Canada to prosecute seal hunt protesters
OTTAWA -- The Canadian government will prosecute seal hunt protesters whose ship had a showdown with the coast guard, a government minister said.
Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn said the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society would face charges over a weekend incident in which its ship and a coast guard vessel came in contact twice, The Gazette newspaper in Montreal reported Friday.
"We will protect our sealers. ... We will pursue charges," Hearn told Parliament Thursday.
Federal seal hunt regulations specify observers cannot come closer than a half-mile to sealers, but Newfoundland sealer Shane Briand told the newspaper the protesters came within 100 feet of his boat Sunday before the coast guard intervened.
"If they (coast guard) hadn't arrived, we would have had to get in our speedboats to escape," he said.
The Sea Shepherd group alleges the coast guard ship rammed its ship twice, an allegation denied by government officials, the report said.
Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
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- Nova Scotian sealer Shane Briand's comments regarding the behaviour of the Farley Mowat crew are highly suspect. He and crewmates of Nova Scotia vessel Cathy Erlene were caught on videotape violating Marine Mammal Regulations and ignoring the new three-step process, killing seals inhumanely. The video evidence has led to speculation that Briand's complaints were fabricated to remove observers from the area, preventing further documentation of illegal and inhumane acts commited by the crew of the Cathy Erlene.
To see the video please visit: http://www.antisealingcoalition.ca/cathyerlene_cruelty.php (Posted on August 25, 2008, 10:42 am Bridget Curran)