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article imageThe Hunt is On: Canadian Officials Hope to Kill 270,000 Harp Seals

By Lisa Angotti     Apr 2, 2007 in Environment
Seal hunting season opened today in Canada, but the seals are unusually scarce due to warmer temperatures and melting ice.
In Ottawa, Canada, just a few boats left port today in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence for the opening of Canada's annual seal hunting season. But animal rights activists have said that the ice where 20 percent of the Atlanctic herd's population lives, has turned to mush, probably as a result of global warming. Ice in the northern section of the gulf remains intact, however.
"To our knowledge, there are a couple of vessels out there. But we have not yet heard of any sealing activity," fisheries department spokesman Phil Jenkins said.noting that "seals are scarce" there this season because of poor ice conditions.
Hunters in Canada have killed one million harp seals in the last three years. Protesters from Europe and Canada have been working to raise awareness of the cruel seal killings, but Ottawa officials claim that the commercial hunt is not threatening the seal population which has exploded to nearly 5.5 million over the past 30 years.
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