Labrador hunting and fishing group condemns shooting of tame seal

Published on September 12, 2017

A bearded seal like this one was shot recently near the Labrador Hunting and Fishing Association’s dock in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

©File Photo

HAPPY VALLEY - GOOSE BAY - Whoever shot a young seal near the Labrador Hunting and Fishing Association’s dock in Happy Valley-Goose Bay committed an act of cowardice, according to the association’s president.

Tony Chubbs, president of the LHFA, said the young seal that was found shot on their dock August 30 was a frequent visitor to the dock and very friendly.

“This seal was very much an attraction for parents and kids there. It was very much a tame seal; you could walk up close to him and take his picture. To me it’s pretty much an act of cowardice for someone to shoot a young seal that is very tame. Everybody else appreciated being able to see a live seal in nature in a very public spot.”

Chubbs said whoever shot the seal didn’t use the correct ammo and that’s how it managed to get away and drag itself onto the dock where it died, possibly hours after being shot, meaning the animal most likely suffered unnecessarily. Chubbs said that is an issue, but the bigger one is public safety since the area is very much open to anyone.

“It’s very accessible for people to walk around, a lot of people go down there birdwatching or just watching the boats go in or out,” he said. “It’s really not a place you want to be discharging any sort of a firearm.”

He said when this happened there was a large freight boat delivering salt to the community so there were a lot of truckers working around the clock on the dock, adding to the public safety concern.

“They probably hunted by opportunity and with very poor discretion. Whoever did do this, I wouldn’t call them a respectful hunter. In order to be a respectful hunter you have to respect those who don’t hunt.”

Department of Fisheries and Oceans officials removed the animal that morning and issued statement saying they are investigating the matter this as a potential violation under the Marine Mammal Regulations and/or the Fisheries Act and are unable to comment further as the investigation is ongoing.