Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Seaspiracy: How capitalism, corporations & the fishing industry are destroying our oceans


21 Apr, 2021 08:28

  • 125

Follow RT onGoing Underground: How capitalism, corporations & the fishing industry are destroying our oceans

We speak to the UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, David Boyd. He discusses the class dynamic of the climate change crisis and how the rich are overwhelmingly to blame for the rise in CO2 emissions, how poor countries are bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change, why it is the responsibility of richer countries to fight climate change, myths about China being the world’s worst polluter, the increasing fatalities from air pollution and much more! Finally, we speak to Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd president and founder, who stars in Netflix’s documentary ‘Seaspiracy’. He discusses how the oceans are the planet’s life support, why we must issue a moratorium of 50 years on heavy industrial fishing and waste dumping into our oceans to fight climate change, how corporations and capitalism are making profit out of the deaths of entire species of fish and ecosystems, why direct action is now needed to save the oceans and fight climate change, how the corporate fishing industry has impoverished poor fishermen leading them to piracy and much more!


World Bank Estimates Cost of Logging, Fishing and the Wildlife Trade

World Bank Estimates Cost of Logging, Fishing and the Wildlife Trade

5 days ago

By Eliza Erskine

Wildlife trade

Lead Image Source : vanchai tan /

Support OneGreenPlanet

Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please support us!  Support Us

report from the World Bank is identifying the economic costs of illegal logging, fishing, and the wildlife trade. The bank puts the cost of these illegal activities at between $1 and $2 trillion.

The report, Illegal Logging, Fishing and Wildlife Trade: The Costs and How to Combat It, found that the majority of the losses-90 percent- are from ecosystem services provided by oceans and forests, including biodiversity, flood retention, carbon storage, and water filtration. These needs are fulfilled by these ecosystems and it’s expensive to be without them.Advertisement

In many countries, where timber is harvested and traded illegally, the governments need to be incentivized to receive financial benefits for protecting ecosystems. Corruption and weak governance play a role in these challenges and the World Bank points to the millions spent on animal trafficking that pales in comparison to the money spent in other areas, like drug control.

The report suggests measures, including,

  • Recognizing that large-scale illegal trade in natural resources is as serious as transnational organized crime.
  • Changing the incentives and behaviors that drive demand for illegally traded wildlife, forest products, and fisheries.
  • Scaling up funding and enabling public-private partnerships to tackle the illegal natural resource trade.
  • Strengthening governance and establishing a trade, legal, and fiscal environment that supports legal trade of non-endangered species of wildlife, fisheries, and trees to promote sustainable livelihoods.
  • Putting local communities, notably indigenous peoples, at the center of the design and implementation of solutions to share the benefits from managing natural assets and combating Illegal activities.
  • Adopting national strategies for dealing with illegal activities across the supply chain.
  • Capturing the benefits from global ecosystem services such as carbon storage and biodiversity.

Because so many of these benefits and challenges cross international borders, we need to work together as a global community to enact change and make a difference that will benefit our planet.Advertisement

Sign this petition to put an end to the illegal online wildlife tradeShut Down Illegal Online Wildlife TradeClick Here to Sign Petition

Related Content:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on iTunes — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!Advertisement’s How to Have an Eco-Friendly EasterAdvertisement

Read More 

Vegan hits out at ‘horrendous’ fish market sign

A divisive sign advertising for a fish market has angered vegans who have criticised it for spreading a “horrendous” message.

The neon sign was photographed at Sydney’s Paddy’s Markets, in the CBD, and showed three fish in decreasing sizes all swimming towards a fishing hook.

They were positioned next to the words, “fish are food, not friends”, which was a phrase many took issue with after a photo of it was shared to social media.

The man who shared the image described it an “awful sign” which went against his “mantra” of “sealife not seafood”.

Photo shows sign saying 'fish are food, not friends' inside Sydney's Paddy's Markets.
This sign inside Paddy’s Markets caused a stir among vegans. Source: Facebook

“I’m plant based and have been vegan for three years, and vegetarian for ten. For a minute I was pescatarian, to my now dismay,” he wrote to a vegan group.

