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Photos from the 2006 International Day of Protest Against Canada's Seal Hunt

March 16, 2006 | Seals

The protest was a great success! We had a huge turnout, with over 200 supporters who came out today-handing out all our flyers and getting all the postcards filled out by passerby. I was interviewed on camera by an AP reporter, so be on the lookout for coverage on TV. Nellie Mckay, the singer/songwriter/animal activist came to the protest and she was leading chants on the megaphone, and Joan (FoA staff) also led chants in five languages to represent the International support for the seals.

Photos by Edita Birnkrant.

Seal protest takes up entire NYC block
2006 seal protest, NYC
Nellie Mckay at the 2006 protest, NYC.
2006 seal protest, NYC
2006 seal protest, NYC
2006 protest, NYC. Nellie Mckay on megahorn.
2006 seal protest, NYC
Nellie Mckay and others at the 2006 protest, NYC.
2006 seal protest, Vancouver
A protest held in Vancouver, Canada, 2006.

Foreign tourism brought in $18 billion in revenue to Canada in 2004, with a large portion coming from New England visitors. 78 million dollars was spent to boost the tourism industry—a figure far larger than the annual revenues from dead seals ($16.5 million). A foreign-tourism boycott supported by national animal advocacy groups would put pressure where it belongs—on the Canadian government—to end the seal hunt and the federal subsidies that support it.

People throughout the world - especially Canadians - should insist that the Canadian government stop the hunt subsidies immediately. Use the funds to build a real economic foundation for Newfoundlanders. Canada banned whale killing, and the economy adjusted. It's long past time to end the seal hunt. Respect marine life, and Newfoundland's human residents.

Pamela Wallin, Canadian Consulate General
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY, United States 10020-1175
Telephone: 1.212.596.1628
Facsimile: 1.212.596.1790

The Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A2
Facsimile: 1.613.941.6900


i was at the Boston rally. we must work on a boycott of Canada untill the big boat owners and their DFO bureaucratic allies are forced to give up this savage practice.the sealers have become the poster boy of Canada.the propaganda of the DFO shows where political power lies in Atlantic Canada, with those who control and benefit from federal subsidies.the seals are the sacrifial lamb of this evil souless fraternity.pray for guidance and work to bring an END to the slaughter of baby seals. [Blog editors' note: True, it's a tourism boycott that will get the government's full attention. New Englanders represent a high percentage of tourists to Canada. Please help spread the message.]

I think it's awful that they are killing these animals.

Great job! I find this slaughter to be savage and incomprehensible, especially for Canada. And I am very willing to cease traveling to Canada. I know there are many Canadian citizens who would applaud the efforts of Friends of Animals, as well.

I find this whole issue disheartening. Perhaps unexpectedly though, I am saddened by the overt propaganda generated by groups like yourselves. What concerns me most is the wholesale bias toward saving seals, when there is very little compassion shown to the men and women whose ability to provide for their families is threatened by these types of boycotts. I don't pretend to have all the information as I am only an observer as yourselves. However, considering this protest is coming from New York, I imagine very few of the protesters have actually been to Canada's East Coast, or even seen a real live seal for that matter. The people involved in this seal hunt are not cold, hard murderers. What I take to be the more accurate scenario is that these are local people who make part of their living fishing. Now if you know anything about fishing you know that this is a dangerous and hard life. These people don't live in downtown condos nor do they see their families everyday. All they are trying to do by taking part in the seal hunt is make some off-season money so they provide for their families. It may not be inherently obvious, but you can't fish when the water is frozen. What are they to do should their ability to take part in this hunt be stopped? Will you provide the money for them to provide for their families in the fishing off-season? I suspect not. There simply aren't thousands of jobs waiting to be filled in the East Coast of Canada. I'd imagine (and not to be disparaging to East Coast Canadians) that a job is better than no job. So please stop cluttering up our magazines and newspapers with this nonesense about the seal hunt. If you think it's inhumane that's fine, but keep your opinion to yourself. You aren't educating people, you're actually mis-educating many. Go live in Canada's East Coast for a year (a full year, including the winter) and I guarantee you that your opinions will soften. Additionally, my earlier comment about propaganda stands. To the best of my knowledge, the white seal pup so brazenly portrayed on everything you publish is a gross misrepresentation. The white-coated seal is a baby harp seal. Canada banned hunting white-coated harp seals in 1987 (look it up). The official word is that young harp seals lose their white coat after about 12 - 14 days, at which point they are fair game to hunters. Start putting those bulbous grey, adolescent harp seals on your posters and I'll stop believing it's propaganda. Prove me wrong. P.S. I appreciate the "Blog Editor's" attachment on the posts that grab the readers attention. It's the shameless ability to respond when someone can't return the favour that strikes me as noteworthy characteristic of this valuable organization. [Blog editors' note: First, you happen to be writing to the only advocacy group we know that will publish a comment like yours. Second, we are also the only one that has specifically and continuously insisted that the government of Canada support opportunity and the right to meaningful work for its coastal residents. Perhaps what you would disagree on is whether killing seals -- once they are a mere two weeks old, no less -- is meaningful work. We take a clear stand on this; it's our job to do so. The president of this group has been to the seal kill itself, and before that, Alice Herrington, this group's founder, was there observing the killing as early as the 1960s. So, you indeed do not have all of the information. Thank your for your opinion.]

