Hundreds of dead seals in Canada

Residents of the northern areas of Labrador, Canada, according to the multitude of dead seals are nailed to the bank since the beginning of December.

The representative of the environmental department of the Government of Inuit last week issued a preliminary estimate that hundreds of adult and young seals have died in the area between Hopdeylom and Makkovik this winter.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) conducts studies of animal remains, however, many believe that DFO acted quickly enough, said Jan Winters, the environmental officer of Nunatsiavuta.

"If you ask me, I think they (DFO) should have been here before. A lot of people say the same thing. Perhaps what is happening here, not in their priorities, "- he said.

Usually at this time of year seals live on the ice fields south of Hopdeyla, said Winters, but this year there is very little ice.

Last month in northern Labrador were found on the banks of the bodies of baby seals.

Researcher seals of DFO, Garry Stenson, believes that early calving may indicate that seal population has grown too large and it has led to overpopulation. It can also lead to problems of reproduction seals.

"In a population, which began to regulate itself, we can expect a decrease in reproduction, unstable propagation, higher mortality of pups and young" — said Stenson.

In addition, he said, the current population of harp seals in Atlantic Canada is approximately 9.8 million individuals. In 2004, in the area were between 4.6 to 7.2 million seals.

In December, DFO received five reports of babies born on the shores of Labrador, while the normal period of births among nomadic sea mammals is the end of February — beginning of March.

According to Stanton, the seals bring early litter on land, not on the ice, which greatly reduces the chances of offspring survival.

Translation: Vitaly Semkin

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