In fair weather months the inhabitants of the Magellan Islands in the Gulf of St.?
In fair weather months the inhabitants of the Magellan Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada are fishermen. But in winter, when icy winds whistle across the gulf, their boats are locked tight into frozen harbours and there is nothing to do.
Thanks to a concession made by the Federal Government when they banned seal hunting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Magellan Islanders can still supplement their incomes during the winter months by slaughtering their part of a yearly quota of 30,000 white-coated seal pups. In a good year they can make up to a thousand dollars, with the pelts selling at six or seven dollars each.
But there are now moves afoot to turn the Gulf ice area into a nature reserve, where tourists can see the seals and their young in their wild state. The first batch of animal-loving US tourists arrived last weekend; but because the fishermen see this development as yet another threat to their livelihood and traditional way of life, they gave the travellers something less than a friendly welcome.
When the tourists tried to explain their point of view they were shouted down and some of them were visibly stunned by the reception they got at the airport.