Maritime seal hunt begins Sunday

The annual harp seal hunt is about to begin.

The annual harp seal hunt is about to begin.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced Friday the hunt will start Sunday at 6 a.m. for all sealers from the Gulf, Maritimes and Magdalen Islands.

There will be three buffer zones around the coast of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The DFO said most of the activity will likely take place between North Cape, P.E.I. and Miscou Island, New Brunswick.

About ten boats from the Magdalen Islands are expected to take part in the hunt.

Only one P.E.I. boat has expressed an interest in the hunt so far.

The Northwest Atlantic harp seal population is estimated at nine million animals, more than four times what it was in the 1970s. In 2010, 67,327 harp seals were harvested.

DFO officials say there isn't a lot of ice so many seal pups are appearing on shorelines, but there will be no hunting on land.

DFO said hunting has to take place a few kilometres off shore.