Despite what animal rights organizations and radical activists would have you believe, the harp seal is not an endangered animal nor is it’s population on the decline. Since the 1970′s the population of harp seals in the North Atlantic has not only increased, it has tripled. The last survey conducted by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans reported the harp seal population at a record high 5.8 million animals.
With worldwide attention being brought to the collapse of the North Atlantic fish stocks by the media and by documentaries such as ‘The End of the Line” , it is crucial to identify one of the largest consumers and threats to the recovery of the stocks. Each harp seal consumes between 1 and 1.4 metric tonnes of fish each year, and with the exploding population of 5.8 million animals that translates to a consumption of at least 6 million metric tonnes of fish each year. This means that now while the fish stocks are in crisis, the record breaking seal population is consuming more fish than ever before in recorded history, and is not only a threat to the fish, but to its own sustainability.