by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, People.

snipshot_94um4emcqoj.jpgMargaritaville Cafés, restaurants owned by Jimmy Buffett, will no longer serve Canadian seafood until Canada ends its annual slaughter of seals. Buffet made the statement after signing on with the Humane Society of the United States’ “Protect Seals” seafood boycott in September. The boycott was started in March 2005 and asks consumers and restaurateurs to avoid Canadian seafood as a way of ending the annual seal hunt. From the release,

“Margaritaville Cafes will not be purchasing or serving Canadian seafood products until the Canadian government ends the commercial seal hunt permanently,” says Jimmy Buffett in his statement. “I do not look at this as one nation telling another how to best manage its affairs. I view it as an effort to make humans more humane in the way they manage the planet. We do not own the earth. We are landlords and we simply need to do a better job, for all creatures on this earth.”

“The seal hunt is certainly an emotionally charged issue, but my experiences over the years snipshot_94ghq2xuba8.jpghave taught me that real progress in this effort needs to move past emotions and towards solutions that can work for people on both sides of this issue,” Buffett continues. “I would hope that this could be the case with the seal pup hunt. In the meantime, the one thing we can do is to make people aware of the problem.”

The HSUS’ Protect Seals Campaign has a website that sheds light on the tragedy of the hunt and what you can do to support the cause and join Buffet (as well as a host of other celebrities) in helping to end the slaughter.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Christine

    Woah. seals are cuter than i remembered.


    Nice work, Michael! Also see

  • Eric

    So after Canada stops the annual slaughter of baby seals, we can enjoy their slaughter of fish and other sea animals again?

  • JimInCanada

    First off, I’ve been a Jimmy Buffet fan for years, and thoroughly enjoy his music and books. THAT being said….

    MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!! You knee-jerk celebrities and closet quasi-environmentalists have no idea of what the Canadian seal hunt is all about… it is strictly controlled, they are certainly not endangered, there MILLIONS and MILLIONS and MILLIONS of them, and they decimate Cod and salmon populations ( well, what do you think seals eat??? when was the last time you saw one at one of you restaurants??) But hey, it’s your right to do as you please, but feel free to apply this new rule to any country that treats animals inhumanely .. which most CERTAINLY includes the United States and Japan ( gee, be kinda tricky to ban food from your two biggest customers , hmmmmm??? Guess thats the economic price to pay when you blindly jump onto bandwagons with both eyes closed, feet firmly in mouth).Mr Buffett has stated publicly that he is opposed to inhumane acts against animals…. well, Native Americans are allowed to hunt endangered animals…this is an inhumane act. Will Mr Buffett ban native Americans from his restaurants until all such activities cease? highly doubtful. Big-game hunting is an inhumane act..will Mr Buffett please release a statement stating that he is banning all hunters and manufacturers of rifles, handguns and ammunition from his restaurants? again, highly doubtful.Keeping animals in Zoos is inhumane… I invite Mr Buffett to publicly declare that any employee of a zoo in the continental United States, their friends, families and associates, are no longer welcome at his restaurants Come to think of it, since most of your food comes from animals that were treated inhumanely somewhere, by someone, at some point, on the way from the farm to the slaughterhouse to a Margaritaville dinner plate,and since the act of commercial fishing is inherently inhumane in and of itself, perhaps you should probably go all the way and just ban food altogether, if you REALLY want to make a statement.

    Feel free to do some research on the Canadian seal hunt, it’s history and it’s economic impact on a very small segment of Canadian society, and make decisions based on that, not because Paul McCartney and Pamela Air-head Anderson get all teary eyed when they lie on the ice next to a cute li’l seal pup…. which looks that way for two weeks of it’s life. But since thats the image the media chooses to portray, most people fall for it, get all mad about it for one week, and could care LESS about seals for the other 51 weeks of the year. Well, the people who’s livelihood depends on the seal hunt have to live those other 51 weeks of the year.Mr Buffett is also seeking to economically devastate thousands of employees of the Canadian Fishing industry by banning seafood.. what in the HELL does the fishing industry have to do with the Seal Hunt??? Maybe Mr. Buffett and Mr. McCartney would generously like to set up a fund for them from the millions and millions and millions of dollars they have made from album and book sales so they can feed themselves and their families?????? I highly doubt it.It seems they are opposed to inhumane acts against animals…. but have absolutely no problem with committing inhumane acts against PEOPLE.