“But alas we live and learn. This neon sign was very upsetting to come across.”

Others seemed equally offended, agreeing that the sign was “truly awful” and “disgusting”.

“This sign is truly awful. I have never seen it before,” one comment read.

“This is disgusting. Would be such a shame if someone came along and smashed the sign,” another wrote.

The sign seemed to be a play on the common phrase “friends not food”, which is spread widely among vegan circles.

One suggested the sign could work to the vegan movement’s advantage if a child asked their parents what it meant.

“It could so easily backfire and the ‘friends not food’ message is clearly working. Imagine a kid asking their parent what it means, it would have the same impact,” they wrote.

  • “Anything to stay afloat. When these industries feel threatened, they try so hard to stay relevant,” someone else said.

The man who shared the image said the sign didn’t appear to be attached to any business in particular as it was positioned in the main hall of the market and not close to a specific stall.

Despite this, there were several calls for the sign to be “rearranged” – one suggesting that a couple of words could be broken, and another simply saying, “smash it”.

Ontario’s cormorant ‘hunt’ is based on pandering, not science

These birds, which nest along the Ottawa and Rideau river systems, are native; they’re not intruders, says Ted Cheskey. Why kill a bird we’re not going to eat?

Article content

Last winter, the Ontario government proposed an amendment to hunting laws to allow a massive slaughter of the double-crested cormorant, a native species. Details included year-round hunting, a “bag” limit of 50 per day, and no obligation to recover the carcass of a dead or injured bird. The original proposal was a parody of hunting, rather than a serious proposition.

Nature Canada was one of many reputable organizations that pushed back, rightfully categorizing the hunt as inhumane, misguided, lacking in scientific justification and outright dangerous.

The concept of culling cormorants does have supporters, notably the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. That said, it is hard to believe that the first proposal was anything more than testing the waters.

The government came back with a revised proposition that seems more reasonable, at least on the surface. For starters, the hunt is limited to the fall, which addresses a key concern about the inhumanity of killing birds at their nesting sites and high risk to other colonial species.

The government also decreased the daily bag limit to 15 cormorants. To compare with other hunted species in Ontario, the daily bag limit is six ducks, five geese, 10 rails (yes, rails can be hunted) and 15 mourning doves.

Finally, hunters must make every effort to collect killed or injured birds, and if they do not eat them, they must be disposed of in a sanitary way.

While the province is calling this a hunt, the question should be asked: Would anyone eat a cormorant? The interest in having the hunt is not from a culinary perspective. It is in part because some people hate cormorants and believe they are taking “their” fish. So why call it a hunt if you are not killing the birds for food?  That creates an ethical dilemma for people who accept hunting if the object of the hunt is consumed.

The proposal lacks population targets that are the hallmark of waterfowl management in Canada and the United States, where bag limits are established based on targets to maintain healthy populations. No such objective is identified for the cormorant cull in Ontario. Without a population objective, the cull simply appears to be pandering to local interests. In other words, it is a decision based on politics rather than science.

The double-crested cormorant is a native, fish-eating species that was almost driven to extinction in much of Canada from blatant persecution that manifests itself in illegal shooting and assaults on their nesting colonies as well as the effects of DDT on its reproductive ability. Once DDT was banned in the early 1970’s, double-crested cormorants mounted a remarkable recovery, not unlike the bald eagle, particularly in the Great Lakes Region.


Now widespread in the Great Lakes Region, double-crested cormorants nest in colonies along parts of the Ottawa and Rideau river systems, including islands on the Ottawa River near the Prince of Wales Bridge and Conroy Island in Gatineau. There is a large colony on Big Rideau Lake. Cormorants are migratory birds, leaving eastern Ontario for the Atlantic Ocean in the fall, and returning in the spring.

