pagophilus.org:Focus Technologies Inc. harp seal study released.
Date: January 7 1999
Posted by: Dave Johnston

On January 5 1999, the Newfoundland Government released a study entitled "A simulation model of the response of harp seals to alternative harvesting strategies." Among other things, this piece of science suggests that the MSY for the NW Atlantic harp seal population rests around 275, 000 animals. It also indicates that the current replacement yield (the number of seal that can be removed without decreasing the population size) is approximately 402,000 animals yet states that "...alternative harvest levels such as a kill of 400,000 seals will gradually reduce the current population..." These numbers appear a bit inconsistent to me, but then again they had a hard time with the spelling of the harp seal generic name in this paper as well.

You can read all of the gory details at this URL (including a downloadable version):
http://www.gov.nf.ca/fishaq/MODEL/cover.htm

The study was conducted under contract to the Newfoundland Govt. by a consulting company called Focus Technologies Inc. (from St. John's Newfoundland), apparently as a response to a paper currently in press in Marine Mammal Science which suggests that the hunt in its current form is unsustainable.
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