Feds put up $5.7 million to market seal products

The federal government is putting $5.7 million toward marketing the sealing industry, despite the hunt grinding to a halt. The money, announced in the 2015 federal budget, will be dedicated to opening up new products and markets for the sealing industry. The quota for the 2015 hunt is 400,000 seals, but in 2014 there were only 60,000 seals harvested. The last seal pelt processor, Carino Processing of South Dildo, N.L., was subsidized by the provincial government to buy pelts. Carino announced this year it will not buy seal pelts or fat this year, leaving a $1-million provincial loan on the table. That leaves the industry effectively dead. Anti-sealing groups no longer bother to fly to Newfoundland and Labrador to monitor the seal hunt. But the government is hoping the $5.7-million investment over five years can open up new markets, particularly in Europe. That may seem an Read more

Carino not buying seals this year

CEO calls decision ‘short term pain for long term gain'; says market access key for future Carino Processing will not be buying seal pelts or fat this year, but company CEO Dion Dakins says the decision is geared to improve the industry's and the company's viability in the years ahead. Dakins said the company has inventory from previous hunts on hand. New player in this year's seal hunt promising to shake things up However, he said they will be purchasing a limited amount of seal meat from harvesters who are participating. As a result of the decision, Dakins said Carino has also decided not to access any of the $1 million loan announced last week by the provincial government. "At this point we just want to focus our efforts on the sale of our existing inventory," Dakins told CBC's Fisheries Read more

Canada Seal Hunt - Newfoundland And Labrador Opens Annual Hunt On Sunday

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The annual seal hunt off Newfoundland and Labrador will open Sunday. The federal Fisheries Department says sealers on the Front off northeastern Newfoundland and southern Labrador, as well as those based in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, can take to the water at 6 a.m. Fisheries says seal harvesters should check with their buyers to make sure there is a market for the seals before they head out. The department is also advising fishermen that they must do humane harvesting training before taking part in this year's hunt. The start of the season comes days after the Newfoundland and Labrador government contributed $2 million to two different processing plants to support the provincial sealing sector. An animal rights group condemned the financial aid, arguing the government is propping up a dying and inhumane industry. The Canadian Press Source: Read more

Swedish seal culls hit by new EU trading rules

The rules for selling seal products have been tightened. An exemption allowing the trade of products made from seals culled as part of wildlife management has been revoked by the EU, which could affect seal trade in Sweden. The EU commission made the decision after pressure from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which in November 2013 called the exemption discriminatory. Sweden is one of si countries in the world that allows the hunting of seals, though only as part of wildlife management and with permission from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket). Around 300 seals were killed in 2014. The EU decision does not forbid the culling of seals. But rather than selling the fur or the meat, the products must now be destroyed. Swedish MEP Christofer Fjellner, member of the Moderate party, was among those who hit out at the new rules on Read more

‘Nail in coffin for Norwegian seal hunting’: Govt cuts subsidies

Norway has cut a 12 million kroner ($1.8 million) subsidy for seal hunting from next year’s budget. Environmentalists have applauded the move. Some businesses say it is putting an end to a historical and eco-friendly practice. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries say stripping the seal industry of subsidy has been dictated by “economic priorities.” The government is aware of how vital the financial support has been for the business. “Seal hunting businesses are run by 80 percent subsidies,” State Secretary Amund Ringdal of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries told the Norwegian news agency NTB. “When they are removed, the consequences will clearly be big. But we cannot say whether it's the final nail in the coffin for Norwegian seal hunting.” The opposition has criticized the government for yielding to pressure from the EU. “In reality the government gave in to Read more

Ground-breaking WTO decision puts animal welfare before Free Trade, based on morals.

After spending hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to fight a ban put in place by the EU, the Canada and Norway governments received its answer from the World Trade Organization that countries can, in fact, ban products they consider to be inhumane. More money is spent on promotion, peddling, and fighting trade bans than the commercial seal hunt, which is performed by off-season, full time fishermen, could ever bring in. Since Canada’s government can’t prove that Northern economy depends on the seal hunt as they claim, a representative of Inuit was sent to trade ban hearings. This was irrelevant since Inuit are not included in the ban, and clearly the WTO thought so, too. There are still some Inuit who perform substantive hunting, and the EU and Taiwan international markets remain open to them. View the WTO Read more