Their numbers have responded to abundant populations of exotic, invasive fish species such as alewives and smelt. As a colonial nesting species that often chooses islands for colony sites where other colonial species such as gulls, terns, and herons also nest, cormorants have been the object of hate and false narratives, such as that cormorants are not native species and that they destroy commercial and sport fish stocks.

What is really needed to address local concerns about cormorant populations and their impact on local fisheries is localized management, which could include organized culls as was done successfully for a decade on Middle Island in Lake Erie. It can also be done successfully without shooting. The Toronto Region Conservation Authority has successfully and transparently implemented non-lethal cormorant control at Tommy Thompson Park for many years.

Such an approach would be far better than disguising the broad, province-wide cull as a hunt, which lacks scientific justification and objectives.

Ted Cheskey, Naturalist Director at Nature Canada, a national non-profit conservation organization, leads the organization’s domestic and international bird conservation initiatives. 

Province’s ‘baffling’ cormorant cull is ‘going to be a disaster’

Hunt that begins today will allow hunters to kill 15 birds daily; ‘They might as well as be shooting loons and great blue herons … it’s mind boggling, says naturalist

Andrew Philips15 minutes ago

A cormorant and seagull enjoy a quiet moment on Georgian Bay. Andrew Philips/MidlandToday

Hunt that begins today will allow hunters to kill 15 birds daily; ‘They might as well as be shooting loons and great blue herons … it’s mind boggling, says naturalist

While the province says it’s a necessary step, its widespread double-crested cormorant cull that begins today is drawing some pointed criticism.

“It’s going to be a disaster for people with minimal impact on the cormorants,” naturalist David Hawke, an OrilliaMatters columnist, predicted. “It’s akin to shooting ring-billed gulls.”

That Progressive Conservative government’s “fall harvest for double-creasted cormorants introduced to protect local ecosystems” was quietly introduced in late July just prior to a holiday weekend.

Hawke said that while some find cormorants to be a nuisance since they kill vegetation where they nest, they are a native species and actually feed on an invasive fish species: round gobies.

“They might as well as be shooting loons and great blue herons,” he said. “This whole thing is baffling and it’s mind boggling that this is being done as a hunt. Because to me a hunt is for food. You can’t eat them because of their hundred percent fish diet. They’re not edible.”

But Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop said the government announced the hunt that lasts until December 31 and allows hunters to kill 15 birds daily as a means to to combat a growing problem.

“I’ve heard concerns from property owners, hunters and anglers about the kind of damage cormorants have caused in Simcoe North, and across Ontario, who have witnessed firsthand the issues that cormorants have caused,” Dunlop said.

“The fall hunting season was introduced to protect our local ecosystem and will help communities manage the destruction caused by the cormorant populations where they have negatively impacted natural habitat and other water bird species.”

But Bob Codd, who’s a member of the Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists, said there doesn’t seem to be any real science behind the hunt.

“Any scientific literature would suggest that there’s no basis for it,” said Codd, who runs the local group’s website.

“I think Mr. Ford is just doing it to appease what he sees as his base. I guess there’s a small clamour to do something about them, but a provincewide cull in my opinion isn’t the answer. This doesn’t really make any sense. You can’t eat them. Even a jurisdiction like the United States rejected a cull.”

While no one seems to have firm numbers on how many hunters will be participating, the birds’ numbers could be drastically different by next year should participation be high.

“I don’t know how many people are going to participate in it, but the potential is vast,” Codd said. “If everybody who could, did, it would be really devastating.”

The Animal Alliance of Canada said that the bird could be brought to near extinction in just one season since there are an estimated 143,000 adult, breeding cormorants in the province since hunters hold small game permits (about 197,000) can legally kill up to 15 cormorants a day during a hunt that lasts 111 days.

But Lauren Tonelli, resources management specialist with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, doesn’t think member participation will be that high in the hunt except, perhaps, in smaller lake areas where cormorants outnumber other birds and have damaged habitat.

