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  

Just Posted

Port Alberni cadet learns outdoor skills at Vernon camp

Outdoor skills some of leadership learning activities at annual summer camp

Vandals break windows in Port Alberni heritage train cars

Damage in the thousands of dollars, says Industrial Heritage Society

Fire destroys mysterious travel trailer in Port Alberni alley

Port Alberni Fire Dept. security cameras capture start of fire

Port Alberni wants to bring back bed races for annual Salmon Fest

Veteran racer recalls thrill of racing a handcrafted bed through city streets

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read