The seal hunt and its direct impact on tourism

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My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year and we decided to surprise them, having booked a family cruise on Holland America.

Our cruise was to depart this September and included both Quebec and Halifax on the itinerary.

We are a total of 10 adults and eight children.

Changing plans

We have changed our plans, and while we will still take our cruise, we cannot, in good faith, include any ports in Canada.

We cannot spend our tourism dollars in Canada whilst your government continues to allow the slaughter of thousands of baby seals along the East Coast.

We are also avid skiers and, for the past five years, enjoyed taking our entire family on a winter holiday to Mont Tremblant. As much as we have enjoyed our time there, we have decided not to return next season.

Other action

My three children, all of whom attend large universities here in the U.S., have taken to Facebook to urge their friends to commence a letter-writing campaign to Kim Lopdrup, the president of Red Lobster.

We are urging Mr. Lopdrup to stop purchasing any Canadian seafood until Canada takes action to prevent this unspeakable, inhumane and horrific practice.


Lynn Myerson

New York

Organizations: Red Lobster

Geographic location: Canada, Holland America, Quebec Halifax East Coast Mont Tremblant U.S.

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Recent comments

  • david
    April 23, 2013 - 23:23

    Good for you Linda! Good for you! So...that's about it then, isn't it? You take care now, Lynette. Bye.

  • Ron Tizzard
    April 20, 2013 - 12:02

    Lynn, are you and your family members pure vegetarians? Do you eat any meat products whatsoever? If you do eat meaat products, at all, even as must close you eyes and mind to your brand of ethics? Any fresh meat products come from animals...or, even potted meat any animal by-product, how any of them die is not 'pretty'. That said, don't be hypocritical in your remarks. Lettuce again, tonight! Come visit Newfoundland, we are not barbarians, you will be most welcomed, and pleased with it peoples. You'll discover that we eat lettuce here as well...and that too, is healthy....agreed.

  • Ron Tizzard
    April 20, 2013 - 10:42

    Lynn, we will miss you...really! Your decision will most certainly be your loss...not Canada's. We have a strong economy, and I feel certain we will survive the loss of your few dollars, you mentioned. Do you eat seafood Lynn? Do you eat any kind if meat? Do you eat anything that breathes, or filters minute biomass livyers...What do yuo survive on Lynn....bread? My only suggestion to you Lynn is 'to grow-up;'; don't be so childish and critical of others. Please let me have a sense of your every-day, more regular, uncensored foodstuffs....unless you are a purist, a true vegetarian. I'm calling you out, and asking you to share what you eat on a more regular, everyday basis. If you are not prepared to do that...and not suggest it's lettuce day in, day are a prudish freud. In any event I accept your prejudice towards me ...though you know nothing of ordinary Canadian...a Newfoundlander...visit us sometime, perhaps we can share bread, and tea. Otherwise there's always somebody on the face of this small globe, ready and willing to judge any of the rest of us, on the basis of their own blind narrow-mindedness. That said, I really do wish you and yours a very pleasant journey. My e-mail is me a line sometime.

  • Skeptical Cynic
    April 20, 2013 - 07:22

    The U.S. had the sense to ban decades ago products derived from an activity that was primarily motivated by a gruesome vanity i.e. the fur fashion industry. The Canadian government promoted it because it saved them a few sheckels in pogey they'd otherwise have to send out around the bay.. meanwhile the feds bartered away to foreigners, and derelicted their duty of stewardship of, the Grand Banks cod stocks by entering into sham treaties to save face with European countries that would have taken what they wanted anyway because Canada had neither the the means nor backbone to stop them. As cod stocks dwindled, this indirectly resulted in prolonging an alternative industry that should’ve gone the way of the chariot race long ago, this in the face of growing international outrage with NLers ultimately being portrayed as barbarians. Fortunately the market will resolve the issue of this antiquated, dying industry. The bad press internationally just isn't worth it anymore, silly notions such as "heritage" be damned.

  • Petertwo
    April 20, 2013 - 07:16

    Americans have been coming to Canada for centuries to fish for many species. Here, particularly, for Atlantic salmon because they destroyed nearly all the Atlantic salmon that they once had in abundance. So who are they to preach to us? Maybe it is better they stay home and work on their own problems.

