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 with Rob Miskosky

Let It Be...

They call him Sir Paul McCartney. Something to do with being “knighted” by the Monarchy, a Monarchy that costs Canadians as much as $50 million per year. For what I’m not sure.

Especially since a poll suggests that only 30 percent of Canadians feel a connection to the Queen or Governor General. And 65 percent think connections to the Monarchy should end once the Queen dies.

But let’s not get started on the Royal Family.

My “beef” is with Sir Paul, not the Queen Mother.

Earlier this spring, the Canadian government announced the opening of the Canadian seal hunt, setting the allowable catch at 400,000 harp seals, 60,000 grey seals and 8,000 hooded seals. Last year, only 55,000 harp seals were harvested despite the 400,000 quota. The European Union ban on seal products is taking a heavy toll on the seal industry and having a huge impact on the lives of many Canadians, including our Inuit peoples and those of Greenland.

“The harp seal population is estimated at 7.3 million.”

Greenland and Denmark, along with Canada, have been appealing to the EU to lift the ban on seal products derived from seal hunting, which was imposed in 2009 and based on emotion, not facts.

A teary-eyed seal wins out evey time.

It is estimated there are 7.3 million harp seals patrolling our waters, more than three times as many as there were in the 1970s. The grey seal population is currently estimated to be at about 350,000 and the hooded seal at about 90,000. Quotas are reflective of population size.

Considering “energetic models indicate that individual grey seals require approximately 1-2 tonnes of prey annually (3-6 kg/day), depending on seal age and sex, and energy content of the prey mixture in their diet”, a lot of fish are being consumed, never mind what it must take to feed 7.3 million harp seals with adults averaging 1.6 metres in length and weighing 130 -150 kilograms (more than 330 pounds on the high end). It appears there is a large imbalance here between predator and prey.

But to hell with managing seal populations to help fisheries remain sustainable. Fish aren’t cute, seals are!

And forget about the thousands of Canadians, Inuit and Greenlanders dependent upon the seal hunt for their livelihoods; they can claim social security or sell ice cubes.

According to Sir Paul McCartney, “Canada’s brutal commercial seal hunt has begun, and once again thousands of baby seals will be shot and bludgeoned to make fur products that nobody wants or needs.”

And this bothers me, a multi-millionaire musician putting tremendous hardship on a less-fortunate people dependent upon a seal harvest to make their lives better, maintain their cultures and traditions. A sustainable harvest that has been economically devastated since the EU ban.

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea has a different thought than Sir Paul saying, “We continue to tell the truth about sealing, and the effects of seal populations on our marine ecosystems, and to combat misleading attacks on the hunt from radical animal-rights activists.”

The 72-year-old McCartney is quoted as once saying, “Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, ‘I am killing him – all for the passing pleasure it brings me’. Something inside me clicked. I realized as I watched him fight for breath that his life was as important to him as mine is to me.”

There is no doubt, Sir Paul is a radical animal-rights activist joined at the hip with the Peta-rds and sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong, affecting the lives of many along the way. And now he wants to stick it on the moon too!

Sir Paul wants to send images of cruelly treated animals to the moon to remind generations to come of how we presently treat animals.

McCartney has purchased a “memory box” that will contain images and Peta’s exposé on the meat industry, narrated by the singer. This “memory box” will be sent to the moon in 2025, as part of a project entitled Lunar Mission One. The plan, by British scientists, is to launch thousands of digital time capsules to the uninhabited planet.

Let it be, Paul, let it be.

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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