Date: November 18, 2006
One thing that has never ceased to amaze me in the sealing issue is how people will listen to those with no professional background over those who have backgrounds steeped in associated training and education. I know I have mentioned this before but I find it to be an incredible statement to the human condition when we replace intelligence with emotion. I find it incredulous when people pass off years of research by educated and experienced scientists because Paul Watson or Rebecca Aldworth say its wrong. In reality folks, these two have no background in seals or any other animal. They hang out with the herd for 2-3 weeks of the year. Watson barely drags his carcass off the boat and Aldworth is more concerned with dramatic video than studying seals. Don't get me wrong, they are experts. They are experts at playing to people's emotions and the media.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientists have been researching the harp seal for years. They have been constantly adapting their methods of calculating herd size and pup production. I will be the first to admit that these processes are not perfect but they are a hell of a lot more precise than what a bloated hate monger gathers from a chair on the deck of one boat. In one article Watson criticized DFO for making what he called "eyeball estimates" and went on to say,
"I was out there for two months this year. And I can tell you that there are not six million seals out there."
What kind of magical and wondrous piece of equipment did Non-Captain Pauly have for estimating seal populations? He was using his super duper magic binoculars. In his case, one could hazard a guess or two as to what these estimates could be called.

Pauly has also been known to quote population estimates found in records from Jacques Cartier's voyages to North America in the 1500s. Do you know why Pauly thinks these estimates are accurate while modern estimates derived from modern methods using modern equipment are wrong? Because he likes Jacques results. It is not the accuracy of tests and information that the anti-sealing groups are concerned with, it's whether the results say what they want them to say.
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