November 15, 2013
Canadian Seafood Boycott Highlights
Stopping the commercial seal hunt: strategy and progress
Each year, the Canadian government authorizes the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of seal pups. The HSUS's Protect Seals campaign is working internationally to end this cruel and needless hunt.
Protect Seals is focused on pressing Canada's commercial fishing industry and its government to end the commercial seal hunt. You are an important part of this tactic.
Seal hunting is an off-season activity of a few thousand fishermen from Canada's east coast. They make, on average, about 5 percent of their income from sealing, and the rest from commercial fisheries. Roughly two-thirds of Canadian seafood exports go to the United States each year.
Canada's sealers make much more money from exporting seafood to the U.S. than they do from killing seal pups, and this gives us a lever.
Through the boycott, The HSUS and our supporters are sending a clear message to Canada's fishing industry. If the industry would like open access to our market, it needs to stop the commercial seal hunt.
To date, more than 800,000 individuals and more than 6,500 grocery stores, restaurants, casinos, and seafood suppliers in the United States have joined the seafood boycott.
Mario Batali, Cat Cora, and hundreds of other chefs are joined by compassionate companies, including Legal Sea Foods, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods.
All 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.
Boycott participants choose the terms of their boycott commitment. Some are boycott all seafood from Canada, some focus on seafood from sealing provinces (where sealing licenses are issued—this includes Newfoundland, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and PEI), 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, Protect Seals Coordinator, by email or at 301-248-3083 for more information.