The annual Labrador seal hunt has begun and so has the annual confrontation between hunters and conservationists.
AV Ships moving through ice (2 shots)
AV & SV The icebreaker "Hudson"
AV Ice pack and icebergs
GV & PAN Seals surfacing in ice
GV Seal mother with pup on ice
SCU PAN Woman Green-peace worker on ice
GV ZOOM CU Woman marking seal pup with green dye (2 shots)
CU Seal with mark on back
AV Sea ice
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Background: The annual Labrador seal hunt has begun and so has the annual confrontation between hunters and conservationists. Members of the Greenpeace conservation organisation claim that 180-thousand young Harp seals will be clubbed to death in the next six weeks. Although Canadian authorities have closed off the hunting areas to all but the hunters, Greenpeace members have flown illegally into the area.
SYNOPSIS: As the Greenpeace aircraft flew to the ice packs off the Magdalen Island they filmed ice-breakers carrying Canadian and Norwegian hunters to the seal herds. Eight ships are currently in the area. Another Norwegian vessel has been delayed near Oslo by Greenpeace members chaining themselves to the mast. The main hunt has started a week late this year as the female seals were whelping later than usual and the extra time was allowed for the pups to grow to their prime weight of 80 pounds. The pelts are expected to fetch U.S. dollars each.
While the six Greenpeace members were illegally in the area, however, they managed to render more than one hundred pelts totally worthless by applying a green dye to the seal coats. The dye is harmless. As a result of that action, Canadian Fisheries officers and police have now been assigned to watch landing strips and other access points to the hunt area. Greenpeace has refused to give exact details of where their flight had taken them. One Greenpeace member is only now serving a 10 day jail sentence in Canada for his part in the dyeing operation last year.