.”I really feel like it’ll mostly be people who have been seen those types of issues for the past decade,” she said, adding they’re not expecting to see each hunter take 15 birds a day so fears of the bird being hunted into near extinction are without merit.

“I mean, you could apply that to anything. If every angler in Ontario went out and took their limit of fish everyday that they could, you probably would have an issue as well. But obviously that doesn’t happen.”

And while there were no big fireworks displays for either Victoria or Canada Day this year due to the pandemic, the sounds of shotgun blasts bursting through the air could take away some of the calm and tranquility Ontario’s lakes normally offer in the fall.

Hawke wonders whether that loss of tranquility and leaving either dead or dying cormorants to rot on islands where they’ve been shot or floating over to nearby shorelines could create hostility and lead to conflicts between hunters and those enjoying area lakes like boaters, campers and cottagers.

“You’re going to see a shoreline of dead birds,” Hawke said, noting he can see a major social disconnect happening between the varying groups. “I can see a huge social clash happening. We now have more cottages, more people than ever before.

“These guys will go out, blast away and knock a bunch of cormorants out of the sky. They can’t take them home because they’re not worth eating. What do you do with the carcass? I think we’re going to see a shoreline of dead cormorant carcasses rotting.”

Hawke said he can’t understand the logic behind the government’s decision to try to decimate the waterbird’s provincial population through a legal hunt since the province once had an extended Canada Goose hunt, but that had seemingly no effect on that species’ population.

“Why don’t they have a concerted effort to oil the (cormorant’s) eggs so they don’t hatch and the population would slowly decrease,” he said, adding that move would be better for everyone and would address concerns related to cormorants such as damaging trees for nesting and roosting, eating a small percentage of so-called ‘sport fish’ and leaving behind guano-topped islands.

As well, some consider the cormorants’ revival in the Great Lakes from historic lows in the 1970s to be a success story with Hawke noting the bird suffered dramatic declinces back then due to exposure to environmental contaminants like DDT.

Tonelli, meanwhile, said her organization has been after the province for two decades to deal with the burgeoning cormorant population.

“We had a lot of members noticing that cormorant populations were increasing and their colonies were getting bigger and they’re causing more damage along the waterfront and smaller islands,” Tonelli said. “Their numbers are increasing throughout Ontario.”

Tonelli said that in 2018 when a similar initiative was being mentioned, her organization wanted the government to take “active management” of the species by having Ministry of Natural Resources and Foresty personnel conduct population control measures through smaller culls and oiling eggs where needed rather than an official hunt.

But she said she understands the reasoning behind the hunt since it will cost the government fewer resources in terms of staff time.

She added: “Obviously allowing a hunt doesn’t really cost them anything and they actually make a little bit of revenue.”

Cormorant hunt scheduled to start Tuesday despite controversy

NORTH BAY — The controversial culling of cormorants starts Tuesday,
intended to protect the fish population, the province says, but many groups

Animal protection activists argue the cull endangers the bird species, while
advocates dismiss such concerns as exaggerated.

“These are birds that have been driven close to extinction twice in the last
200 years,” said Liz White, director of the Animal Alliance of Canada and
the leader of the Animal Protection Party of Canada.

“One of those times was from persecution. So we know that these birds are
extremely vulnerable to this kind of action and what we have now in the
Province of Ontario is a province-wide killing of a bird that has made a
spectacular comeback.”

The group sent an open letter sent to John Yakabuski, minister of Natural
Resources and Forestry, asking for more scientific research to support the
hunt. The hunt currently goes one for 106 days, and allows hunters to take
15 birds per day.

Fifteen birds a day

“Fifteen birds a day is actually comparable to other migratory birds like
the dove — they’re 15 a day, as well,” said North Bay Hunters and Anglers
president Kam Wroblewski. “However those numbers are set, someone had to
take a look at the numbers and realize that we have 140,000-plus cormorants
and we don’t have 140,000-plus cormorant hunters.”

Wroblewski said he doubts the cull will be that popular with hunters.

