INTRODUCTION: The annual seal hunt off the north coast of Prince Edward Island in Canada was cancelled after only one day.
GV Seated fishermen
SV Official of Department of Fisheries addresses fishermen
AERIAL SHOT PAN Hunters, and blood on ice
GV & ZOOM IN TO Hunter clubbing seal
GV Hunter clubs seal
AERIAL V ZOOM IN TO Blood on ice below cliffs
CU Regional direction Pierre Comeau speaking
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT) WHEATON: "The Fishermen were told the hunt was closed because of poor ice conditions and several violations of the sealing regulations. In at least five cases, those violations were serious enough to cancel licences on the spot. The seals were not being killed instantly, and the skinning of the seal and handling of the pelt was not done according to regulations. As a result the quality of the pelt was poor.
"Fisheries officers said ice conditions made it difficult for them properly to supervise the fisherman. One official said the hunt was totally out of control, and the performance of some fishermen had set the controversial industry back twenty years. The fishermen didn't deny there were violations, but argued they were being punished for the inexperience of a few; and they asked for a second chance.
"Pierre Comeau, the Regional Director of Field Services, said that chance would come, but only if ice conditions improve and the regulations could be enforced."
SEQ. 7: COMEAU: "As I stated at the meeting, as long as the laws of this country and regulations permit for a hunt, and that there's quota set on biological advice, it's my job, as an employee of the Department of Fisheries, to see to it that the hunt is carried out."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The annual seal hunt off the north coast of Prince Edward Island in Canada was cancelled after only one day. This happened after an outcry rafted by conservationists about brutal methods used by some inexperienced hunters. Exceptional weather conditions had brought the seals unusually close to shore this year. This tempted amateurs to take part in the hunt and also allowed its critics to see what was going on. Barry Wheaton of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.