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

Quesnel RCMP looking for witnesses to a wheelchair turnover

They would like to speak with a Good Samaritan who helped out or some kids who may have witnessed

Quesnel Farmers’ Market is in full swing

The downtown market runs Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Forestry Ink: BC and Canadian pulp industry doing better

Regular columnist Jim Hilton looks at what is happening in the pulp and paper industry

Cottonwood House Historic Site opens with limited service for 2019

Capital upgrades are taking place at the site, but it’s still open to walkers, hikers and picknickers

Quesnel kung fu dojo holds tourney

Three clubs exhibited their skills for family, friends and instructors

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read