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The Deception Behind Canada's Commercial Sealing

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For as long as humans lived in Atlantic and Northern Canada, seals were hunted for food, clothing, tools, and cultural customs. Seal hunts still take place off the Newfoundland coast, near the Magdalene Islands, the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Inuit regions every spring for rural communities and commercially to provide part-time employment for fishermen. Commercial hunts occurring only for money differ from traditional hunts and lack the respect for seals. Many individuals take offense to the gruesome sight of sealing, and in 2010 the European Union banned all seal product imports, excluding products from Aboriginal hunts, causing low demand in the seal market. Amidst the controversy, the Canadian Government often omits the differences between rural and commercial sealing, and misleadingly promotes the sealing business. It is the Canadian Government’s best interest to permit rural seal hunts for their environmental, social, and economic strengths, but to ban the commercial hunt as it does not reflect traditional sealing, therefore lacks such benefits. In comparison to the customary sealing, commercial sealing is far more wasteful. Rural sealing applies to the Aboriginals and residents of 53° north or higher, and others that use a personal license to harvest up to six seals per year for subsistence. Within communities where sealing occurred for generations the traditional method of sealing is practiced, which hunts adult seals to use more parts, including fur, meat, oil, bones and blubber for food, fuel, tools, and crafts. Seals are only hunted if needed, so traditional sealing is also a sustainable practice by killing less than 1, 000 seals per year. The Canadian Government claims that commercial sealing is just as enviro... ... middle of paper ... ...als have seen of the slaughter or change their concerns; more thought and money should be put towards helping those in financial need, and promoting true traditional sealing to increase its market. In supporting the commercial hunt, the Canadian government falsely represents the rural communities, portraying that they too are an unethical slaughter. Commercial sealing is inhumane, wasteful, and drains the money from the Aboriginal’s seal market, as well as taxpayer’s wallets. Continuing to encouragement the industry puts Canada’s reputation on the world stage and prevents sealers from finding better, sustainable, long-term careers. With a dying industry it is inevitable that commercial sealing will come to an end, which the Canadian Government needs to accept. Overall the commercial hunt does not reflect traditional values, therefore it no longer belongs in Canada.
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