“I think it will be opportunistic, where duck hunters or geese hunters are
out there and they see cormorants, they’ll take them, but generally I don’t
think it will be a popular hunt.”

In a statement to CTV, the MNR said Ontario is acting on concerns from
property owners, hunters and anglers and commercial fishers about the king
of damage cormorants have called in their communities.

“Cormorants prey on fish, eating a pound a day,” the statement said.
“Research shows they can impact some fish stocks. The birds can also damage
trees they nest and roost in. In large amounts, cormorant droppings, called
guano, can kill trees and other vegetation and destroy traditional nesting
habitats for some other colonial water birds.”

No scientific evidence

White disagrees, arguing there is no scientific evidence that cormorants
harm fish populations.

“In fact, if you look at the total allowable catch for Lake Erie, which is
the largest fresh water commercial fishery in the world, the number of fish
that are taken out by the commercial fishery has not gone down,” she said.
“Yet Lake Erie has very large cormorant populations on a number of islands
in the western basin.”

She said in Toronto, where there are large cormorant colonies, public
beaches are listed as “blue flag beaches,” deeming them good for swimming
and not toxic from cormorant droppings.

“We’re talking in Ontario of 140,000 birds, not very many birds,” White
said. “And if you look at the wider aspect, in all of the islands of the
30,000 islands that are in the Great Lakes Basin, cormorants occupy just
under three per cent of those islands.”

The Animal Association of Canada is asking people to keep an eye out for
injured birds or bird remains so they can document how the season is going.

“We don’t know how many birds are going to be killed,” White said. “We don’t
know what effect that’s going to have on the population. There’s absolutely
no measurement and it really is, as denied by the Ford Government, an
extermination program.”

Despite the controversy, Wroblewski said hunters are just trying to do
what’s best.

“I think people just need to recognize that as a whole and as a collective,
hunters are here to basically enjoy the woods, but we’re not looking to cull
anything to zero,” he said. “We’re just basically looking to reset the
balance of things and making sure that other species, for example the blue
heron – which is having a difficult time thriving because of the cormorants
– they have a chance … We’re looking at levelling the playing field for
every species out there, and all the fish as well.”

10 Devastating Videos of Marine Animals Caught in Fishing Gear

shark tangled in fishing net
Lead Image Source : VisionDive/Shutterstock

The Absurd Pretense to Justify Hunt For Cormorants

Originally, the Government of Ontario proposed what I characterized as the single worst wildlife management decision of the modern era: naming the double-crested cormorant a “game” bird, and then have a province-wide open season on it from March 15 (before most cormorants, a migratory species, have arrived back in Ontario) to December 31 (long after they have left) with a daily bag limit of 50 birds. And, unheard of for any “game” species, anywhere, there would be no requirement that killed birds must be use for food. Cormorants, obligate fish-eaters, are, to most palates, inedible. Scientists, including the government’s own and those of the federal Canadian Wildlife Service, as well as independent ornithologists and cormorant researchers, plus hunters for whom the deliberate wastage of game is unimaginable, all objected.

There was a small victory in that this extermination program was dialed back a bit. The birds will not legally be slaughtered during the nesting season, leaving helpless young to die horribly, as originally planned. The idea now is to have an open season from September 15th to December 31st. But, hunters are still allowed to waste the “game” by delivering it to an approved waste disposal site, dumping it by following disposal of deadstock regulations under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001, or burying the birds they kill on their own land or private land they occupy, with the owner’s consent. Of course, there is no means of enforcing any of this. For details, click here.

Ontario has an astounding 125,000 lakes. The Ontario government claims there are 143,000 cormorants in the province. That works out to slightly more than 1.7 cormorants per lake! And, that is deemed too many? Of course they aren’t evenly distributed, which is part of the problem; cormorants are absent from most waters, wetlands, and islands, but in the relatively very few places where they are able nest, they are noticed. Furthermore, Ontario has approximately 197,000 holders of the small game permit required for the proposed killing of cormorants. If only 0.5% of hunters were to reach their daily limit for just 10 days of the three and a half month season, the “take” would exceed the total number of breeding cormorants in Ontario. The government, in contrast to how “game” is supposed to be managed, did not even try to estimate a “sustainable” level of cormorant killing. There is no mechanism to determine how many are being killed to prevent over-hunting and subsequent extirpation or extinction of species.

