June 29, 2010
Taking the Protect Seals Message to 2011 Brussels Seafood Expo
The European Seafood Exposition, held annually in Brussels, is the world's largest seafood fair.
Attracting buyers and sellers from more than 140 countries around the world and featuring more than 1,600 exhibitors, it is advertised as the global can't-miss fair for the seafood industry. In 2010, it drew more than 24,000 people.
This is why Humane Society International and the UK-based group Respect for Animals teamed up to send several staff members to the event this year. Our goal: educate attendees about the connection between the Canadian commercial seal slaughter and the fishing industry.
Canada’s commercial seal hunt is undertaken by fishermen during their off season. Sealers are commercial fishermen who earn only a small fraction of their annual incomes from killing seals—the remainder is from commercial fisheries such as crab, shrimp and lobster. HSI has therefore instituted a boycott of Canadian seafood to put pressure on the industry to end this cruelty.
So far, more than 5,500 grocery stores, restaurant and seafood supply companies in Europe and the United States have joined the campaign pledging to avoid some or all Canadian seafood until Canada’s fishing industry brings an end to this cruel and needless slaughter.
Many of the visitors to the conference were taken with the fluffy toy seals and were keen to hear more about the Protect Seals boycott of Canadian seafood.
Each toy seal had a card attached detailing the plight of Canada’s seal pups and the role Canada’s fishing industry plays in their slaughter.
During the course of the day, thousands of baby seal toys were handed out. As the majority of people attending the European Seafood Exposition are involved—some way or another—with the purchase of seafood, we were very pleased to have been able to spread the word about the boycott.