BRITAIN: Sealicide

Stalking Halichoerus grypus

A bizarre and motley flotilla played tag last week in the frigid northern waters off Britain's Orkney Islands. Leading the chase was the 120-ft, red-and-white-hulled vessel Kvitungen, carrying six expert Norwegian seal hunters to and fro between half a dozen uninhabited islands. Snapping at their heels was the 500-ton trawler Rainbow Warrior, crewed by 14 militant ecologists. Bringing up the rear were three boatloads of eager journalists, with reinforcements overhead in helicopters and light aircraft. At stake in the curious nautical exercise were the lives of some 6,000 generally inoffensive members of the species Halichoerus grypus, commonly...

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