This policy violates two of the seven basic principles of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which states that wildlife should only be killed for a legitimate, non-frivolous purpose (always open to interpretation, of course) and, of great relevance, that scientific management is the proper means for wildlife conservation.

Neither science, conservation, compassion, nor logic have been considered – the price of which is the lives of innocent birds.

Hawksbill Sea Turtles Don’t Have to Be Bycatch!

Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Help mandate that fishermen use safer practices near Hawksbill sea turtle ecosystems!

Sign to add your voice in support for an international mandate that requires the use of TEDs and/or LED lights when fishing in and around hawksbill sea turtle ecosystems.

Hawksbill sea turtles are a species vital to both marine and beach ecosystems. Unfortunately, they are also critically endangered.

Hawksbill turtles are mainly found in the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. [1] They spend the majority of their time in coastal waters, near coral reefs where they have access to the sponges and jellyfish that make up a significant portion of their diets.

Their presence in these areas is crucial to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. By consuming sponges, they facilitate the growth of coral reefs, and when they graze on sea grass, they stimulate the production and improve the nutrient quality of the plants. Research suggests that these activities qualify them as a keystone species, meaning their loss would be catastrophic to these diverse ecosystems. [2]

There are a variety of threats to this invaluable species, including pollution, habitat loss due to coastal development, excessive egg collection, and wildlife trade. Sadly, beyond that, hundreds of thousands of hawksbill sea turtles are killed annually, purely by accident. Because they reside in areas where communities are dependent upon fishing to support themselves, the turtles frequently become what is known as “bycatch” [3] when they are unintentionally captured in fishermen’s drop nets and hooks. Once caught in nets, the turtles often drown, as they’re unable to swim to the surface for air.

If we want to protect this keystone species, as well as the ecosystem they call home, this has to stop.

In the U.S., Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) are required by fishermen. These nets allow larger animals to escape through an opening near the back without losing their catch. Another solution has come about in the form of nets bearing LED lights [4], which divert sea turtles away from the nets before they’re captured without affecting the number of fish caught. These lights are inexpensive, particularly when you compare the cost to that of killing a critically endangered species.

Unfortunately, many fishermen use neither TEDs nor LED lights to help combat the issue of hawksbill bycatch.

It’s time for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administraion’s International Fisheries Division (IFD) to take a more proactive approach to hawksbill conservation! Sign to show your support for safer methods of fishing in all hawksbill sea turtle ecosystems by requiring the utilization of TEDs or LED lights to reduce hawksbill bycatch and working with local fishermen to develop an understanding of the importance of this keystone species!


[1] Hawksbill Turtle. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2018, from

[2] E. Wilson, K. Miller, D. Allison, & Magliocca D. (n.d.). Why Healthy Oceans Need Sea Turtles: The Importance of Sea Turtles to Marine Ecosystems. Retrieved January 11, 2018, from

[3] Threats to Sea Turtles. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2018, from

[4] Fisheries, N. (n.d.). Lights, Camera, Bycatch � LEDs Light the Way for Chinook Salmon. Retrieved January 11, 2018, from

To Top

The Petition:

To the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administraion’s International Fisheries Division (IFD),

Hawksbill sea turtles have been established as a keystone species. However, they’re also critically endangered due to outdated fishing practices.

These sea turtles are mainly found in tropical waters, in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans in coastal waters, near coral reefs. Their presence in these areas is crucial to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. The hawksbill’s consumption of sea sponges facilitates the growth of coral reefs, and when they grace on sea grass, they stimulate the production and improve the nutrient quality of the plants.

To Top