Harp seal hunt quota set at 400,000

Conservation groups say the federal Fisheries Department is acting “recklessly” by setting an annual harp seal quota of 400,000 animals at a time when markets are drying up and the population is suffering.

HALIFAX — Conservation groups say the federal Fisheries Department is acting “recklessly” by setting an annual harp seal quota of 400,000 animals at a time when markets are drying up and the population is suffering.

Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society International said Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield is ignoring scientific advice that the quota should be lowered this year because of poor ice conditions and declining stock.

On Tuesday, the department’s website listed this year’s annual harp seal total allowable catch at 400,000, which is the same as last year.

“This is a reckless quota,” Aldworth said.

“To us, it’s clear DFO is not acting according to conservation principles, but rather to promote the political agendas of the politicians involved.”

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