OTTAWA - It's been a banner year for the seal hunt - or a wholesale slaughter, depending on your point of view.
In dueling news releases Thursday, seal hunt advocates cheered the bumper crop coming out of the North Atlantic hunt this year, while the Humane Society condemned the killing of nearly 60,000 seals since the season's opening.
The rival groups paint starkly different portraits of the seal hunt.
"Good weather conditions and an abundant population of seals have contributed to the early success of this year's harvest," Canadian Sealers Association president Eldred Woodford said.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Aldworth from the Humane Society - among the hunt's fiercest critics - says: "This year, we witnessed the worst sea ice conditions I have ever seen off Newfoundland, and it is clear there has been significant seal pup mortality as a result."