one Canadian and one Australian — have given the much-maligned seal hunt a seal of approval. In a new study published in the Animal Welfare journal, two veterinarians conclude that “based on current practices, there is no reliable evidence that the Canadian harp seal hunt differs from other forms of exploitation of wildlife resources from the perspective of animal welfare.” Full article here.