Saturday, November 11, 2006

Seals Threaten Fish


Here is another reason why we need to cull the seal herd. By protecting them we have created an ecological imbalance. Opps. See there are consequences to our involvement in the environment, good or bad. And good intentions have consequences and some of them turn out not to be so good. Of course the bad also has consequences, such as mass destruction of the cod stocks not by seals but by trawler fishing.

Canadian Sealers Complain About Lack of Work; 'We Ain't Allowed Where the Seals Are'

Twenty years ago, he said, most fish plant workers found only one or two wormy fish per shift. Now, he said, fish are heavily infested. The worms come from seal feces, research has shown.

The quality of finished product suffers because fillets are sometimes only fit to be packaged as fish bits after the worms are picked out of them, said Mr. Wadman.

"When we do miss a worm, we get some very significant phone calls," he said.

Grey seals are even showing up at his plant, waiting by water outflow pipes hoping to snag bits of fish, Mr. Wadman said.

DFO scientist Mike Hammill said researchers sample seal feces and analyze stomach contents and also look at fatty acids in seal tissue to determine what the grey seals are eating.

Researchers determined that seals don’t always eat a lot of cod. Quite often, he said, the seals eat species that aren’t as commercially important, such sand lance and redfish.

But the amount of cod making up a grey seal’s diet can jump to a high of 40 per cent or a low of 10 per cent, depending on the location and time of year, he said.

The grey seal population is now estimated to be 260,000-strong in Atlantic Canada, up from 20,000 in the 1970s.

See:

Seal Hunt


Fishing


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2 comments:

Mark Francis said...

Seals cull adult fish which eat young cod.

The seal population was so low in the 1970s due to hunting.

There is much dispute over the parasite issue. I'm wary as these things get used to justify creating furhter hunting industry even if not justified.

eugene plawiuk said...

Yes it was low in the seventies due to hunting and now with the hunting restrictions applied the seals have boomed. Again my point about a good thing having bad results. As for eating cod as I said the seals are not responsible for the loss of cod stocks overfishing by large scale commercial trawlers, which the current government supports, are.
As for parasites this is also a problem with aguafarming of salmon, sea lice on farmed salmon are destroying wild salmon stocks.
Again my point about ecological balance becoming out of whack.