Humane Society International/Canada

Humane Society International/Canada

March 21, 2007 11:56 ET

Seals Dying by the Thousands as Sea Ice Disappears

Environment and Animal Protection Groups Call on Stephen Harper to Stop Seal Hunt as Global Warming Destroys Critical Habitat

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 21, 2007) -

When: Thursday, March 22nd at 10 am

Where: National Press Club ("Library 2"). 150 Wellington Street,
Ottawa. A continental breakfast will be served.

Who: Greenpeace Canada, the Green Party of Canada, Humane Society
International/Canada, the World Society for the Protection of

With the anticipated release of this year's seal hunt quota in the next few days, Canadian environmental and animal protection groups will hold a press conference to discuss an unfolding ecological tragedy off Canada's east coast. Right now, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, harp seal pups are perishing by the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, as the sea ice they depend on is breaking up weeks earlier than normal.

Sea ice cover in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the 'Front" (waters northeast of Newfoundland) is at a record low this year, according to information from Environment Canada. Satellite imagery shows 2007 ice coverage is even more reduced in extent than in 2002. In that year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans estimated 75 percent of the pups born in the Gulf of St. Lawrence died when the ice melted before the pups were strong enough to survive in the water.

The groups are calling on Prime Minister Harper to shut down the commercial hunt immediately and protect seal habitat by honouring our Kyoto commitments.

Contact Information

  • Toni Vernelli
    Oceans Coordinator, Greenpeace
    778-317-2091 (cell)
    Humane Society International - Canada
    Rebecca Aldworth
    Director, Wildlife Issues
    902-892-0994 (office)
    514-262-1832 (cell)