Government of Canada Extends Seal Harvest in Newfoundland and Labrador
Posted May 11 2010 7:10am
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, confirmed today that the seal harvest in Newfoundland and Labrador will be extended to May 31, 2010. This decision will allow sealers more time to make use of their 2010 allocations and provide them with an extended period of time to take advantage of potential market opportunities.
“The seal harvest brings much needed income to thousands of sealers and their families in remote communities every year,” said Minister Shea. “Our government will continue to support these communities and ensure that they can make the best of their opportunities in these difficult economic times.”
While the Marine Mammal Regulations set the closing time for the seal harvest at May 15 for commercial harvesters, the closing date can be modified through a variation order to adapt to changing circumstances. These operational decisions are made based on ongoing dialogue with local sealers and take into consideration local environmental and biological conditions, and various other relevant factors.
While markets for seal pelts can be subject to significant fluctuations from one year to the next, the trade of other seal products such as oils and meat represents an increasingly important segment of what is traditionally a multi-million dollar business in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.
“Our government will continue to support the development of new markets for seal products both at home and abroad,” said Minister Shea. “Our focus is on creating long-term economic opportunities for Canadian sealers and their families.”
Minister Shea recently approved a multi-year developmental allocation of 20,000 seals per year to support value-added projects presented by the seal industry, including innovative meat products and the ongoing research by Greek and Canadian researchers who are studying the potential for the use of seals heart valves in human transplant.