Fisheries Department sets seal quota

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One of two men in a smaller boat takes aim at a seal during the 2011 commercial seal hunt off Newfoundland and Labrador.

Halifax (CP) — The Fisheries Department has set the annual harp seal quota amid criticism that the allowance is too high at a time when markets for the product are drying up.

The department’s website today listed the total allowable catch for harp seals at 400,000, which is the same as last year and includes a 20,000 developmental quota.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare is condemning the decision, saying it flies in the face of proper fisheries management.

In a release, the group says scientists have warned that the harp seal population is declining while the productivity of the species also decreases.

It says international markets for seal products have dwindled after the European Union and Russia shut the door on them.

The total allowable catch for harp seals was 330,000 in 2010 and 280,000 in 2009, according to the Fisheries Department website.


Organizations: Fisheries Department, Halifax, International Fund for Animal Welfare European Union

Geographic location: Russia

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Recent comments

  • Harold
    March 21, 2012 - 13:27

    answer to ford elms - March 21, 2012 at 10:08:44. I read your comments to ford elms and in my opinion you are one "small minded individual".

  • answer to ford elms
    March 21, 2012 - 08:29

    As a fellow Canadian, I will say I do not side with fishery workers because I don't want there to be a fishing industry in Canada. I truly believe that we as a nation are too good to depend on dirty fishery jobs. I truly believe that we should not be investing in low class low skill fishery jobs, but rather should be focusing on getting knowledge based, white collar jobs. I truly support the decimation of the fishery jobs, IF it means that the provincial coffers gets more cash....I advocate taking the benefit of the fishery away from the fishermen and distributing to all NL citizens allowing corporations to use foreigners to catch fish and process the fish offshore lead to more taxes paid and then by extention better health care and better roads, then lets do this NOW...the fishery can benefit so many more than jsut the fishery workers..... We should be pursuing OCI for a office or offices in Canada, not a stinking fish plant. Think about it. How many of you in this province truly want a fishery job for your kids? How many of you have kids have left NL to find work that they want? And most importantly, where are the young people protesting the changes in the fishery? They are somewhere else, because like me, they don't care about the fishery. Also, generally speaking, I will say that I do not side with workers (Canadian, American, and global) because I believe in the rights of management to pay what and only what they want. I do not side with workers because I believe in the right of a company to plug and play workers as they see fit, and I beleive that a worker is only valuable to a company until another worker comes along who offers the company more value....more value can come at higher productivity at the same cost, or identicial productivity at a cheaper cost -either way, the result for the company is more value. In short, I am a fellow Canadian, but I do not support the fishery workers because it is not in my interests do so. I will stop cheering for decisions that go against the fishery when the fishery is dead and gone. You ask what kind of country has citizens that cheer for decisions that goes against it fellow country men......the answer is a democratic country where freedom of speech allows us to articulate our interests and our right to vote allows us to donate to, volunteer for, and vote for anti-fishery politicians.

    • Ford Elms
      March 21, 2012 - 09:06

      LOL! The tone of your post and the terms you use says it all! "as a nation are too good to depend on dirty fishery jobs" "low class low skill fishery jobs" "a stinking fish plant" Must be nice to be so superior.

    • Christopher Chafe
      March 21, 2012 - 11:19

      Well Ford Elms with the perception that your kind exhault to the rest of Canada, can you really blame his response. I mean seriously IN NO OTHER INDUSTRY would you be able to act like a spoiled brat on TV and have support. As a Newfoundlander I agree with every word in the comment.

    March 21, 2012 - 04:19

    In response to Ford Elms. I can understand what you mean about the livelihood of fishermen. But this barbaric ritual makes up less than 5% of their annual income, it's seasonal work and not a full-time occupation. In terms of coming after farmers next - I agree that that is unfair, especially when many farms utilise humane slaughter practices. However, here and now, with these seals, it's not possible to kill them humanely - and it's all happening so some spoilt rich bitch can wear a fluffy coat. It's unnecessary cruelty.

