Video of B.C. fisherman tossing explosive at sea lions sparks controversy

A Facebook video from a group advocating for better control of marine life causes mixed emotions

A controversial video of a man tossing an explosive at a herd of sea lions on B.C.’s coast has surfaced on Facebook, renewing debates on legalizing a seal cull.

Thomas Sewid, a member of the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society shared the video Tuesday. The society, based out of Richmond, is a group of B.C. First Nations and commercial fisherman currently advocating to revive the seal and sea lion hunt on the west coast.

In the video, a man throws what appears to be a bear banger off the side of the fishing boat into a sea of herring and more than a dozen sea lions.

Once startled the flippered mammals start to dive into the water, before returning moments later.

READ MORE: Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

READ MORE: Fisheries Department says more staff on waters protecting whales in Canada

“This massive amount of sea lions diving on huge schools of thousands of tons of herring scares them to stay deep. This makes it so captains cannot catch herring, for they’re too deep for nets,” Sewid said in the post.

“Tenaciously these crews are doing all they can to get a set so they can get a representative herring samples to test. This is supposed to be a multi-million dollar fishery, yet stupid obsolete laws impede proper sampling of the herring stocks all due to too dang many sea lions!”

Sewid added that if the fishing vessel has a net full of herring, a startle from a herd of seals could cause the school of fish to dive down below, potentially capsizing the boat.

“This happens and large seine boats are pulled over,” Sewid said. “Yes, we have lost many fellow fishers when seiners capsize.”

The video has received support and outrage on social media.

READ MORE: Harbour seal found on Vancouver beach with 23 shotgun pellets in face

READ MORE: Scientists warn of ecosystem consequences for proposed B.C. seal hunt

In a tweet posted Wednesday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada condemned disturbing seals or sea lions, and reminded the public that using explosives is illegal.

The society wants the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to first expand Indigenous harvesting rights to include the commercial sale of the flippered mammals, Sewid said.

But biologists have been quick to argue against the need for a cull, saying that there is no data to suggest that a hunt would help salmon species.

The seal population has stabilized at around 105,000 across the B.C. coast since 1999.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

DFOseals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local political leaders outline supports for residents, business during virtual town hall

Hosted by Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, politicians at all levels explain supports, answer questions

Kimberley Alpine Resort restricts access following complaints of continued gatherings

Although Kimberley Alpine Resort has been closed since March 16, people have… Continue reading

Camping, motorized recreation banned at Koocanusa

Restrictions in effect immediately for spring and summer

Drive-by Easter Egg Hunt in Kimberley

Kimberley’s Summit Church wants local kids to continue to feel the Easter… Continue reading

Frustrated MLA begs out of province visitors to stay home

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok doesn’t understand why people aren’t listening to good advice

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read