Respect for Animals Causes a Storm at the World's Largest Seafood Expo
"Boycott Canadian Seafood" was the unexpected chatter at the world's largest seafood trading event, the Brussels Seafood Expo, this week (3 May 2011).
A team from Respect for Animals caused a storm at the conference in a protest against the Canadian seal slaughter, giving out thousands of toy harp seals with information about the seal slaughter to expo visitors.
Our team talked to visitors, explaining that Canada’s commercial seal hunt is the largest and most brutal slaughter of marine mammals on Earth and that they can help stop it by using the power of their business, no matter how big or small.
Respect for Animals’ Mandy Carter said “We got our message out directly to fish buyers that they can help stop the Canadian seal hunt, a practice the world condemns, by pledged not to buy Canadian seafood until Canada ends the commercial seal hunt for good. We had a fantastic response from expo attendees – with many saying they were supportive of the campaign and wanting to know more!”
In just 10 years, over two million seal pups have been clubbed or shot to death for their fur. 95% of them are less than 3 months old and independent veterinary studies have concluded that it is one of the cruellest slaughters, with many seals skinned alive.
The Brussels Seafood Expo is the world’s largest seafood trading event with 1,600 companies from 80 countries trading. Killing seals is an off-season activity for fishermen. They make a tiny percentage of their income from killing seals. If forced to choose, they will end the hunt to protect their seafood income. The major seafood items imported by the EU from Canada are lobster, prawn and cod and most is caught in the sealing provinces, meaning buyers of seafood from Canada are likely buying seafood caught by sealers. Our message went out directly to those who can influence Canada.
To date, over 5,500 businesses have joined the boycott. They have pledged not to buy Canadian seafood until Canada ends the commercial seal hunt for good.