  • Happily Retired
    April 19, 2013 - 16:49

    Newfoundlanders have no reason to apologize to Americans for anything. If the petty minded writer of this letter cared to complete some basic research, she would know that her facts on the seal hunt are wrong. We certainly don't gain as much economically from the seal harvest as the environmental industry in the good old USA. It's too bad that she conveniently forgets that Newfoundlanders have been extremely good to Americans when they were in trouble. Maybe we should remind her of the USS Pollux and USS Truxton which sank on the Burin Peninsula in WWII where numerous American sailors were saved by Newfoundlanders, and where some African American servicemen learned that the racism and hatred they expected in their own country didn't exist everywhere. Perhaps she could think back to 9/11 when American planes were eager to land in a safe place and chose Newfoundland. But I guess that facts can't trump the big environmental industry, now can they.

  • Barbara wood
    April 19, 2013 - 15:34

    Oh Lynn, whatever were you thinking when you wrote this. I think my first reaction was dismay. Then I became really sad. As the grandmother of a beautiful two year old American boy I spend part of each day wishing my daughter and son in law could find work in Canada where he would be safe. I have nightmares of him going to school in the US where children can be blown to bits but some maddened individual with a machine gun. I guess he'd be quite safe if he were a seal. I feel sorry for you and the people who have to deal with you on a daily basis.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    April 19, 2013 - 09:14

    Well now, we have to listen to advice from people from a country with such a perfect moral compass as the good old USA. Lynn I guess you should do plenty of research before you decide to travel within your own country. I am sure that we will manage to survive here in Canada if your family decides not to visit. Oh, by the way you may want to stop driving, or flying as well, as much of your fuel is made from Canadian crude oil. But I guess that is a different story now isn't it?

  • Hank
    April 18, 2013 - 19:20

    It"s a sin for people to be so misinformed to the purpose of a seal cull or seal Hunt There are Many, Many seals of the east coast of Canada destroying the largest food source in the world, Not only Canada but the ships that fished on the Great Grand Banks Of Newfoundland for Hundreds of years should unite to save the largest food supply in the world, being destroyed by the Great Seal Herd, that is in the many many hundreds of Millions . The NTV news should have a film which was shown on a News Broadcast of seals hunting like a pack of wolves, the films show seals forcing live cod fish upon the beach and people picking up live Cod Fish on the beach, Fishermen in that area said the ocean floor in the small cove was 5-6 feet deep with dead fish with their belly torn out, It is said the seals only eat the fish livers So people all over the world which fished the grand banks of Newfoundland for Cod which is now in danger because of the large seal herd which is destroying the greatest food supply in the world should unite and voice your support for a seal cull to reduce the large No. of seals that is destroying the largest food source in the world both salmon & Cod , Fishermen also hauled up crab pots with seals stuck and drowned in the mouth of the crab pot while trying to get at the crab in the pot , the crab in pot had the head eaten off the seal. so it is not only Cod Or Salmon it's all types of fish in the sea and rivers being destroyed by the Large Seal Herd which is destroying not only cod and Salmon But all kinds of fish , if the great seal herd is not reduced it will destroy all the fishery. The seals are not cute little animals, Their Hungry and will destroy the oceans and rivers if not regulated and kept under control

    • NL
      April 19, 2013 - 14:45

      Excellent comment, I couldn't have said it any better.

  • vrp
    April 18, 2013 - 19:00

    Yep, them "baby seals" can really get to an animal lover, all 250k that the quota allows. Speaking proportionality, it must be really difficult visiting your own country. The Crazy States kill 11.8 million mink each year, and very few of them end up in the Colonel's kitchen, Most - well, just the fur - is shipped off to China, Korea, etc in return for $240,000,000. Nice industry. Your cats, yeah those marvelously harmless pets y'all dote on down there, kill 4B birds each year, and 20B small animals. But, of course, cats always kill humanely - after toying with the prey in harmless fun. You slaughter 10.3 Billion farm animals every year, many of which you feed to your dogs and cats. Gee, you must be such nice people to love animals as you obviously do.

  • Anon
    April 18, 2013 - 16:57

    Dear Lynn: I'd like to take this time to let you know that I will not be visiting America nor will I support any American products until the United States Government stops illegal drone strikes, illegal occupations and the systematic imperial annexation of the middle east. The cruel and inhumane practices have resulted in more civillian deaths including women and children than there are seals in Canada.

  • Tommie Ozbum
    April 18, 2013 - 14:50

    Ms Myerson you come from such a perfect nation. So peaceful and orderly and never one for sending drones to bomb villages with innocent children and adults. Just how perfect you all are down there in the USA.