    Not quite sure, but does Mr Buffett still fly around in that huge flying boat of his… dripping oil and aviation gas into the water whenever he lands, bringing his own form of devastation to a previously unspoiled habitat whenever he lands in a remote location??? ? If so, regulate your OWN activities before seeking to regulate the activities of others.

    (copies sent to Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Washington Post, the US Embassy in Ottawa , Ontario.)

    Thunder Bay , Ontario CANADA.

    and Eric… pray tell, what annual fish and “other animal” slaughter are you talking about ??? I’m sure there are plenty of legitimate causes you can find to expound your holier-than-thou ideas about in your own country, rather than making things up about mine.

  • KarineInNY

    Well JimInCanada, personally I think you’re a sick f*ck / Based on your logic which is rhetorical and ridiculous at best (perhaps YOU should be checking your facts ) I mean there are “millions and millions and millions” of them…please! Is this based on some kind of factual information? Did you count? You really think there are “millions and millions and millions” of them huh? More importantly based on your idiotic, ridiculous, self-centered logic since there are “plenty” of them I think we should convert that logic to the human race since there are literally “millions and millions and millions” of them and that we know is ACTUALLY a fact. In fact there are approximately better than 12 billion of us at this point so hey since there are so many of us how about we go out with a CLUB not even a gun or something a little less painful and start knocking off humans. I think that’s a great idea! Actually lets just start knocking off the young of the humans since they eat so damn much and inconveniencing us and hey we can use their skins for coats and leave their flesh to rot because we’re not killing them to eat we’re killing them to feed a billion dollar fur trade industry. Ok Ahab guess who’s getting rich on this and it ain’t these ignorant people out there clubbing the “li’l seals” to death. It’s called “greed”, moron, look it up. And perhaps Native Americans are allowed to hunt endangered species but you know I don’t exactly see hoardes and hoardes of native americans running around clubbing timber wolves to death or prairie dogs or whooping cranes…where the f*ck do you get your information you freak? And lastly, I really can’t stand you angry, bitter, “quasi-intellectuals” who think they can put the word “quasi” in front of anything and make themselves sound more intelligent than they in fact they really are because the rest of us in the “thinking”, free world just ain’t buyin’ it dude.

  • KarineInNY

    Ok actually the human population is a little over 6 billion…my mistake…guess with morons like “JimInCanda” it seems like infinitely more than a mere 6 billion…oh and btw, I am native american, moron and I’ve never hunted an endangered species in my life nor do I condone hunting for sport…..

  • Eric

    Canada engages in the commercialized slaughter of animals for human food just as every other country does. Buffett’s boycott is of Canadian seafood, i.e., the product of Canadian slaughter of animals other than seals.

    I say, if you don’t mind the killing of cows, chickens, fish, lobsters, etc., the concern for seals is a bit shallow, if not hypocritical.

    At least McCartney and Anderson are vegetarian.

  • KarineInNY

    Well I see that my earlier posts didn’t make it in. I guess the owners of this site are only interested in people who either have cutesy little comments to make of no consequence or those who would agree with the seal slaughter and in bashing Jimmy Buffet for having some convictions and standing up for them. The both of you (Jim & Eric) seem to miss the extremely obvious fact that bashing seals over the head with a club is NOT the same thing as fishing to eat in order to live. I just don’t see how you can compare bashing living creatures over the head with a club, not even completely killing them before moving onto the next one and for what? A fur coat??? I mean give me a break. And not all animals that are killed for consumption are killed in such a brutal and inhumane way. And guess what my “quasi-intellectual” friend there are not “millions and millions and millions” of seals in the world. Additionally, based on that “logic” then there are quite a few species we could go around and begin clubbing to death because there are “plenty of them” beginning with humans since there are 6 billion of us running around on the planet. And guess what JimInCanada we can boycott your food and your products and your stinkin’ country all we want just because we damn well feel like it. There is nothing saying that we HAVE to buy anything from Canada. And another thing, as I happen to be one, Native Americans may be allowed to kill endangered species but what group of Native Americans can you point to that is brutally wiping out an entire species for sport or fashion?

  • michael

    thanks for your comments!

