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Photography of Wildlife & Natural Areas of Newfoundland, Harp Seal.

Harp Seal ( Phoca vitulina )


Badger Bay

This young seal pup known
locally as a "raggedy jacket"
has just lost its white coat.

The main herd "pups" in mid
march and the whitecoats can
often be found along shorelines
in great numbers where the
coast is inundated with ice.

"raggedy jacket"

Much ado...

The harp seal controversy as served has a cash cow for environmental groups attempting to raise money for their international organizations. A less publicized truth is that the entire ocean ecology is in grave danger. The exclusive protection of one predator species has only led to a more pronounced imbalance in a system that as suffered decades of human abuse. Any species human or otherwise, given the opportunity, will attempt to dominate the habitat to their own detriment. Natural systems have the means to limit reproduction and maintain an equilibrium to the benefit of all of their components. Animals should be respected and humane harvesting practices have to be maintained. However it is wrong for well intentioned supporters of conservation groups to assume that issues of this type are black and white. The local resentment towards some conservation groups because of their attacking of local culture while all but destroying the sealing industry hurts the legitimate conservation efforts of local groups.

With the prospects of such modern day phenomenen as global warming, soil erosion, and epidemic mad cow and hoof and mouth disease, the importance of fish resources as a global food source is even more significant. The island was settled because of its proximity to the worlds richest fishing grounds in the Northwest Atlantic. The traditional inshore harvest was a model for sustainable resource use and economic independance. Federal and foreign interests have destroyed this gift to the world and a superior way of life. The native people and the animals have all been pawns in a larger game. The world should not judge the victims of greed and environmental abuse as harshly as it judges its perpetrators.

...about seals

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