For now, there is peace on the ice.
Harp seals are currently "off limits" to sealers, as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has temporarily closed the hunt to allow the mothers to give birth and nurse their whitecoat pups.
But sealers will soon take to the icy waters and the hunt will once again resume. The Canadian government has sanctioned the slaughter of 400,000 harp seals to be clubbed or shot to death this year.
We know the commercial seal hunt is inhumane.
IFAW has spent decades on the ice, watching and documenting the horrors that occur there. Numerous welfare studies show that it is impossible to consistently slaughter seals humanely during commercial seal hunts. Further, the Government of Canada has shown it is incapable of adequately monitoring the hunt or enforcing the regulations.
This year we want to draw attention to an aspect of the hunt that most Canadians find appalling: the shocking and unprecedented amount of waste.
Many Canadians (and politicians) believe - mistakenly - that when seals are killed in Canada's commercial seal hunt, the entire animal is used. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Despite a policy of "encouraging full utilization" the Canadian government's own figures show that a shocking 90 percent of seals are killed only for their fur.