    Almost every single comment, except those that are truly inappropriate, makes it onto this list. It’s just that someone has to approve them before that happens. With the holiday season upon us, it has become a tad more difficult to keep up with email….

    …no worries, we’re on it.

  • KarineInNY

    Thank you Michael. My apologies for being so reactive. You can see this is an issue that I’ve spent more than “1 week out of 52″ on.

  • Eric

    Dear Karine, fish are living creatures, too. We don’t need to eat them any more than we need a seal-skin coat. I share your disgust at the Canadian seal slaughter. And I can’t ignore the billions (yes, billions) of other animals slaughtered by humans every year.

  • KarineInNY

    Dear Eric,

    I respect what you’re saying. I’m going to imagine that your point is that we can be vegetarian? That would be the only thing that I would disagree with you on. I don’t believe that everyone can be vegetarian but I’m still open to the idea. And yes, in that case I’m sure the number is billions and billions of fish that are killed. I don’t disagree that there are other inhumane practices/acts towards animals that need to be stopped and many people are working towards ending those as well. I agree that we should all continue to educate ourselves and to do what we can in correcting ALL atrocities and yes, I do believe that begins with each and every one of us individually. I was vegetarian for many years but I’m not able to be at this point. After having had the experience of being vegetarian I had to change my viewpoints for me. Still I buy organic meats as well as vegetables. I don’t agree with many of the fishing practices in the world and do what I can not to support them personally and I agree that we need to speak out about those atrocities as well as I have in the past and will continue to do so.

  • Marion

    The Canadian government estimates that there are about 5 million harp seals, but considering that the Canadian fisheries department has a long history of over-estimating marine populations, and ensuring us that fisheries populations are healthy up until the day they collapse, I highly doubt that number. And when you compare it to how many harp seals there were before they were commercially hunted (an estimated 30 million), I think the population is too low. Many scientists outside of the Canadian government have criticized the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ harp seal population studies and many think their estimates are politically motivated. In an age where global warming threatens species such as harp seals and polar bears that depend on ice coverage for survival, the Canadian government should be on the conservative side and enact something like the Marine Mammal Protection Act that we have in the U.S. Furthermore, cod makes up only a small portion of the harp seals’ diet, and harp seals eat a number of cod predators, so slaugthering harp seals in mass will do little to improve cod stocks. The bottom line is that there is no reason to kill marine mammals, or any animals, for fur coats in the modern age and that killing marine mammals is not the way to improve fish populations.

  • Eric

    Yes, I dare say it is humans, not seals, who are decimating the fish populations.

  • http://ecorazzi Doug

    Keep up the good work. I couldn’t agree with you more. It is unfortunate that many people living and polluting in large urban centres (NY) lose sight of the fact that many people rely on harvesting natural resources for their livelihoods. I am a fisherman and a hunter. I completely agree with your comments regarding big game hunting. It is often been reduced to a competition to bolster the egos’ of the worlds wealthier men. Which guy has the biggest head on his wall. And you are quite right. Would Jimmy have the guts to boycott his fat cat friends who are probably on the net right now booking their next trip to collect yet another head? It would be the end of his one hit wonder career.

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  • Tim

    Where the fuck do you people – especially Canadians get the audacity to think that you can exploit animals for your gain?

    They were there LONG before you were even a thought. You loste sight of the fact that ANYONE who can stand by to see a defenseless animal clubbed to death is actually a sociopath. Problems? You can contact me and I’ll be sure to kick your loving ass. I’d love to do so:)

  • Mira

    Sooooo, it is bad to kill seals in Newfondland – in a manner that has been researched and proven humane (and no, none are skinned alive; that is typical animal rights activists propaganda), yet it is perfectly all right to kill them in Alaska?
    Right. Americans don’t want the world to know about that.
    As for Mr Buffet (and apparently a good portion of the people who have made comments here); just love how Americans feel it is their God-given right to dictate to the rest of the world how they can Govern, live, hunt, eat or worship.

  • Jae

    I’ll boycott any Jimmy Buffet restaurants seeing as he supports an organization that wants to take away my dietary choices as well as would put that silly fool’s restaurant’s out of business!
    Canada’s seal hunters are sustainable which is more than can be said for the animal protest industry or the regressive hate memes that eco razzi pimps on their behalf…



    Seal Meat has been found to contain huge quantities of Methyl Mercury, a highly toxic substance that causes brain tissue damage if ingested, and eats away at human cognitive ability.

