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Posted Wed Mar 10 2010: from CBC:
Seal pups beached -- lack of sea ice off Newfoundland
An exceptional lack of sea ice on the Gulf of St. Lawrence this winter has left seal mothers with few places to bear their young or to feed their pups. The conditions have led to numerous sightings of fuzzy, days-old critters wallowing on beaches, where many will die. Some of those seals are being born on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula.... But Mike Hammill doesn't believe the added deaths would have a major impact on the Eastern Canada seal populations, which number about seven million in total. An Environment Canada ice forecaster recently said the sea-ice levels recorded in the Gulf this winter are about as low as any readings since the 1960s. Earlier this week, Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said poor ice conditions may cause the cancellation of this year's Gulf of St. Lawrence seal hunt. It usually begins at the end of March.
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Operation Ice-Free Arctic is going exactly according to plan....

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