Fine dining is something that pushes the boundaries of what you use to once consider restaurant food. From escargot to frog legs, the fine dining menu always seems to surprise us. Now, a group of B.C. commercial fishers and First Nations are wanting to add seal meat to the list of fine dining foods. In order to do so, these Canadians are pushing the government to loosen the restrictions on seal hunting within B.C.
That's right, the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society is working towards getting the Government of Canada to allow First Nations and Fisheries along the B.C coast the ability to kill and harvest seals and sea lions for commercial use.
While seal hunting is currently allowed in parts of Atlantic Canada from November to May, it's still illegal to commercially hunt and harvest in BC. In Atlantic Canada, this harp hunting is used to mainly acquire seal pelts that can be sold abroad. Already, the federal government estimates that 66,880 harp seals and 1,612 grey seals were hunted in Canada in 2016.
If the government were to allow the harvesting of seal meat for commercial use, this number would rise significantly. Yet Thomas Sewid, the vice-president of the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society states that he expects there to be a huge consumer demand for sale meat since it's "the new beef of the sea,".
There are both positives and negatives to seal meat becoming the new beef. If the Government agrees to loosen the restrictions on seal hunting laws, up to 4,000 people could become employed in the commercial seal hunter industry.
Ken Pearce, the founder of the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society also states that it will help to restore the "historical balance" of seals within Canada since the seal population is now 10 times more than what it used to be in the 1970s.
However, the University of British Columbia marine mammal research director Andrew Trites disagrees completely.
Trites states that if we remove 50 percent of the seal population throughout Canada it can cause the killer whales in the area to starve. This is because the killer whale population is dependent on seals as one of their main food sources.
Representatives of the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society are scheduled to meet with the federal government this week to discuss the issue.
Source: CTV News