Kaley Cuoco Latest Celeb To Oppose The Seal Hunt

In what is becoming a familiar refrain, a celebrity took to Twitter to post her thoughts on the Canadian seal hunt, and the "disgusting" practices carried out every year. Kaley Cuoco (who recently added her husband's last name, Sweeting, to her Twitter profile), star of "The Big Bang Theory," began her missives on Twitter on April 15, with this tweet: “@FriendsForSeals: http://t.co/CmkJUJYXOa pic.twitter.com/CDDcgaCiGu #sealhunt video” this is SO disgusting and needs to stop NOW please!— Kaley Cuoco Sweeting (@KaleyCuoco) April 16, 2014 The California native has continued since then, noting her disgust when people have defended the Canadian seal hunt: I'm disgusted hearing the Canadian seal hunt is "humane". It's so "humane" I'm unable 2 post any pics it's so grotesque. My heart breaks— Kaley Cuoco Sweeting (@KaleyCuoco) April 16, 2014 The Humane Society has clarified its position on the seal hunt, making Read more

"Why do some people say seal pups aren't killed?"

When harp seal pups are born, they are known as "white coats". This is the fur popular for non-essential fur items only. When they are about 12 days old, they begin to molt the fuzzy baby fur they were born with. At the thought of defenseless seal pups being killed, public outcry was enormous. But Canada government, still wants that beuatiful white fur, which is gone forever when at approximately 3 months old it's replaced by light gray with dark spots. What to do? Thinking they would appease the world, they decided that "technically" when the fuzz begins to shed (and the pups still have white fur) now being "ragged jackets", they aren't pups anymore. Counting on the public to just believe what they're told, Canada's government continues to declare that seal "pups", "babies", and "white coats" aren't skinned. In reality, and Read more

Gail Shea says animal rights activists stopped seal meat sale to China

HALIFAX – Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says a trade agreement to sell seal meat in China has been largely thwarted by animal rights activists. Shea announced the deal in January 2011 in Beijing, saying that gaining access to the world’s most populous country would breathe new life into an industry crippled that year by a new European ban on seal products. But the Chinese government later said it had called for a review of the deal, which has remained stalled ever since. Shea is now blaming the animal rights movement for pressuring the Chinese government to back away from the deal over concerns the Canadian seal hunt is inhumane. She says those opposed to the sealing industry have succeeded in spreading misinformation about the slaughter of seal pups, a practice that was banned in the 1980s. The annual East Coast hunt started Monday Read more

This year's seal slaughter begins. This article is loaded with the typical propaganda and misinformation.

Canada’s annual seal hunt began last week, much to the dismay of, among others, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Chefs for Seals — the organization’s anti-sealing campaign — has, for eight years, promoted a boycott against all Canadian fish and seafood products as a means of pressuring Ottawa to impose a ban on commercial sealing. The campaign’s Facebook page states that, “More than 6,000 restaurants and grocery stores (in addition to 800,000 individuals) have joined the Protect Seals boycott of Canadian seafood. They are making it clear that the Canadian annual commercial seal hunt is an unacceptable business practice undertaken by Canada’s fishing industry. Why, though, is commercial sealing an unacceptable business practice? Seals aren’t endangered. Indeed, the threat status for harp seals — determined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature — is “least concern” and Read more

Gail Shea

Feds put up $5.7 million to market seal products

The federal government is putting $5.7 million toward marketing the sealing industry, despite the hunt grinding to a halt.

The money, announced in the 2015 federal budget, will be dedicated to opening up new products and markets for the sealing industry.

The quota for the 2015 hunt is 400,000 seals, but in 2014 there were only 60,000 seals harvested.

The last seal pelt processor, Carino Processing of South Dildo, N.L., was subsidized by the provincial government to buy pelts.

Carino announced this year it will not buy seal pelts or fat this year, leaving a $1-million provincial loan on the table.

That leaves the industry effectively dead. Anti-sealing groups no longer bother to fly to Newfoundland and Labrador to monitor the seal hunt.

But the government is hoping the $5.7-million investment over five years can open up new markets, particularly in Europe.

That may seem an odd strategy, considering the European Union has banned seal products. Canada’s appeals of the ban were dismissed by the World Trade Organization.

But the ban does not apply to the aboriginal sealing industry, and part of the money will go toward creating a system to certify seal products from aboriginal communities. There is also cash for business advice and training for aboriginal sealers.

The money will also go toward reviving the broader seal hunt.

“It’s a battle of misinformation,” Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea said in an interview this week.

