Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Background to Issuing Seal Observation Permits

The Permitting Process as Seen Through the Seal Observers Eye:

» Though the commercial seal hunt occurs in public space (the northwest Atlantic Ocean), the Canadian government restricts observation of it by requiring observers to obtain permits that allow them to be within half a nautical mile of sealers engaged in hunting seals.
» The observation permits are issued by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which manages and promotes the commercial seal hunt.
» To obtain an observation permit, each observer must submit to a criminal background check and attend a personal interview with the DFO. The permits must be renewed daily.
» There are a number of conditions attached to the observation permits, including that observers must remain 10 metres away from seal hunters engaged in seal hunting.

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