Time to let the hunt go

The Telegram
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

CBC journalist John Furlong, who passed away earlier this month, will be sorely missed. Furlong cared deeply about the people of Newfoundland, and he was never afraid to tackle tough topics.

He spoke his mind but was respectful of others and helped to chip away at the stigmas of issues such as addiction, homosexuality and mental illness. Furlong was also a rare voice of logic on the issue of the annual commercial seal slaughter.

In a 2012 commentary, Furlong suggested that it was time to “pull the plug” on this dying industry. He noted that a Costco in St. John’s made more money in a weekend than the entire seal trade did in a year and said that letting the industry “limp along” was “not fair to the tradition of sealers, it’s not fair to Newfoundlanders, and it’s not fair to the  environment.”

With bans on seal fur firmly in place across Europe, Russia, the United States, and other countries, there is no remaining market for the pelts. The government has tried for years to establish a seal-meat market in China and Canada but to no avail.

The seal slaughter also, as Furlong rightly said, gives our country an “enormous black eye.”

In honor of this sometimes tough, but always fair, journalist, our elected officials should heed his words and start devising a practical exit strategy.

Lisa Marie

St. John’s

Organizations: Costco

Geographic location: Europe, Russia, United States China Canada

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • David boyd
    April 29, 2014 - 18:52

    Lisa, another case of someone not having a clue! Would you rather see a sensible , humane harvest of a renewable resource, or see those animals starve to death after outstripping the food supply. I shot a seal yesterday that had used up all of its fat reserve and was so skinny, it would have died a slow, painful death. John Furlong had his views on sealing, Which were not shared by many NL fishermen and sealers . Very sorry and shocked, even, to hear of John,s passing, as I was not even aware he was ill for some time. My condolences to his family

  • mainlander
    April 28, 2014 - 18:37

    What about the ugly animals? why aren't "animal rights" groups lobbying to save those? Because they don't look cute on a fundraising billboard. You won't see a poor, defenseless moose on a HSUS billboard trying to raise money. Seals are a cash cow because they are cuter than moose, caribou, codfish, deer, and any other species we hunt and EAT!! If seals were ugly, no one would care.

    • John
      April 30, 2014 - 09:35

      Funny that PETA hasn't taken on the plight of the alligator in the southern USA. An entire television show is dedicated to the "slaughter" of those poor defenseless gators. Odd that there arte no celebrity do-gooders railing against the gator hunt. I think it's high time that one of the celebrity do-gooders such as Paul McCartney or Pamela Anderson head on down to the Louisiana swamps and hug a gator. Now that I would pay money to see.

  • Dwayne Cull
    April 28, 2014 - 15:39

    Maggy Carter...It could not have been said any better!! It's time we stood up for something instead of being lead around by the nose to become something else that someone else wants us to be! Bravo!!

  • Maggy Carter
    April 28, 2014 - 13:24

    Your analogy with costco is apt Lisa Marie - if for all the wrong reasons. If we abandon principle, if we allow ourselves to succumb to browbeating and blackmail, if we forego the natural sustainable bounty of the land and sea, if we embrace the lowest common denominator depletive, destructive synthetic philosophy being thrust on us by all the costcos and walmarts of the world, then we will deserve the dependent, mundane, artificial existence that inevitably follows. You would have us capitulate to those who profit - not by the sweat of their brow as do honest Newfoundland fishers - but by the relentless manipulation and exploitation of misplaced public sentiment. The harvest of seals is much more than the modest opportunity for extra seasonal income to which it has been relegated by the anti-sealing fast-buck artists. It is a pivot point on which Newfoundlanders - and Canadians - can decide the kind of country in which we want to live. Is it to be one in which science, integrity, and human dignity prevail or one given over to the greed of shrill, dishonest, emotive exploiting manipulators of the mass media?

    • Johnny
      April 28, 2014 - 15:06

      Hear! Hear! Too bad the Lisa Marie's of this world will banish it from their minds. They don't want nor will they listen to the facts.

  • Henry Jefford
    April 28, 2014 - 07:54

    The seal hunt is not a sport its about regulating the massive seal population that is destroying the largest food source in the world, " THE NORTHERN FISH STOCK" This massive seal population is going up rivers after salmon, Crab fishermen has pulled up crab pots with dead seals stuck in the pots, NTV archives should have a Film of seals driving live cod fish upon the beach and people picking up live cod fish rooking ashore like capelin ,

    • Dolf
      April 28, 2014 - 12:29

      You're pizzin' against the wind Henry. These over zealous converts are not interested in reality. What grinds my crank is the thousands of Newfounderlander gravesites all over Europe, kids who went there to save their sorry and thankless asses.

  • Wrong Again
    April 28, 2014 - 07:49

    You got it wrong Lisa. The industry isn't dying, it's being killed, there is a difference. To be dying, it would mean that people are choosing not to buy seal products. The industry was doing fine until bans were put in place. To be clear, a "ban" denies consumer the freedom to choose. And it was done by politicians that gave into the lobbying by anti-sealing groups. It's an example of how a small special interest groups, armed with misleading information, can exploit a politicians fears to strip away the freedoms of the majority.