“You have animal welfare groups going around with little stuffed white baby seals and saying, ‘You know, Canada still hunts these seals.’ We haven’t hunted those seals in more than 30 years.”

Other uses for the $5.7 million include promoting seal products in Canada and researching new consumer products such as Omega-3 capsules from seal oil.

“I mean, a lot of people still have leather seat covers and they still have fur coats,” said Shea.

How much money there could be in those endeavours remains to be seen. In 2004, Canada exported $12.8 million worth of seal products. By 2010, the last year for which data is available, the value was only $2.2 million. The government no longer provides information on the value of seal exports.

The price of pelts fell from over $100 a decade ago to as little as $15 in 2009.

The Chronicle Herald News
Source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1282600-feds-put-up-5.7-million-to-market-seal-products

Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

Gail Shea says animal rights activists stopped seal meat sale to China

HALIFAX – Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says a trade agreement to sell seal meat in China has been largely thwarted by animal rights activists.

Shea announced the deal in January 2011 in Beijing, saying that gaining access to the world’s most populous country would breathe new life into an industry crippled that year by a new European ban on seal products.

But the Chinese government later said it had called for a review of the deal, which has remained stalled ever since.

Shea is now blaming the animal rights movement for pressuring the Chinese government to back away from the deal over concerns the Canadian seal hunt is inhumane.

She says those opposed to the sealing industry have succeeded in spreading misinformation about the slaughter of seal pups, a practice that was banned in the 1980s.

The annual East Coast hunt started Monday amid heavy ice conditions off the northwest coast of Newfoundland.

GlobalNews.ca
Source: http://globalnews.ca/news/1269900/gail-shea-says-animal-rights-activists-stopped-seal-meat-sale-to-china/

Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg

Plan to cull 70,000 grey seals gets Senate panel’s approval

The Senate’s fisheries committee has endorsed a contentious cull of 70,000 grey seals in the Gulf of St. Lawrence over a four-year period, in a bid to conserve cod stocks.

The Senate’s standing committee on fisheries and oceans began hearings last year to respond to a Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat call for an experimental — and unprecedented — cull of grey seals.

On Tuesday the committee released a report that acknowledged “the ecological risks raised by some witnesses” but nevertheless supports “the logic of the proposed experimental reduction of grey seals in this area.”

There were an estimated 104,000 of the animals living in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence as of 2010, the Senate committee said in a news release.

The report also recommends setting up a bounty system to compensate hunters, but it didn’t say how much the bounty should be. There is no market for grey seal pelts.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) blames the seals for preventing cod stocks from recovering in the Gulf.

Acting fisheries minister Gail Shea is under pressure from the fishing industry to do something about the stalled cod recovery in the Gulf, where there’s indirect scientific evidence suggesting hungry grey seals are to blame.

But critics say that plans for a cull have been driven by politics, not science.

A group of marine biologists at Dalhousie University in Halifax issued an open letter last fall that said a cull could produce unintended consequences, including further depletion of the cod.

The letter said the proposal couldn’t be justified by existing scientific evidence and was biased because it focused only on the negative impact of grey seals.

Jeff Hutchings, a biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said that a cull of grey seals could not be expected to save cod.

“It’s not a two-species ecosystem. It’s a multi-species ecosystem,” said Hutchings, who appeared before the Senate fisheries committee.

EU ban reduces seal market

Hutchings said the available science does not support a cull.

“One cannot credibly predict from a science perspective whether a cull of grey seals would have a positive impact on cod or negative impact on cod … or no impact whatsoever,” he said.

Grey seals represent only a small percentage of the annual seal hunt in Eastern Canada, with harp seals by far dominating the traditional market.

However, that market has collapsed in re
cent years, in the wake of a European Union ban against Canadian seal products.

The Senate committee isn’t the first group of legislators to recommend a cull of grey seals. In May 2007, an all-party Commons committee recommended that Sable Island be opened up to a grey seal hunt, but that recommendation was ignored.

Although the Fisheries Department says seal hunters can kill up to 60,000 grey seals annually, only a few hundred have been killed since 2009.

Frank Pinhorn, executive director of the Canadian Sealers Association, said trying to turn a grey seal cull into a commercial venture could be a hard sell.

“The price would have to go up, because it would have to be worthwhile for sealers to go and harvest these animals in order to make it worthwhile for them to do so,” he said.

Click here for full story

Posted on by FriendsForSealsOrg