Radical Conservationists Attacked By Villagers After Mocking the Deaths of 3 Seal Hunters
“I can’t think of anything that defines helplessness and fear more than a seal pup on the ice that can’t swim or escape as it is approached by some cigarette-smoking ape with a club. This is a seal nursery and these men are sadistic baby killers and that might offend some people but it is the unvarnished truth –they are vicious killers.”
On Friday, angry Canadian villagers cut the mooring lines to the Farley Mowat and drove the conservationists from their harbor.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel Farley Mowat (front) and the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Des Groseilliers stand idle off the coast of Cape Breton island, Nova Scotia, in this photo taken March 30, 2008. Three seal hunters died on Saturday after a fishing vessel capsized in the icy waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, marking the first accident of Canada’s 2008 seal hunt season. The vessels were reported to have collided off the coast of Cape Breton island, Nova Scotia, on Monday. The Canadian government has denied the claims from the crew of the Farley Mowat that the icebreaker had rammed their vessel. Picture taken March 30.
Angry fishermen forced the seal hunt protest vessel, Farley Mowat, out of the harbour at St-Pierre-Miquelon – a French territory south of Newfoundland – where it was tied up for refuelling Friday morning.
About 20 fishermen cut the mooring lines of the Mowat with axes and vowed not to let them in the harbour following comments about four dead sealers earlier in the week from Paul Watson, of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which operates the Mowat.
“We don’t accept those kinds of people in St-Pierre,” fisherman Carl Beaupertuis told the CBC.
“We cut the rope and let the boat go…. If they want to come back I tell you this time there’s going to be some violence, ‘cause we won’t let him back in the harbour. No way.”
The confrontation was in protest at comments Mr. Watson made the day before when he said the deaths of four Magdalen Islands sealers were a tragedy, but the slaughter of young seals was a “greater tragedy.”
“These men are sadistic baby killers,” Mr. Watson said in a statement, who are “seeking sympathy because some of their own died.”
The captain and first officer of the Farley Mowat were charged this week after a high-seas collision between the anti-sealing vessel and a coast guard icebreaker last weekend.
UPDATE: This is from commenter Marc St Aubin du Cormier below:
A factual correction : “On Friday, angry FRENCH villagers cut the mooring lines to the Farley Mowat and drove the conservationists from their harbor.” – St Pierre et Miquelon is part of France.
About the Sea Shepherd Society and Saint-Pierre et Miquelon
The Sea Shepherd Society was in St Pierre in 2005, and nothing happened. The Sea Shepherd Society was even given air time at the local TV station with a live interview of a crew member.
St Pierre & Miquelon is a fishing community (for the best part of the last 500 years), but is not involved in the Seal Hunt. The issue of the Seal Hunt has its local opponents, and local supporters, but it is not a core issue. However, when Paul Watson trivialized the death of fishermen from another community, the legendary hospitality of the islands of St Pierre & Miquelon could no longer apply to the Sea Shepherd Society.
The expulsion from St Pierre was a direct consequence of his statements.
The brotherhood of the sea trumps language, culture and nationality.