The idea of a west coast seal and sea lion hunt or cull popped up earlier this year. It seemed a bit strange, but that perhaps there was some internal logic: killing seals and sea lions who eat fish could help the beleaguered transient and at risk Orca populations, ensure that fish stocks remain healthy enough for commercial use, and maybe exploit a new market for seal- and sea lion-based products. But that’s not how science works. In fact, based on some research and the interview you’re about to hear, it seems that killing seals and sea lions would make things worse for Orca populations, potentially create new competition for commercially harvested fish, and cost tax payers millions in attempts to force a new market. Add on top of that the fact that all of this has been looked at on Canada’s east coast – and the millions sunk into that industry have yielded none of the desired results.
I wanted to talk to an expert about this, so I called up my good friend Sheryl Fink of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who has spent the better part of two decades defending Canada’s seals from exploitation.
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