Numbers irrelevant

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The federal Fisheries Department released its seal quota Tuesday ... setting it at the same level as last year. The number — 400,000 — was immediately attacked by animal rights groups as being too high ... reckless they say.

Why would anyone, including animal rights groups, care what the quota is?

Barely 10 per cent of last year’s quota was taken and that is likely to be even less this year when the East Coast seal hunt begins off our shores.

A recent grey seal hunt off Nova Scotia resulted in the grand total of eight animals being slaughtered, according to DFO.

The same is almost certain to happen when the main hunt gets underway. It’s just not worth it for sealers to invest time and money getting ready to go to The Front only to harvest a few seal pelts and then get little money for them.

A few sealers will head out to get a few seals to use or sell for food but that will be precious few too.

Scientists and the animal rights people says the size of the herds are falling and the quota should have been reduced.

That only matters if the quota is taken and it won’t be.

If the size of the herds is falling as a result of natural causes, that can only be a good thing for many people in this province.

The lack of sea ice has meant a decline in live births of pups and that is likely the cause of any drop in numbers. The more worrisome drop in numbers is the disappearence of sealers themselves.

They have been the object of decades of attacks by animal rights followers and the impact is starting to tell.

With markets drying up and costs going ever higher, it’s just not worth the grief and expense anymore.

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