For decades, Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has been capturing marine mammals from the wild and providing them to aquaria for public display. Following the recent incident where -- as a result of overwhelming public outcry -- harp seal pups Zak and Mika were spared a government-imposed death sentence, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) resolved to ensure this situation is never repeated.
The DFO stopped the wild capture of whales for captivity, following a 1999 recommendation. IFAW is now calling on the DFO to develop and implement a policy to end the capture of all wild marine mammals -- including seals.
Sign the petition today to urge Canadian Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield to outlaw the practice of capturing marine mammals to be placed in zoos and aquaria.
Thank you for your Department's decision to allow Zak and Mika, two seals captured by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and placed in the Aquarium des Iles de la Madeleine for their tourist season, to be released back to the wild. I remain concerned, however, with the DFO policy of capturing marine mammals from the wild for zoos and aquaria.
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I do not believe that public tax dollars and government resources should be used to capture marine mammals and use them for captive display. I believe that wildlife belongs in the wild and we should be doing more to protect marine mammals and their natural habitats in Canada.
I would like to see DFO cease the practice of removing marine mammals from the wild for captivity.
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