Terrible treatment of turrs, murres

Published on March 1, 2016

Once again, I feel obliged to draw attention to the plight of the murre (turr) in Placentia Bay.  
Today, we must have seen the apex of an ever-increasing number of hunters in our area.  
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb. 24., Argentia looked like Toronto’s 401 at rush hour, with the arrival of some 93 trucks towing boats to be launched in pursuit of the lowly turr.

Add to these, another 25 or so from Jerseyside, and we've already exceeded 100 boats, and we haven't yet added the numbers of local boats, and Mother Nature did not offer any help to those birds with very low winds and little swell on the bay.    

Will this end only when the last bird is dead? Or will those, supposedly in authority, awaken from their hibernation and actually do something about the slaughter.

With the season ending on March 10, we are now coming to the “desperation part” of the season, where all those greedy hunters (for want of a better title), who have already exceeded their quotas 10 times over, will be out on the bay — yes, even in bad weather — to try and get the last few remaining birds for the season.  

This whole thing is shameful; it's despicable, not to mention destructive to what was for so long a great resource. Yet, it seems that we are willing to sit idly by and let it happen. Shame on us.

According to Google, in June 1840, three sailors hailing from the Scottish Island of St. Kilda, killed the last-known pair of great auks in Newfoundland.  

I wonder will some visiting hunters also go down in history for killing the last known pair of common murres in Placentia Bay?

Something must be done, and done before next-year's season, if in fact there are enough birds left in the bay to qualify for a legal hunt.


Walter Parsons