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April 8, 2014

Chefs for Seals

Join the campaign with a heart

  • Chefs in New York and other cities are standing up for seals by boycotting Canadian seafood. Nigel Barker/For The HSUS

What's it all about?

More than 6,500 restaurants and grocery stores (in addition to 800,000 individuals) are participating in the Protect Seals campaign.

Chefs and companies participating in the Protect Seals campaign have pledged to avoid some* or all Canadian seafood until Canadian fishermen from Canada's east coast stop—once and for all—the commercial seal hunt.*

Why Canadian seafood?

Each spring off the east coast of Canada, tens of thousands of seal pups are shot and clubbed to death by Canadian fishermen. Most of the pups haven't eaten their first solid meal at the time they're killed. Many are skinned alive.

Chefs, grocers, and restaurant owners

These seals are killed by commercial fishermen. The fishermen who kill seal pups each spring make, on average, 95% of their income from selling seafood and only 5% from killing seals. U.S. companies have the power to help shift Canada toward responsible marine stewardship.

Cat Cora, Curtis Stone, Richard Sandoval, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Legal Sea Foods are among the many companies and chefs who are, through participating in this campaign, showing the world and their customers that they are compassionate stewards of the marine environment.

A bit more about Canada's seal hunt

Each year, 98 percent of the harp seals killed are less than three months old, defenseless against the club-wielding sealers who routinely drag conscious pups across the ice with boat hooks, and even skin some seals alive. Nearly a million seal pups have been slaughtered for their fur over the last three years, in spite of warm temperatures that melted the ice and caused many pups to drown. 

If you own a restaurant or grocery store, please take a moment to join the Protect Seals campaign. Your pledge will help bring the cruel and needless commercial slaughter of seal pups to an end!

For a more in-depth look at the boycott, please visit our boycott highlights page.


* Boycott participants choose the terms of their boycott commitment. Some are boycotting all seafood from Canada, some focus on seafood from sealing provinces (where sealing licenses are issued—this includes Newfoundland, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island), others focus exclusively on seafood from Newfoundland (where the vast majority of sealers live) and still others focus on Canadian snow crabs (which are often caught by vessels that also participate in the seal hunt). Individual chefs and companies find the level of participation that feels right to them. All 6,500 businesses that are part of the boycott are united in wanting to see Canada's commercial seal hunt end through a fair and equitable sealing license buyout plan.

Contact Eileen Densel, The HSUS's Protect Seals Coordinator, by email or at 301-248-3083 with questions.

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  • Chefs and restaurant professionals, please take quick action to save seals! Pledge now