Dear everyone who loves seals and other animals and has a heart at the same time, I've just read the information that the Canadian government decided to go ahead with the brutal and inhumane slaughtering of baby seals. What a disgrace!! I'm absolutely appalled by their decision!!! If it rains tomorrow, then I know that that is mother earth crying over the loss of thousands of beautiful animals. ...Many children look up to their parents, so why not treat animals with some respect and humanity instead of slaughtering their babies??? I guess that what these heart-less people forget is that mother nature will have her revenge and when she does....guess who's going down first???

I am so disturbed by the fact that these seal hunts still go on in this day and age. What ever happened to compassion? God did not put animals on this earth for us to abuse and torture. I do not know how anyone could buy a product made from a seal pup after seeing such graphic pictures and video of what goes on with these hunts. We are all supposed to be one with the earth and we have no right as human beings to destroy God's precious animals. The people who care out these dreadful acts obviously have no soul!!!

I am greatly disheartened by the amount of ateention this issue is getting. Millions of people die each year of AIDS, and we are still worrying about what a few hard pressed fisherman do to feed their families. To say that the people who comit these acts have no soul, is an iggnorant comment to make. Have you ever met a NewFoundlander? Do you know how these people think? Besides, seals are viscious animals who steal fish from fisherman and will only cause problems if there are too many. This seal hunt as happened for millienias and has never had any problems. The iggnorance of some astounds me.

The Seal slaughter began this morning. At this moment seal pups are being bashed on the head on our own ice. What in God's name are we allowing to happen to this devine planet? Let's get together and ensure that this hunt is put to an end. Peace to all .

"..seals are viscious animals who steal fish from fisherman..." - cripes are you serious - we'd better all fear for our supper then. "...seal hunt has happened for millenias and has never had any problems..." - many barbaric acts and rituals of old are thankfully no longer present in today's cultured society, but not seal slaughter with clubs/spikes for sheer monetary greed. Don't get me wrong, if you have to cull animals then fine, but it's the barbaric/cruel way in which this is performed which is in question here.

Dear friends: My name is Marcelo Hoynowski, and, like you I'm an activist .I'm 12 years old, I live in New Jersey. This year, once again, I'm working "very hard" to bring some peace to the ice floes in Canada. With my allowance, I'm paying my own webpage (that I designed) and I'm raising money once again, but most important, I'm "spreading the word".Lots of people never heard of the Canadian seal hunt. I'm mostly interested in informing children like me. I want to believe that soon, the Canadian seal hunt will meet its end! Thank you, Marcelo Hoynowski , Blog editor's note: Thanks, Marcelo, for opposing the killing of all seals, and for the sale of their skins as furs. Please do oppose the sale and wearing of all fur. Also, you can promote a tourism boycott of Canada until the Candian government halts the massacre and takes responsible action to provide Newfoundlanders with other livelihoods.