Film on importance of sealing industry wins award

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The Hidden Faces of the Seal Hunt film received a warm welcome at the Sustainable Hunt and Biodiversity Film Festival in Paris, winning the Audience Award, a news release notes.

The film features footage captured on the ice of the Magdalen Islands, as well as interviews with leading wildlife conservation experts, activists and the sealers themselves.

The film demonstrates the important impact the sealing industry has on rural sealers, who depend on that traditional activity for up to 35 per cent of their annual income. The film also explores the importance of conservation, biodiversity and animal welfare practices, which are of great importance to the industry as it continues to struggle against adversity in the public sphere.

The presentation was followed by a discussion with filmmaker Raoul Jomphe, and Magdalen Islands’s Sealers Association’s president, Denis Longuepee, who was very encouraged by the audience’s reaction to the film.

“After the screening, it became very apparent to me and Raoul that we had made an impact. On behalf of sealers everywhere, I would like to thank the audience for their support,” he said. “For too long, this debate has been framed by animal rights groups and extremists spreading misinformation about our industry. I think it’s time we gave the public the real facts, and let them decide for themselves.”

The sealer and the filmmaker met with French media at a press lunch organized by the Quebec’s General Delegation in Paris. They also visited the Brigitte Bardot Foundation where Christophe Marie, head of the office, agreed that an overpopulation problem should be addressed.

Sealers in Magdalen Islands are now preparing for this year’s commercial hunt. Roughly 600,000 seals where spotted just off the coast of the archipelago. Their number and proximity encouraged a record 250 new hunters to apply for a permit this year.

Organizations: Sealers Association, Brigitte Bardot Foundation

Geographic location: Magdalen Islands, Paris, Quebec

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  • Billy
    March 20, 2012 - 14:20

    WTF is "sustainable hunt and biodiversity film festival" and how could something that no one has ever heard of give a prestigious award? I Googled "sustainable hunt and biodiversity film festival " ... Nothing I wikipedia'd "sustainable hunt and biodiversity film festival " ... Nothing This sounds like media spin to me. So the film won a bogus award. Still hasn't changed my mind. There are better ways to make money.

  • Gil
    March 19, 2012 - 14:25

    Well said Steve! Yes, people are fed up of animalists lies. Seal are no different from other specie... there's an overpopulation and we need to control it. Will still do it the most humane way we can, but we'll still do it. Lacking this responsability would result in a big ecological disaster. Hunters ARE ecologists and rightfully so because they depend on those ressource to make a living.

  • Devon
    March 19, 2012 - 09:24

    There are more then 10 million Harp seals off the east coast of Canada. There are so many now that even the hunt is not controlling their numbers.

  • marcel
    March 16, 2012 - 18:08

    congratulation to film producers in the end the true about the seal hunt is shown to the face of the world ;)

  • Andre
    March 16, 2012 - 10:51

    In 05 I went with the SSCS to the ice flows to see this industry for myself. Oddly enough the DFO will arrest anyone who tries to witness or film this so-called harvest. What I sis see was cruelty and needless slaughter. I saw many wounded and half beaten animals dropped and abused. Some got away probably only to die of their wounds. The hunters have no ethical regard to the animals they beat. You can see that they enjoy inflicting the abuse. You don't have to be a "animal rights activist" to be shocked by its cruelty. Even by basic animal husbandry standards the Canadian seal hunt is medieval. So this film can win the academy award for as far as I am concerned. When any society has to resort to police enforced censorship in free navigation areas you can bet there is something to hide. Off of the Magdalen Islands it is animal abuse disguised as an industry.

    • Steve
      March 16, 2012 - 12:36

      Andre, you can witness the hunt. All you need to do is get an Observer's Permit. The SSCS often goes on with the lie you can't witness the hunt, it isn't true. What people get arrested for is harassing sealers and don't pretend the SSCS is there to document. On their last trip here their ship was confiscated and the Capt and 1st mate arrested and charged. The famous line from that incident is "We don't need no stinkin' permits" which was in regards to DFO offering them Observer's Permits because they didn't have any, That goes dead against the SSCS lie that they're impossible to get. They're supposed to be impossible to get for people who couldn't behave in the past or state their purpose for going there is to disrupt the hunt, but DFO offered them to the SSCS anyway.

    • steve
      March 16, 2012 - 17:46

      By posting your propaganda, brainwashed comments, it seems you (Andre) are the one who enjoys inflicting abuse.

    • Ford Elms
      March 19, 2012 - 12:30

      Given the fact that for over forty years the animal rights ndustry has been lying about the seal hunt, why should we believe anything you say? You went to the ice? Yeah, I bet. And you saw seals skinned alive too, I bet. How many more lies are you willing to spread defaming innocent people in order to feed your own ego? I wonder how many seals you have skinned alive to make the proaganda that feeds your ego and exploits our people. After all, that's what your industry does, it pioneered the use of animal snuff footage as a tool to exploit workers, and it still uses it to attack us, the Faroese, farmers, and fur producers. Opposing your industry is a social justice imperative. Exploiting innocent workers for profit is a fundamental attack on human rights and social justice. How do you sleep nights? What do you get out of trying to destroy the livelihoods and communities of innocent rural people? A misguided sense of moral superiority, no doubt. But those who exploit innocent workers for profit are not morally superior.