    • Ford Elms
      March 21, 2012 - 07:25

      More animal rights industry propaganda. It's amazing how, after forty years, people still believe these lies. Sealers actually stand to make up to a quarter of their income from sealing, despite what you've been told by unscrupulous industrialists. It is simply not true that seals are killed inhumanely. I grant the hakapik has bad optics, but crushing an animal's skull kills it pretty much instantly. Surely what's important is whether or not the animal suffers, not whether or not it offends the effete sensibilities of judgmental urbanites who have no idea where their meat comes from. There are rules for how seals are killed, and they are strictly enforced. Do you know what they are? I doubt it. Seals aren't skinned alive, for starters, that's a lie created by Brian Davies of IFAW, who started it by paying a man to skin a seal alive so he could falsely accuse sealers. IFAW and HSUS are experts at animal snuff videos. This has been proven in courts in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, and China. For me, the bigger question is: after forty years of your innocent "fellow Canadians" teling you this, after it being proven time and again in courts, you are still repeating the lies as though they were fact. Why? Why have you not educated yourself on this issue? Why have you swallowed the lies of the ARI as though they were fact, and why, after all this time, are you still repeating them? You should be ashamed of yourself, there's no excuse for anyone in this country to be so ignorant of the seal hunt after forty years. What other group in this country would you be willing to tolerate being lied about and unjustly attacked like this? For God's sake, learn the truth, or at least stop spouting the lies.

    • WRONG you are
      March 21, 2012 - 09:56

      You are out to lunch. In what ways would sel hunting be barbaric? Because (5-15%) are killed with hakapik, if that. A seal killed in the seal hunt actually suffer less than most other animals that are killed in "sport" hunting for fun. Is it humane to snare a rabitt or trap a fox? At least by killijng seals, their overwhelming population can be maintained. Maybe then we will stop seeing seals in our rivers eating salmon and in our coves eating what is left of the cod stocks. Before you post on a topic, try and become a little informed because it is obvious you are njot familiar with the seal hunt, or any type of hunting for that matter!

    • Christopher Chafe
      March 21, 2012 - 11:22

      Injustice??????? The only injustice going on in Newfoundland and Labrador is the constant brain drain that has been happening since the early 80's. The fishing industry is NOT THE BE ALL AND END ALL of Newfoundland.

  • Henry Jefford
    March 20, 2012 - 21:34

    The seal herd right now is in the tens of millions and is one of the biggest things destroying the codstock. There are millions of hungry seals, this was seen on the NTV news which showed a herd of seals hunting like a pack of wolves, driving codfish upon the beach and people picking up codfish off the beach like capelin. In the small cove where this filmed the ocean floor was said to be 5 to 6 feet deep with dead fish. There were seals found stuck in the mouths of crab pots, they drowned while trying to get the crab that were in the pot. These are not cute little teddy bears, but straving hungry animals hunting like a pack of wolves.

  • Brenda Armour
    March 20, 2012 - 17:33

    Guess the buyout of sealer's licence is not in the picture this year ? Good luck with that TAC 400,000 seal hunt. We in PEI are cashing in on a billion dollar potato industry. Lots of demand for a great product that the world wants. Zero demand for seal products. Zero lack of sense to set the TAC that high. Sad for sealers they listen to a few who keep this going.

    • Ford Elms
      March 20, 2012 - 19:13

      Why should people give in to injustice? The seal markets have been beaten down by a forty year campaign of lies, slander, misinformation, and bigotry aimed at destroying the livelihoods and communities of innocent fishermen, and all because some ignorant, judgmental, effete urbanites don't approve of how they make their living. For me, the bigger question is: why do people like you, our so called "fellow Canadians," not feel any sense of outrage at what has been done to innocent workers? The animal rights industry is coming after farmers now, using the same dishonest tactics they used on us: the false accusations of cruelty, the misinformation, the faked "evidence", the whole nine years. Anyone who raises animals is a potential target. Of course, so far they have't' decided to attack potato farmers, so you're safe, I guess. Innocent people all around you are unjustly exploited for profit, it's starting to happen to your fellow farmers. You don't defend them, and when the exploiters seem ready to succeed, you tell the people being exploited they should give in. This has been going nearly my entire life, and our "fellow Canadians" like yourself have sided with the exploiters. Is there any wonder I'm not exactly a raving Canadian nationalist? What kind of country has citizens who watch their fellow countrymen being unjustly exploited and cheer for the exploiters?

    • Jeb White
      March 21, 2012 - 07:20

      Then why are you so worried about it? And what about your beef and hog farmers, do they have to worry about the likes of you.