According to a survey conducted in 2014, the Northwest Atlantic harp seal population is healthy and abundant with an estimated population of 7.4 million animals, over three times what it was in the 1970s. The total population of gray seals in eastern Canada increased from approximately 13,000 animals in 1960 to 505,000 animals in 2014.
The population is at the highest level seen in over 30 years and is in no way an “endangered species”.
Canadian Seal Oil
This is not 1970 as certain fundraising groups would have you believe. Groups who raise large amounts of money perpetuating that lie that baby seals are being clubbed to death for their pelts. This fundraising is based on three lies, that baby seals (whitecoats) are harvested, that the harvest is inherently inhumane and that the seal population is threatened. None of these are true, but fundraising off of pictures of baby seals, and cartoons of a baby seal crying are low hanging fruit. Which is unfortunate for both the seal and their habitat, because both are suffering greatly from the “protection” animal rights activists are creating.
They use the money they raise to pay salaries, and lobby politicians. The seal hunt is the number one issue lobbied with the Prime Minister. None of these monies raised go towards research on protecting the animals, or efforts to protect the seals environment. The money raised goes towards raising more money. And the seals not only do not benefit from your donations, they are, in fact, hurt by them, as well as the whales, cod and other species they share habitat with.
Politicians and pundits largely condemn the seal hunt to be popular. Most have no idea that the harvest is a vital part of the local ecology, to maintain the seal herd health and vigor. As well as the health of the population of the animals that live alongside the seal, such as whales and cod. And while the Cod fishery has been closed to try and help the stock recover, seal eat more than 50 times as much as the commercial fisherman take.
The seal hunt in 2022 is humane, ethical and environmentally friendly. All the animals are harvested by licensed and trained fishermen. Some of the animals are taken with ancient methods, a Hakapik, a Norwegian tool adopted in Canada for its effectiveness and humane action, which has been confirmed by multiple studies by veterinary experts. Most of the animals are harvested using the same technique for wolf, deer or moose culls, high powered rifles. Again, this technique is instant and painless when used by a trained professional. This is a far more humane method than those used for dispatching most commercial animals that end up on your table or in your pet’s food bowl.
The hunt is strictly regulated within government requested quotas. Yes, that’s right, government requested harvests. The current seal herd has reached unsustainable levels. This is due to reduced numbers of predators (polar bears, sharks, orca), climate change, and other protections they have lived under for the last 50 years. Current quotas to try and stabilize the herd are set at 400,000 animals, yet the annual harvest is less than one tenth of that amount. With the Harp Seal herd now reaching 10 million animals, living in an environment that until a few decade ago housed roughly one fifth that number, there is a serious depletion of resources, namely, food.
Their main food is capelin, a small fish that is also the main food of whales, cod and other threatened species. With the overpopulation of seal, these capelin stocks are at record lows, putting all the animals that use them as food at risk, including seal.
Throughout the world, unregulated hunts have threatened the population of certain marine mammals, most visibly whales. With this in mind, the US and Europe enacted broad restrictions on harvest and trade of marine mammals and parts. These laws do not take into account individual species and whether their populations are at risk, but rather prevent the trade in any mammal that lives in the ocean.
This ban on trade is why you probably have never heard of using seal oil for your pets. Most of our knowledgebase on nutrition comes from the US or Europe. With seal oil banned there, nutritionists do not have access to the product, and hence cannot experience its wonders.
The restriction in trade is also tragic for the seal herds, because this tremendously limits the market for the animals, thus limiting the harvest. This potentially leaves animals to die from starvation, and fisheries to be depleted, becoming unable to sustain the herds, not to mention the effect on commercial fisheries and most importantly, some very endangered species.
This bears repeating. Yes, seal are killing whales and other threatened species. Not directly, but indirectly, by depleting the food sources through their overpopulation. The decimation of capelin alone that the seal herd has created puts so much more at risk. Whales, Cod, and other species, both endangered animals and commercial fisheries, are reliant on a strong population of capelin. Which the seal herd is destroying.
With some seal populations increasing fivefold over the past few decades, population control though harvest is necessary, what some would refer to as a “cull”. With everyone looking today for “free range, organic, wild caught, sustainable, humanely harvested” products, Canadian Seal ticks every single one of those boxes. And add in “supports indigenous communities” on top. So, bringing the seal herd back to even the level it was 2 decades ago would make great strides to saving the whales and fisheries. And, at no time, would the seal population be in danger of becoming threatened, or endangered.
In seal oil, we have a product that is everything we are looking for from a sourcing side, and everything we are looking for and more from a nutritional side. For pets, EPA and DHA are the big buzzwords for Omega 3 supplementation. Most brands of Omega supplements have confusing charts of how much of each of these are in the products, many times hiding the facts that there just isn’t that much in them. Canadian seal oil is very transparent in that department, showing exactly what is in the oil.
But wait, there’s more. Remember I said EPA and DHA are what our pets need from an Omega supplement? Well, Canadian seal oil goes one further. It is also a significant source of DPA. This is the game changer. DPA is amazing, it has been shown to increase absorption of Omega oils, it has incredible anti-inflammatory benefits, and is linked to healthier microbiome. For humans and pets alike, Canadian Seal Oil is the perfect Omega supplement. And no fishy aftertaste.
These are results we have verified though our personal experience in using seal oil omega 3 supplements. But don’t just believe us. There are ongoing studies going on in universities around the world, and the results are so far are encouraging, and we hope that full studies will be published soon, confirming how beneficial DPA is as an omega 3 supplement. Until those results are published, we will just have to believe our own eyes.