ABOUT THE HARP SEAL MOVEMENT
Harp Seals DFW began as a response to the ongoing, needless and horrific slaughter of hundreds of thousands of harp seal pups on the East Coast of Canada. Barely more than a few weeks old — sometimes as young as two weeks — these harp seals are targeted by the Canadian fishing industry solely for their fur pelts. When we say “slaughter,” we’re not exaggerating: as you can see from the many, many, many photos disseminated throughout the Internet depicting this brutal practice, these “hunters” literally club many of these baby seals to death on the ice. Some of them are skinned alive. Many are dragged, still with life in their breaths, with hooks in their mouths.
The United States and the European Union — two of the largest markets in the world — have already banned the import and sale of seal products, cutting deeply into the industry’s profits and growth. The hunt itself has been severely affected — the 2010 hunt saw “only” about 38,000 seal pups “harvested,” a mere 10% of that season’s quota. (That’s right — the quota is in the hundreds of thousands.)
Still, the Canadian government insists on not only allowing the massacre to continue, but on actually subsidizing the industry’s losses. Despite a decades-long campaign to end the killing of seal pups in Canada and other countries, Canada has turned a deaf ear to the pleas of conservationists, animal welfare advocates, and others.
It’s clear, however, that one thing — and likely one thing only — will prompt the Canadian government and the fishing industry to stop the bloodshed, and that is an economic catastrophe affecting the industry itself.
FACT: The United States imports about 2/3 of Canada’s seafood catch.
FACT: Thousands of restaurants and grocery chains across the U.S. have pledged to purchase their seafood from non-Canadian sources. The movement, sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, includes Whole Foods Market, Harris Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Oceanaire, Bi-Lo, and many, many others.
FACT: Red Lobster is the largest single corporate purchaser of Canadian seafood. They can singlehandedly end the slaughter once and for all simply by choosing to buy their seafood elsewhere, since the Canadian seafood industry depends so heavily on their business. Without the Red Lobster account, the Canadian government would have no choice but to cave to mounting international pressure (much like the South African government finally ended apartheid, largely because of the crushing economic effects of the global disinvestment movement) and withdraw their subsidy of the industry.
ABOUT HARP SEALS DFW
We at Harp Seals DFW believe in that all global change begins with local action. We’re just regular joes with day jobs, families, friends, and a host of other responsibilities, in addition to a deep and abiding passion and respect for the natural world.
Although we officially launched this organization in the late summer of 2011, the response has been fantastic and promising. Clearly, there are a lot of people who share our ethical and moral beliefs regarding the seal hunt, and we’re very pleased to be a part of such a powerful and talented community. We’re also excited to work in partnership with HarpSeals.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to educating the public about these beautiful animals and the seal hunt that haunts their diminishing population, the Humane Society of the United States, and others with a genuine interest in seeing this carnage end once and for all. Although we are not officially affiliated with any of these groups, we do share resources, including educational materials, fundraising efforts and promotional opportunities.
HARP SEALS DFW TEAM
Local Outreach Organizer
Marjorie R. Asturias
Youth Outreach Coordinator