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November 12, 2013

Restaurants and Seafood Professionals Can Help The Seals

Restaurants and companies have power to end the seal hunt

The Humane Society of the United States

Chefs

A group shot of Miami chefs standing up for the seals along with Nigel Barker and HSUS staff. Apt3 Photography

    If you work in a restaurant or for a business that sells seafood, you are in a wonderful position to help convince the Canadian government to end the cruel commercial seal hunt. A boycott of Canadian seafood*—even a boycott of only a few Canadian seafood imports—will send the message to fishermen from Canada's East Coast that it isn't in their financial interest to kill seals in their off-season.

    See who is already participating in the boycott of Canadian seafood. Check out videos of the Chefs for Seals parties we have held in Washington, D.C., Miami, and Los Angeles.

    Quick Action: Sign the pledge to boycott Canadian seafood »

    More than 90 percent of sealers are from Newfoundland. Even in that province, sealing income accounts for less than one percent of Newfoundland's gross domestic product and only two percent of the landed value of Newfoundland's fishery. Individual fishermen derive a small fraction of their total incomes from sealing—the rest comes from commercial fishing.

    More than 75 percent of Canadian seafood is exported to the United States, producing $2.5 billion annually for the Canadian economy. This figure dwarfs the few million dollars generated from the seal hunt. It is the connection between commercial fisheries and sealing in Canada that gives seafood professionals and consumers the leverage to convince the Canadian government and individual fishermen to stop the slaughter of seals. Any of the following actions will help us put an end to Canada's commercial seal hunt.

     

    • Sign the pledge. Choose not to sell Canadian seafood products until Canada's seal hunt has ended for good. See which kinds of Canadian seafood to avoid.

    • Tell your colleagues. Speak with other American distributors of Canadian seafood as well as Canadian seafood suppliers. Let them know you choose not to sell Canadian seafood until the seal hunt has been stopped. See who is already part of the boycott, and scan a list of the well-known chefs [PDF] who are part of the campaign.

    • Contact Canada's ministers of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon, and International Trade, Stockwell Day, and ask them to help negotiate an end to the commercial seal hunt before Canada's fishing industry pays the price:

    The Honourable Lawrence Cannon
    Minister of Foreign Affairs 
    House of Commons
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0A6
    613-992-5516

    The Honourable Stockwell Day
    Minister of International Trade
    House of Commons
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0A6
    613-995-1702

    For more information or to schedule a meeting to discuss our Protect Seals campaign, please contact Protect Seals Coordinator Eileen Densel by email or at 301-248-3083.

    * The most common Canadian seafood exports are snow crab, cod, scallops, shrimp, haddock, herring, perch, lobster, mussels, yellow perch, sardines, flounder, tuna, whitefish, swordfish, oysters, sole, trout, and mackerel.

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