Sunday, March 21, 2010

Seal Hunt 2010

The Canadian Seal Hunt will officially open on March 28, 2010 but here on the islands the hunters are not prepared to go.  They realize that they have no hope in reaching the herd safely.  Earlier this month, the seal watching expeditions were canceled because there was no ice in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. There is still no ice and the seal didn’t have their pups here even though the herd is estimated to be 7 million head. 

There is a substantial loss of income to the tourist trade on the islands. The Chateau Madelinot (an island motel) which is normally filled to capacity this time of the year, remains closed as well as shops and boutiques who cater to the influx of seal watching visitors.

The economic loss to workers of the seal processing plant TAMASU and the hunters will amount to over six million dollars. For an area as small as the Magdalen Islands, the amount may be devastating for many families. As much as 25% to 30% of the yearly income for many fishermen come from the seal hunt.

Seal hunter, Réjean Vigneau, owner of Boucherie Côte à Côte (Coast to Coast Butchery) affirmed that on Sunday March 28, there is little chance that islanders will take part in the hunt.  The herd has been found in the Strait of Belle Isle and good 30 hours sailing from the islands. The herd is close to land and there are under water rocks and shoals in the area. Also the herd has settled on the inside of a swell in the ice.

It is unlikely that Mr. Vigneau will be able to provide for the twenty or so island restaurants, which would purchase approximately 40,000 pounds of seal meat this year.

In addition to suffering an economic loss, workers, hunters and fishermen helpers will also have less government support in the form of employment insurance next fall.


KB said...

I had no idea seal hunting was such big business.

Magdalen Islands said...

It is a substantial part of the yearly income of some of the fishermen around here.

They fish three seasons and hunt for a few weeks in March and April normally. All parts of the seal are used for one thing of another..., meat, pelt, bone, oil all have their separate uses, even the flippers.

Magdalen Islands said...

Errrr..., thanks..., I think!

dickiebo said...

Why do you say thanks to those strange characters!!!!!!! lol.

Magdalen Islands said...

I guess I do because it is a comment, Dickiebo! I don't know what it means but I say thanks for any kind of recognition. I know it is ridiculous considering it could be spam or worse, lol. Actually the backlink goes to a Chinese chat site with sexy Asian women. hmmmmmmmm I suppose it is spam..., because the author's blog has nothing written on it. It is just taken up space.
I could delete the link and or the comment. hmmmmmmmmmm