ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland - More than 100 seal hunting ships were stranded by heaving ice floes along the northeastern coast of Newfoundland, the Canadian Coast Guard reported.
The hunt season opened six days ago but treacherous ice conditions frustrated crews of ships known as longliners and prevented many from capturing any harp seals, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.
Coast Guard Capt. Brian Penney, superintendent of ice operations with the coast guard, said even a guard ship became temporarily stuck in ice after making a rescue on Wednesday.
Gill Cadwell and his crew have been stuck in ice in the Strait of Belle Isle for a week. He told the CBC the pressure of heavy ice crushed a speedboat and pushed the main vessel up "high and dry" for a time.
I've never, ever experienced nothing like this. We've been in the wrong place each time," Cadwell said.
The hunt off northeastern Newfoundland is the final phase of the annual cull, and constitutes about 70 percent of the annual quota of 270,000 seals.
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