  • Maggy Carter
    April 18, 2013 - 13:47

    Very well said Ed. I cringe when I watch the industrialized world move further and further from an ecologically and environmentally friendly, economically sustainable, natural way of life toward an ever more synthetic, stressful, destructive one. The reality is that species such as the harp seal and the caribou are threatened far more by industrial waste than by overhunting. I understand your reticence to dunk lobsters but I'm not sure it's any worse than the alternatives. A while back I spent some time with an Italian chef whose favourite dish was lobster linguini. When it came time to add the lobster to the sauce, he took a sharp knife, split them down them down the back, and threw them into the large fry pan. I was surprised to see each half crawl away in a separate direction.

  • Chantal
    April 18, 2013 - 13:34

    They're not babies; they're pups, or whitecoats which are exempt from the hunt. And I won't be visiting the US either until you get that creeping fascism thing under control. You might want to look at that first.

  • Jon Smith
    April 18, 2013 - 13:20

    Lynn, I hope you are not wasting all your do-good work for nothing. The animal welfare fund leaders have made billions given by wealthy americans who are as ill informed as you. We only wish that your efforts will keep only a small portion of the billions spent by Canadians tourists to prop up American struggling economies at home. So keep up your good work.

  • mainlander
    April 18, 2013 - 11:29

    By that logic, we won't visit the US because you hunt deer. Why is it ok to hunt deer but not seals? If the animal rights groups went after the deer hunt, they wouldn't make 1 cent because your hunters would not stand for it. Either you are against all hunts or none. You can't rate them based on the cuteness of the animal. And I won't even get started on nasty, inhumane US factory farms.

  • Red
    April 18, 2013 - 11:00

    Don't worry Lynn we don't need tourists like yourself anyway. Who travels to a country and tries to change their traditions and way of life? It would be different if seals were endangered or something but they are overpopulated and are decimating fishstocks that they need for food as well as people. They are in rivers, streams, and ponds eating trout and salmon and every other kind of fish they come across. If you don't like the way we do things in Canada than I suggest you vacation elsewhere, and goodluck finding places where you agree with all of the customs.

  • Christopher Chafe
    April 18, 2013 - 10:47

    Here is 1 Newfoundlander who agrees with this lady's position!!

    • Ron Tizzard
      April 20, 2013 - 11:00

      I respect your position to do so Christopher, as I do respect the lady's position to do so, as I mentioned. Can you share a little sense of what you eat on any average day...Chris? Fish, jigs dinner, how about flippers (in season), bologna...any other delicacies! What's your understanding of Lynn's position, by the way, if I may ask?

  • Ed Power
    April 18, 2013 - 10:15

    If you can afford ski vacations, sea cruises, and put three children through the hugely expensive US college system, Lynn, then I'm afraid you just don't get it. When you have some real life experience working in a seasonal industry on the far edge of the continent, come back and we'll have a chat. I would suggest, though, that if your family wishes to change the world, they might just want to start at home. You might start with the US Defence sinkhole that consumes a trillion of your dollars a year - when the alphabet soup of Intelligence agencies and Black Budgets are included - and which maintains troops in over 1000 bases in 130 countries around the world. You should also note that the presence of these troops in these countries was, and is, one of the primary reasons you have been fighting the "War on Terror" for the past decade. You want to know why you pay the most money for the least medical coverage in the industrialized world? Look no further than the Pentagon. Another area where you and your family might like to direct your attention is the US firearms industry and the way it funds and controls your politicians. The number of people killed in the US since Newton is 3514....and counting. So, while I do respect your right to publicize your comments, I think you have more than enough problems of your own at home to occupy your attention. In the interest of true disclosure, I have eaten seal three times in my life, wear no seal based products (too expensive for my plebian income) and, even though I lived in PEI for six years where lobster is king, I have never eaten lobster, and find the practice of boiling a creature to death appalling.

  • Casey
    April 18, 2013 - 08:54

    So your ok with boiling lobsters alive but it is not ok to kill seals, and this from a vegetarian. Where do you people get off with your holier than thou attitude that is grounded on your baseless emotions and not a glimmer of common sense? I sure hope you get your reality check real soon.

  • Whoop de do
    April 18, 2013 - 08:23

    Who cares? We have no problems attracting tourists or selling our products. BTW, my family doesn't visit the US where guns are more important than children, and where people are locked away in military prisons without trial. You don't need to leave your address because we already know it's "Glass House".

  • Jay
    April 18, 2013 - 08:23

    Boo Hoo. I guesss you won't be going to Iraq or Afghanistan where your country has slaughtered thousands of humans either.