Peace Talks

Peace Talks is a political talk show that I host weekly on Free Radio Santa Cruz 101.1 fm (and streaming on-line at

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sea Shepherd and Capt. Of The Farley Mowat On The Canadian Harp Seal Slaughter

On April 1, 2008, I interviewed Capt. Cornelissen of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society about the Canadian government sponsored slaughter of 275,000 baby harp seals happening now. Capt. Cornelissen speaks about the efforts of the crew of the Farley Mowat to document the killing of seals and the interference they have encountered from the Canadian Coast Guard.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has sent its ship, the Farley Mowat north into the ice packs off Eastern Canada to defend baby harp seals from the clubs of Canadian sealers. The Sea Shepherd ship, with an international crew of volunteers, is once again acting as shepherds in defense of the harp seal pups in the ice packs of the Gulf of St. Lawrence this year.

Sea Shepherd has been working to remove the markets for seal products as well as mounting dramatic confrontations on the ice to physically save the seals from the cruel clubs of the sealers. The seal hunt survives only because of subsidies doled out to the sealing industry by the government of Canada. It has become a glorified welfare scheme where in return for killing seals for a few weeks the sealers can qualify for unemployment insurance for the rest of the year.

In addition to the hazards of thick ice and nasty weather, the Sea Shepherd crew face the threat of violence from the sealers and the threat of arrest under the Canadian Seal Protection regulations that make it a criminal offense to witness or document the killing of a seal without the permission of the government of Canada. In 2005 eleven Sea Shepherd crew were arrested after being attacked and assaulted by sealers on the ice. Despite being struck by sealing clubs, punched and kicked, not one sealer was arrested for assault. The attack was video-taped and the sealers identified yet the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stated there was insufficient evidence to charge the sealers. The Sea Shepherd crew were jailed and fined for approaching within a half a nautical mile of a seal being killed.

Captain Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, has been fighting the Canadian seal slaughter all his life. The commercial hunt was shut down in 1984 and resurrected in 1994.
Sea Shepherd has turned its attention to the plight of the seals. From out of the Southern deep freeze of the Antarctic and into the Northern freezer of Eastern Canada, from saving whales to saving seals - the work of the shepherds of the sea continues.


Post a Comment

<< Home