Seals at Whinnyfold

Seals at Whinnyfold

John Robins, Animal Concern. Aberdeen Voice article March 2014

Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd is Scotland’s largest commercial salmon netting company, operating stations on the country's North and East coasts, including two at Gamrie Bay on the Moray Firth. On average 10 seals are shot every week in Scotland. Over 1000 seals have been slaughtered in Scottish waters to protect commercial salmon farming and their nets in the last two years. In 2013, twenty seals were shot in two weeks by Usan employees at their Gamrie Bay stations. Residents of the former fishing villages of Gardenstown and Crovie complained that they'd been under siege from fishermen shooting seals in open, public view. Anti-seal shooting activists the Seal Protection Action Group (SPAG) wanted Usan to undertake trials of acoustic seal-scaring devices in Gamrie Bay. SPAG then asked potential tourists to stay away from North-East Scotland after TV presenter Neil Oliver, the face and voice of VisitScotland’s £350,000 "Surprise Yourself" initiative, launched a campaign promoting Scotland as a top location for watching wild creatures (being murdered). The VisitScotland campaign highlights Scotland’s "Big 5" animals to see – red deer, otter, red squirrel, golden eagle and harbour seal. The initiative is geared to draw more visitors to Scotland from the rest of the UK and Ireland.

Usan's intimidation and trigger-happy activities continued (unabated and largely out-of-control) at Gamrie. On April 22nd 2014, with the Hunt Saboteurs Association joining an environmentalist camp at Gardenstown, campaigners threatened to form a human shield around the seals. Usan announced that it was removing firearms from its operations after their contracted, licensed marksmen were confronted at the harbour by eco-activists from protest group Sea Shepherd, many just back in Britain after a campaign against whalers in Japan. Seal killers threaten Sea Shepherd crew Usan say it will in future rely on non-lethal control measures - erecting barriers and using acoustic devices to deter seals from going near their (strengthened) nets.

Global markets for seal products are closing, but brutality against baby seals continues on Canada's east coast, where spring heralds the beginning of the annual commercial seal hunt. In this disgraceful industry, fishermen cruelly bludgeon and shoot baby seals for their fur, leaving many wounded and suffering in agony. In 1983 the European Union banned the importation of products from harp seal and hooded seal pups. Canada was then forced to ban the killing of newborn harp seals (whitecoats). But in 1996 the Canadian government massively subsidised a fresh hunt, allowing sealers to kill the pups when they were just a few days old and had begun to shed their white fur.

An eye-witness reports:- “Live seal pups are being impaled on steel hooks and dragged onboard sealing vessels while still conscious; wounded baby seals are escaping into the water where they will die a slow death; baby seals are crying out in agony after being shot in the face. More than 10,000 baby seals have been slaughtered in just a few days. Global warming is causing the baby seals' ice habitat to literally melt from under them. Many of these defenceless pups are being forced into open water before they are old enough to survive there. Unbelievably, the Canadian government is allowing sealers to club and shoot the pups that live through this ice disaster.'

Morrisey on seal shooting, Rolling Stone

There's another (sad) story involving seals, 'Fishing at the Ythan estuary', in my North-East Scotland gallery.
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Seals at Whinnyfold

Seals at Whinnyfold

John Robins, Animal Concern. Aberdeen Voice article March 2014

Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd is Scotland’s largest commercial salmon netting company, operating stations on the country's North and East coasts, including two at Gamrie Bay on the Moray Firth. On average 10 seals are shot every week in Scotland. Over 1000 seals have been slaughtered in Scottish waters to protect commercial salmon farming and their nets in the last two years. In 2013, twenty seals were shot in two weeks by Usan employees at their Gamrie Bay stations. Residents of the former fishing villages of Gardenstown and Crovie complained that they'd been under siege from fishermen shooting seals in open, public view. Anti-seal shooting activists the Seal Protection Action Group (SPAG) wanted Usan to undertake trials of acoustic seal-scaring devices in Gamrie Bay. SPAG then asked potential tourists to stay away from North-East Scotland after TV presenter Neil Oliver, the face and voice of VisitScotland’s £350,000 "Surprise Yourself" initiative, launched a campaign promoting Scotland as a top location for watching wild creatures (being murdered). The VisitScotland campaign highlights Scotland’s "Big 5" animals to see – red deer, otter, red squirrel, golden eagle and harbour seal. The initiative is geared to draw more visitors to Scotland from the rest of the UK and Ireland.

Usan's intimidation and trigger-happy activities continued (unabated and largely out-of-control) at Gamrie. On April 22nd 2014, with the Hunt Saboteurs Association joining an environmentalist camp at Gardenstown, campaigners threatened to form a human shield around the seals. Usan announced that it was removing firearms from its operations after their contracted, licensed marksmen were confronted at the harbour by eco-activists from protest group Sea Shepherd, many just back in Britain after a campaign against whalers in Japan. Seal killers threaten Sea Shepherd crew Usan say it will in future rely on non-lethal control measures - erecting barriers and using acoustic devices to deter seals from going near their (strengthened) nets.

Global markets for seal products are closing, but brutality against baby seals continues on Canada's east coast, where spring heralds the beginning of the annual commercial seal hunt. In this disgraceful industry, fishermen cruelly bludgeon and shoot baby seals for their fur, leaving many wounded and suffering in agony. In 1983 the European Union banned the importation of products from harp seal and hooded seal pups. Canada was then forced to ban the killing of newborn harp seals (whitecoats). But in 1996 the Canadian government massively subsidised a fresh hunt, allowing sealers to kill the pups when they were just a few days old and had begun to shed their white fur.

An eye-witness reports:- “Live seal pups are being impaled on steel hooks and dragged onboard sealing vessels while still conscious; wounded baby seals are escaping into the water where they will die a slow death; baby seals are crying out in agony after being shot in the face. More than 10,000 baby seals have been slaughtered in just a few days. Global warming is causing the baby seals' ice habitat to literally melt from under them. Many of these defenceless pups are being forced into open water before they are old enough to survive there. Unbelievably, the Canadian government is allowing sealers to club and shoot the pups that live through this ice disaster.'

Morrisey on seal shooting, Rolling Stone

There's another (sad) story involving seals, 'Fishing at the Ythan estuary', in my North-East Scotland gallery.
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer: