Canadian officials are denying they have decided to curb the annual seal hunt off of Newfoundland, by far the largest cull of marine mammals in the world. Based on an internal memo that it obtained, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said the country’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans had decided to pare back the total allowable catch for next year’s hunt from 275,000 to 245,000 for conservation reasons. The activists have been pressuring the government to scale back the hunt, which has turned into a public relations nightmare for Canada, with photos of hunters clubbing seals hitting the press each year. But the government says the hunt protects depleted fish stocks and provides jobs in the most economically depressed region of Canada, while having little effect on an abundant seal population.