Grey Seal picture from
Northumberland County Council
Seal Conservation Society (GCSC) is a non-profit organization, formed in April,
2004, to oppose the proposed new grey seal hunt in Nova
Scotia, Canada. Given the complexity of the current mounting problems with
sea life - from starving codfish to oxygen-depleted "dead zones" - removing
more seals at this time appears not to be a prudent decision. Federal legislation
dictates that a "precautionary approach" be taken to the exploitation
of natural resources in Canada. Before this can be done, Canada's "seal problem"
in the 21st century deserves to be reviewed in objective detail to understand
exactly how seals relate to the "starving fish problem," the "declining
zooplankton problem," and the "oxygen depletion of seawater" problem.
Evidence that the presence of seals naturally tends to counteract each of these
broad-scale rising threats to marine life is offered here. GSCS invites debate
on these points.
GSCS hopes that the fishing industry, marine scientists,
and the general public, will seriously consider the many facets of today's ocean
"problems" and will openly contemplate the complex ecology of seals.
The GSCS hopes to counteract a traditional, short-sighted human thinking habit:
jumping to the conclusion that since seals eat fish, and since they spread codworms,
that seals are a form of vermin that must be removed or "controlled"
for the benefit of fisheries. This is not true, because there is substantially
more to the story. Marine fish face far more serious threats today than simple
co-existence with their natural predators...an arrangement under which they thrived
for hundreds of millions of years, and an arrangement which seems to have naturally
optimized both fish health and ocean health.
law obliges Canadians to "err on the side of caution" in deciding whether
or not to implement an activity such as the proposed grey seal hunt. Promoting
this objective - refraining from killing grey seals while their holistic relationship
to ocean health remains unknown - is the mandate of the Grey Seal Conservation