    Any person touting seal meat in Canada is therefore advocating the mass-poisoning of Canadian citizens. Any Canadian Sealer, attempting to push, sell, export, or ship baby seal products to the European Union, is attempting to push material that can damage citizens of all countries in Europe.

    In addition, what this means, is also, that any seal hunter, or dubious official attempting to promote the ingestion of seal meat by dignitaries, be they 1st nations, native people, or otherwise, is attempting to push on people, the ingestion of a substance that is known to cause human organ damage, stunted brain growth, and death.


    Thus, any person (such as the example “Jae” above) who is caught attempting to tout seal products, is attempting to cause damage and human poisoning to thousands of Canadian citizens.

    Any person who is a pro-sealer is NOT a patriot. The population of Canada is over 33 MILLION people, of which Sealers comprise less than 6,000 fanatical killers. What this means, is, that Sealers comprise less than 0.00015 of Canada’s population. In other words, any person caught advocating sealers, is AGAINST 99.999% of the Canadian people, who are afflicted by these seal killers.

    Sealers defame and dishonor the Canadian Flag in front of the world. Thus, any person cheering sealers is fostering shame onto the great flag of Canada.

    Any person who is AGAINST sealers, is FOR 99.999% of good Canadian citizens. Any person working to STOP sealing is restoring pride and honor back onto Canada’s great flag. Anti-sealers are Canadian patriots, washing the foul stink of sealers off of the once-great nation of Canada.


    Sealing is a Financial Loss to the nation. Sealers cost every hard-working good Canadian citizen huge amounts of money, docked from every poor Canadian citizen’s paycheck to pay for the huge losses that a tiny special-interest pack of extremist Seal Killers inflict on Canada.

    A tiny hoarde of nasty and disgusting malicious mal-informed seal clubbers and their special-interest political officials inflict horrible damage onto Canada and all good Canadian people.

    The Seal Hunt causes an Economic Loss to Canada. Sealers falsely attempt to trick you (the general public) into believing that it earns a huge wealth of money for them = FALSE! Sealers and the DFO attempt to hide the costs from you. As an example, the DFO attempts to claim that the seal hunt brings in 12 million dollars (Found to be doctored and FALSE.) In reality, in 2008, the seal hunt caused an economic LOSS of nearly 50 million, the brunt of which was bourne by millions of other Canadian citizens. In 2008, the sealers cost the nation of Canada over 60 million, and brought in 2. That is a financial LOSS of over 58 million dollars brought on the nation of Canada by the sealers.

    Sealers also attempt to get people (you) to believe they *must* do this because they live off of this (This is false) As an example, the pelt price in 2009 was less than $15. Now, the Federal Government issues a T.A.C. which is the TOTAL NUMBER of pelts which are allowed to be sold by these sealers. This number is 285,000. If you multiply those 2 numbers together, you will get the MAXIMUM amount that the seal hunt can possibly bring in: 4,275,000. What this means, is that the Fisheries Minister (Anti-Canadian Gail Shea) just attempted to tell you that the seal hunt earns over 12 million, but you now see that the total MAXIMUM possible is a little over 4! Mind you, that maximum number of pelts is FEDERAL LAW! If sealers attempt to push more than that, (which they do, and have violated, making sealers criminals) it is a Federal Crime against Canada! Sealers have in fact violated this! And yet go unpunished for the crime. But wait, there’s more: Sealers in 2009 failed to obtain the TAC! The total obtained, according to official landing documents of the DFO was merely 60,000. What this means, is that the seal hunt Only earned $0.9 m! So the fisheries minister Gail Shea and sealers are telling you it earns 12 million, and it actually earns under 0.9 million.

    And when you take 0.9m, remember, this amount needs to be further reduced because it must be spread across 2,000 people! So divide that 0.9m over 2,000 people and this means each seal killer is $450 bucks. A YEAR. That amounts to 37 dollars a month. Keep in mind, these sealers are attempting to claim that they earn, feed, clothe, and fuel an entire family on this amount from the seal killings. And they further attempt to claim that their entire “lively hoods” will be ruined and taken away with the riddance of the horrible seal hunt. $37 dollars a month, which these sealers try to dupe you into believing is their whole livelihood providing their home, car, food for a family of 3,4,5 etc, equates to 8 dollars and 75 cents a week. If you divided that by a family of 4, that’s $2. Sealing, if it were a regular job, would need to be advertised as having an hourly pay of .21 cents an hour. Imagine if you went to a job interview, and they told you you will earn .21 cents and hour, and your annual salary will be $450.00 bucks. Gives a new meaning to the word loonies. This is effectively less than a person would earn at a YARD SALE.

