Video of B.C. fisherman tossing explosive at sea lions sparks controversy

A Facebook video from a group advocating for better control of marine life causes mixed emotions

A controversial video of a man tossing an explosive at a herd of sea lions on B.C.’s coast has surfaced on Facebook, renewing debates on legalizing a seal cull.

Thomas Sewid, a member of the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society shared the video Tuesday. The society, based out of Richmond, is a group of B.C. First Nations and commercial fisherman currently advocating to revive the seal and sea lion hunt on the west coast.

In the video, a man throws what appears to be a bear banger off the side of the fishing boat into a sea of herring and more than a dozen sea lions.

Once startled the flippered mammals start to dive into the water, before returning moments later.

READ MORE: Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

READ MORE: Fisheries Department says more staff on waters protecting whales in Canada

“This massive amount of sea lions diving on huge schools of thousands of tons of herring scares them to stay deep. This makes it so captains cannot catch herring, for they’re too deep for nets,” Sewid said in the post.

“Tenaciously these crews are doing all they can to get a set so they can get a representative herring samples to test. This is supposed to be a multi-million dollar fishery, yet stupid obsolete laws impede proper sampling of the herring stocks all due to too dang many sea lions!”

Sewid added that if the fishing vessel has a net full of herring, a startle from a herd of seals could cause the school of fish to dive down below, potentially capsizing the boat.

“This happens and large seine boats are pulled over,” Sewid said. “Yes, we have lost many fellow fishers when seiners capsize.”

The video has received support and outrage on social media.

READ MORE: Harbour seal found on Vancouver beach with 23 shotgun pellets in face

READ MORE: Scientists warn of ecosystem consequences for proposed B.C. seal hunt

In a tweet posted Wednesday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada condemned disturbing seals or sea lions, and reminded the public that using explosives is illegal.

The society wants the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to first expand Indigenous harvesting rights to include the commercial sale of the flippered mammals, Sewid said.

But biologists have been quick to argue against the need for a cull, saying that there is no data to suggest that a hunt would help salmon species.

The seal population has stabilized at around 105,000 across the B.C. coast since 1999.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Organizers seek input for long-awaited Oaklands community garden

Oswald Park Community Garden Design Workshop coming up on Jan. 19

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

Tech consortium invests $25 million into four University of Victoria research projects

Investments come with goal of developing, implement technologies created by Canadians

Mass-timber project in Esquimalt switches from condos to rentals

Corvette Landing will now offer rental units in the area

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Most Read