Why Support the EU Canadian Seafood Boycott

Humane Society International

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Opposition to commercial seal hunting is gaining momentum around the world, and governments, including the European Union, are increasingly taking action to end the trade in products of this brutality.

Meanwhile, each year, the EU buys hundreds of millions of euros worth of seafood caught by Canadian fishermen who either directly participate in the annual commercial slaughter of seal pups or lend their support to the killing.

Now, we are calling for a Europe-wide boycott of Canadian seafood because Europe is a major market for Canadian seafood.

Connection with commercial fisheries

Commercial seal slaughter is an off-season activity mostly conducted over just a few days by a few thousand fishermen from Canada’s east coast. Out of a population of more than 30 million people, 5,000 to 6,000 Canadians participate in the commercial seal hunt each year. On average, the fishermen who take part in sealing earn only a tiny fraction of their annual incomes from it.

The connection between commercial fisheries and the seal slaughter, and the economics of both industries, makes a boycott of Canadian seafood products an effective point of pressure for ending the killing.

Boycott goes from strength to strength

Since 2005, more than 650,000 individuals and more than 5,500 restaurants and grocery stores in the U.S.Canada and Europe have joined the ProtectSeals campaign in boycotting Canadian seafood. A number of well-known chefs [PDF] have also signed on.

They are making clear to Canada’s fishing industry that there are certain practices that are simply inconsistent with responsible, humane marine stewardship and that the commercial seal hunt is one of them. Until Canada’s fishing industry rises to a higher level of compassionate marine stewardship by giving up its support for and engagement in the commercial seal hunt, thousands of socially conscious citizens and companies are electing to shift their seafood purchasing away from it.

Help end the slaughter

European consumers and businesses that purchase Canadian seafood have the power to convince the Canadian government and individual fishermen to stop the slaughter of seals.

The Canadian government, Canada’s fishing industry, and individual sealers face an important economic decision. Until Canada’s commercial seal hunt is ended for good, the ProtectSeals network will continue and expand the boycott of Canadian seafood products.

Canada’s annual commercial seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet.  Now is the time to send a message to Canada that this hunt needs to be ended once and for all. Learn more about the slaughter and why it is so cruel—and then sign the pledge today [for individuals /for chefs and businesses [PDF]] to help us finally stop this needless suffering.

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