Mon, 26 October 2020
Seal and Sea Lion culls have been added as a proposed method to the table to bring back the salmon and herring fisheries along the West Coast of Canada. The proposed method wants to cull 50,000 harbor seals and 25,000 Stellar sea lions, which is the most that have ever been proposed. The cull, as proposed, would kill have of the current population in the area.
The cull is backed by a professor emeritus from the University of British Columbia in fisheries management. He has presented material from other studies with conclusions of fisheries stocks (salmon and herring) that have been predated upon by seals and sea lions (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6__Sc_o08w). There are many other scientists who don't have the same professional opinion.
Dr. Andrew Trites, another professor (Marine Mammals) from the University of British Columbia, is concerned about how the cull would affect the predators of the pinnipeds. Transient Orcas rely on seals and sea lions as a source of food. Killing such a massive amount of individuals could also have a negative effect on the pinniped population itself as climate change and other factors could limit the population from rebuilding. There are many "Ifs" when considering the cull.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada held 2 workshops to consider all matters of the issue: 1) A workshop with only scientists; and, 2) a workshop with Indigenous, industry, and non-governmental organizations. One general question was asked: How much risk are they willing to accept in pursuit of a massive cull. the participants in the first workshop said they needed 80-100% assurance that the fish populations would be rebuilt while the second workshop only needed 20% assurance.
In order for the cull to happen two approvals need to be made: 1) The Harbor Seal must be taken of the Species At Risk Act as a Vulnerable Species, and; 2) The Government must approve the cull. Both approvals would take years to come through and even then it would be very difficult to happen.
Do you think the cull should be approved?
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Category:Pinnipeds -- posted at: 12:00am EDT