    Sealing earns a lower amount of money, than any one of these sealers could earn if they sold an old lamp in a yard sale. One could glue googleyes onto stones and sell it as a “fun-pet” and provide for ones family in more capable fashion than this seal hunt.

    Now, don’t forget, sealers DO NOT get to take home that $450.00 or that $8.75 a week, or that .21 cents an hour. Why not? Because they have EXPENSES! In order to even go sealing at all, it costs more than 50% of what is earned. One first needs a sealing boat: $20,000.00 to 100,000.00. Then, one must purchase provisions, food, etc, for the sealing voyage. Mind you this is not just buying a shirt, this is conducted out on the ice-pans at FRIGID temperatures in the Arctic. One must buy hugely expensive weather gear. Then there are weapons, $200 to $600.00, then there’s ammunition, hakapiks, boots, flotation devices, EPIRB emergency beacons, there’s the cost of weapons permits, sealing licenses, boat permits. Then there’s FUEL costs. Seen the price of petrol and/or diesel lately? Now imagine having to buy hundreds or thousands of litres or gallons of it to put into the boat in order to travel hundreds of miles and kilometres across the Arctic. This effectively makes the EXPENSES of going sealing greater than sealing earns. In other words, the sealer who is attempting to convice you, that he “needs” to engage in this malicious act “in order to survive” or such things is pushing on you a load of something you don’t want to eat. That sealer is not simply irresponsibly failing to provide for any and all children or family, that sealer is actually potentially causing a financial loss on himself, and the entire coastal community. Turning that meagre .21 cents an hour into a whopping -$18 dollar an hour LOSS! Sealers a soaked in RED in more ways than 1.

    Not only do sealers inflict financial harm on their own families and children, sealers inflict their financial damage on YOU as well. Each year, the govt spends millions of dollars on ice-breaking ships, coast guard services, DFO officers monitoring sealers illegal activities, (multiple seal hunters are arrested and convicted of illegal activities every year), court costs, airplanes, overflights, Coast Guard rescue missions in order to fish idiot sealers out of the ice when they irresponsibly take wooden tiny boats out into the ice packs and get their boat crushed and get stuck, ending up in a whopping $24 million dollars in ice-breaker (Amundsen) costs alone, plus boycotts, bad blood, dishonor, lost contracts with other Canadian businesses due to sealers disgusting insistance on their smelly occupation, and more. This means that the seal hunt brings in less than $2 mil (under 0.9mil in 2009) and yet COSTS THE CITIZENS OF CANADA over $60 million!

    Who pays for the costs generated by these sealers? YOU DO. If you are a Canadian citizen, YOUR paycheck is docked for the losses of the seal hunt. Money is taken out of your hard-earned paycheck, money that YOU need to put food on the table for YOUR family, is taken out of your check, in order to pay taxes that go toward paying to prop up those sealers who are bringing the foul stench of the rotten seal hunt onto the nation of canada.

    Sealers cause financial losses on 33 million good Canadian citizens.

    So, in addition to sealers and pro-sealers pushing foul tainted meat which they want to sell to poison you, and your family, and children, sealers cause financial hardship and losses onto every good Canadian citizen, and befoul the great flag of Canada.

    Any protester, anti-sealer, and all good Canadians working to put an end to the Seal hunt are Canadian patriots. Restoring honor back to the great country and flag of Canada.

    Any ProSealer, Seal Killer, or any person caught cheering Sealers or the Seal hunt (such as the user named “Jae” above) are ANTI-CANADIANS, who are backing a tiny faction of malicious lobbyist fanatical killers who hurt Canada, inflict financial damage on millions of good hard-working Canadian people, bring stink upon the Canadian Flag, and attempt to push toxic seal meat and seal oil products which are known to contain Methyl mercury and Brominated Flame retardants, which cause Canadian families to give birth to deformed babies, and poisons 1st nations people and Canadian children.