Whole Foods Market Defends the Seals

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has recruited Whole Foods Market to join the international boycott of Canadian fish products.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society applauds the decision by Whole Foods Market to join this boycott. The only thing that can end the cruel mass slaughter of baby seals by Canadian sealers is economic pressure on the $3.3 billion Canadian Seafood Industry.

This is the release from Whole Foods Market:

Whole Foods Market Responds to Seal Hunt Issue

Whole Foods Market consistently offers the highest quality seafood gathered from the best sources locally and around the world. We pride ourselves on seeking the best environmental choices for seafood and informing our customers about the latest issues pertaining to seafood. For the last 25 years, including most recently with the advent of our Animal Compassion Foundation, Whole Foods Market has championed livestock production standards that ensure humane treatment of animals.

Q & A

What is the issue?

Fishermen off Canada's East coast around Newfoundland and Magdalen Islands kill baby seals in the off-season from fishing by clubbing them to death or shooting them primarily to sell their fur.

What is Whole Foods Market's response?

Whole Foods Market is suspending any purchase of seafood from the areas where the brutal killing of baby seals is taking place until the fishermen commit to stopping this practice. Seafood normally sourced from that area, including snow crab, wild PEI mussels, and bay shrimp, will be replaced by similar product from other areas of the world.

What else is Whole Foods Market doing to urge that the clubbing of baby seals stops?

If it is determined that population control of the seals is necessary for the balance of the ecosystem and health of the seal population, then we will encourage the fisherman and the Canadian government to find more humane ways to achieve this.

In addition to sending notice of our decision to the fishermen in the areas where the seal hunt takes place, we will provide the Canadian government input on the seal hunt issue at their Seal Forum scheduled for September 2005.