I’m here in Sydney with the HSI team, getting all my gear ready for tomorrow.  I was really hoping the seals would be spared again this year, as they were last year.  But it’s not to be.  Tomorrow’s weather forecast is favourable for the sealers so they’ll be heading out to Hay Island first thing in the morning, intent on killing every moulted pup they find. 

When they set foot on Hay Island with their clubs and guns we will be there too, with our cameras.  We will be intent on filming the cruelty of this slaughter and sharing it with the world in order to shut markets down once and for all.

It is a small comfort to know that many young pups have already moulted and swum away to safety.  There are still, however, unfortunate babes that will fall victim to these sealers and their bloodlust.  One ordinarily would wonder why they’re bothering to go at all.  Dingwall baby seal killer Robert Courtney had boasted to media he had a buyer for all 1,900 pups.  However, they waited so long to go to the island that most of the pups have gone.  They had been held up by bad weather but Monday was a perfect day yet they had failed to go.  Why? 

It’s strangely reminiscent of 2009 when the deal fell through and it looked as if there would not be a slaughter on the island.  The Fur Institute orchestrated a hasty deal, with Newfoundland’s Nu-Tan Furs offering to purchase 200 skins for “fabric samples for potential buyers” (the purchase monies, no doubt, came from the federal government).  This allowed the sealers to do what they love to do – bludgeon baby seals to death - and facilitated the study of the effectiveness/humaneness of using wooden bats on thick-skulled grey seal pups.  It was so obviously a setup – a “bailout for the boys.”  I suspect, personally, this is what is happening now.  I suspect as the sealers go to Hay Island, they’re not concerned about all the pups that have made their escape; they’re not concerned they won’t reach the quota of 1,900.  Their sole purpose is to blow the heads off 100 seal pups in an gruesome experiment simply because Fur Institute of Canada director / wildlife pathologist Dauost thinks it might be a more humane way to kill seals.

Tomorrow is going to be a long hellish day full of images and sounds that will likely haunt me for the rest of my days.  But it has to be done.  We will end this.  Everyone knows there’s no future to Canada’s sealing industry.  Even its most ardent fans know it deep in their stony hearts – it’s over.  Very soon, in the near future, grey seals in Nova Scotia will be protected and valued not for the price their skin fetches but for the price a tourist will pay to photograph them in their natural setting. 

Here are three simple things you can do right now to help Nova Scotia grey seals.

I will likely not be able to upload my photos and videos until later tomorrow night, but will try to update through my iPhone, posting photos via Facebook and Twitter.  I will update this blog tomorrow night.

Off to bed now for a few hours of sleep.

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