American chefs signing up to boycott Canadian seafood because of the seal hunt are clearly misinformed, says the president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association.


Seals are not hunted off P.E.I., says Mike McGeoghegan. (CBC)

The Humane Society of the United States says it has signed up about 40 celebrity chefs to its Chefs for Seals campaign as part of its efforts to end the seal hunt.

Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, said, to start with, there is no fishing of seals on Prince Edward Island.

"I'm surprised that they would do that without doing their homework," said McGeoghegan.

"If you look at the scientific numbers of the seals, the herd is way out of control. So we have these people coming up with these ideas without actually looking at the information to realize that there is an explosion in the seal population."

McGeoghegan said the campaign might have a short term effect on Canadian seafood sales, but he's hoping it won't have any lasting impact. He said it would be nice if chefs in this region started a counter-campaign.

Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans officials say the Atlantic harp seal population is healthy and abundant; and is currently estimated at about 7.3 million animals, which is more than three times what it was in the 1970s.

It notes Canadian harvesting practices are among the best in the world, and are guided by rigorous animal welfare principles.