Tag Archives: grey seal

What lives, what dies? The role of science in the decision to cull seals to save cod

Atlantic cod on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland supported one of the world’s greatest fisheries for over three centuries. Yet this seemingly inexhaustible resource is in bad shape. Some stocks are now endangered and their survival could depend on removing a key predator, the grey seal. This raises some difficult questions: How do we determine the value of one species over another, and what is the role of science in this conundrum? My colleagues and I in the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the University of British Columbia are fascinated by these questions. As an interdisciplinary group of economists, ecologists and social scientists, we commonly attribute values to animals in different ways. >click to read< 16:55

Kerry fishermen renew call for immediate seal cull

The fishermen are operating on the Dingle Peninsula, a region which has one of the largest grey seal colonies in the country.  Seals are protected under the EU Habitats Directive and the Wildlife Acts. Conservationists say the Irish colonies of grey seals are of international importance. Dingle fisherman Liam Flannery says that seals are actively following their boats now and that fishing for inshore fishermen like himself is now unviable.  >click to read< 14:00

Call for Increased Seal Hunt as Population Surges

Hungry East Coast seal populations have surged in recent decades, spurring calls for an increased seal hunt — and even a possible cull — to protect fragile caplin and northern cod stocks. The Northwest Atlantic harp seal population is estimated at about 7.4 million animals — almost six times what it was in the 1970s, according to the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Grey seal numbers in the Gulf of St. Lawrence have grown from about 5,000 animals in 1960 to an estimated 98,000 in 2014, according to the department. >click to read<16:04

Fisheries Minister Leblanc to make decision on northern cod fishery in April, says seals are a big factor

With cod stocks again on the decline — by a shocking 30 per cent, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) — the federal fisheries minister says a decision about the fishery will be made within two weeks. Dominic Leblanc said there are a series of factors at play, but one is the grey seal — an animal thought to cause as much as 50 per cent of natural deaths among full-size cod, according to DFO scientists. “There’s no doubt that the seals represent a significant challenge,”,,, >click to read<19:18

Federal government protects overabundant grey seal population over fish stocks

MONCTON, NB – Fish harvesters attending the Gulf Groundfish Advisory Committee this week in Moncton are expressing their frustrations and disbelief over the federal government’s refusal to protect groundfish stocks by controlling the grey seal population. Many species of groundfish will be unable to adequately recover without proper management of the grey seal population. The effect of grey seals on fish populations has been confirmed by scientists, yet the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has not taken adequate action to address this problem. An increased harvest of grey seals would aid in allowing groundfish species to rebound, thereby creating new economic opportunities for thousands of families in Eastern Canada. continue reading the press release here 09:08

Quebec rejects proposed cull of Brion Island grey seals, to dismay of local biologist

A biologist from the Magdalen Islands is angry the Quebec government has rejected a plan to slaughter 1,200 grey seals on Brion Island, a nature reserve in the archipelago, for scientific research. The grey seal population in the area has ballooned from 400 in 1999 to 10,000 today.  The proposal from Dr. Pierre-Yves Daoust, a wildlife veterinarian and pathologist at UPEI’s Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI, hinged on getting the approval of Quebec’s fisheries and environment ministries. It was rejected last month. Biologist Sébastien Cyr said the proposed cull had the unanimous support of people in the Magdalen Islands. “All the fishermen’s associations had supported the project, the environmental groups as well, the municipality’s residents … There was a consensus in the community for the project,” Cyr said. Read the story here 09:02

Awesome Underwater Footage of a White Shark Eating a Grey Seal

shark eats grey sealResearchers at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy snagged video this week of a white shark swimming with her meal. That’s right, the shark is a she. And she is carrying the remains of a grey seal. The shark was later identified by Marine Fisheries Biologist John Chisholm as an 11-foot female first seen last year. The footage was captured by Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, who used a GoPro. Watch the video here 09:25

Seal 1, White Shark 0 – a life-loving seal slapped a pursuing great white shark in midair

Researchers with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy said they were out Monday in waters off Cape Cod for a twice weekly great white shark survey when researcher Greg Skomal captured the footage. “The escape was incredible to witness. We’ve seen three predations over the last two years, and this was a first — to watch a white shark leap from the water in an attempt to grab a grey seal. The seal won that battle but shortly after the same shark successfully consumed a different seal further offshore,” Watch, Read the rest here 14:33

Government is considering a plan to address the growing grey seal population

The report, drafted by the Fur Institute of Canada, is aimed at creating new markets to support an earlier proposal to slaughter 140,000 grey seals over five years in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence — 70 per cent of the grey seals that frequent the area. Fishermen have long complained that a growing population of grey seals is to blame for eating too many commercially valuable fish, which has resulted in repeated calls for a cull. Awesome. Read the rest here 17:43

Seal hunt off Nova Scotia dormant as pelt market disappears

The seal hunt off Nova Scotia’s shores isn’t dead yet, but it’s pretty much dormant, fishermen said Tuesday. If market conditions improve, I’m sure we’ll be back into her.” Courtney said seals eat a lot of fish and Ottawa needs to help fishermen by opening up international markets or instituting a cull. “Basically, we’ve been waiting for the federal government to come out with something to do with the seals, because they’re basically eating us out of house and home,” he said. Read the rest here 13:50

Is the seal hunt dead?

 “See all those grey things?” Hiltz asks, pointing to what we figured were hundreds of big rocks. “Those are seals.” First, let’s address the issue of cuteness. A full-grown grey seal is bigger than any fat man you know, and when you walk up to one, it bares its teeth and makes a noise like the snoring that follows a dozen beer. They defecate prodigiously. continue