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Canada Watching EU Seal Cull Plans With Interest

9th October 2012
Canada Watching EU Seal Cull Plans With Interest

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Globe and Mail reports that Canada is keeping tabs on an EU plan to "manage" Europe's seal population amid growing controversy over the issue.

Last month the European Parliament approved a resolution on the Common Fisheries Policy that called for the European Commission to investigate the impact of "natural predators such as sea lions, seals and cormorants" on the reduction of fish stocks and draw up plans to regulate their numbers.

Canada's sealing industry claims this about-face in EU policy is hypocritical considering Europe's ban on commercial seal products three years ago, as well as its longstanding criticism of the Canadian seal hunt.

Already Scotland has approved a cull that has granted licences to kill over 1,000 seals on its coastline this year alone. And fishermen in Ireland, particularly on the west coast, are calling for the Irish authorities to take similar action.

Afloat.ie has previously reported on the tensions between fishermen and marine wildlife campaigners over the impact of protected seal populations on fish stocks.

Over the summer, the Dingle Seal Sanctuary claimed that a number of horrific reports of illegal seal killings committed by culprits unknown are part of a "swing in activity" since the start of the year - although the National Parks and Wildlife Service said it has not recorded any increase.

Fishermen in Kerry have come out in condemnation of these illegal killings, in particular the barbaric scene in which two baby seal heads were nailed to signs outside the Dingle sanctuary in early June.

However, they maintain that a cull of the local grey seal population is necessary, claiming they are "over-protected" and can consume as much as 10kg of fish each per day, resulting in depleted stocks of hake and haddock, as well as posing a threat to salmon conservation measures.

The Globe and Mail has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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