Government provides $3.6 million loan to sealing industry

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Provincial Fisheries Minister Darin King (centre) announces a loan to the sealing industry this morning in St. John's. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram

The provincial government announced today a $3.6-million loan to the sealing industry.

Fisheries Minister Darin King, flanked by representatives of the sealing industry, made the announcement in St. John’s and said the money is to be used to buy raw seal material.

King framed the announcement as a short-term measure to get the sealing industry through a tight few years.

“Through today’s announcement, our government is providing financial support for the seal processing industry in order to protect the future viability of the province’s seal hunt,” King said. “Securing new market access is extremely important if all stakeholders are to collectively revitalize the sealing industry. Today’s commitment by the Provincial Government of $3.6 million will ensure adequate raw material is available to Carino to address market demands as they arise, and will ensure hundreds of harvesters secure an income this year.”

This initiative will see an inventory loan provided to Carino to a maximum of $3.6 million for the purchase of seal pelts and blubber or fat. The company will show its commitment to the future of the industry by making a matching contribution for processing/marketing activities.

“Seal products harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador and other parts of Atlantic Canada provide significant economic benefit to the region, as well as other parts of the world,” said Dion Dakins, Chief Executive Officer of Carino. “Uncertainty around market access and political risk has made it increasingly difficult for companies trading in seal products to secure financing from traditional sources. Therefore, the support of the Provincial Government is essential to secure our future in Newfoundland and Labrador. This industry can continue to make a significant contribution to the economy once the external political issues are resolved over the next year or so. We are confident this will occur.”

More coverage in Saturday’s Telegram.

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Recent comments

  • Will Cole
    April 06, 2012 - 12:13

    What's the interest rate on this loan? What are the repayment terms? Minister King, since NL taxpayers are now directly propping up this dying industry, we want to know the details of how you're pissing away our money.

  • Johnny Seven
    April 06, 2012 - 10:03

    That tired old line about seals eating all the fish is just a lame excuse. When Cabot came over here there were plenty of fish... they could lower a basket over the side and haul it up filled with cod. And the seals were here then, so how do you explain that? The fish are all gone because of greed and politics, and that's all there is to it.. Throwing tax payers dollars to prop up an outdated bloody spectacle, in this day and age, just to keep dying outports on life support or because of some twisted sense of heritage is the heights of foolishness.

  • Johnny Seven
    April 06, 2012 - 09:46

    Darin King will fritter away million$ of NLers tax dollars on a hare-brained scheme to prop up this bloody, outdated, economocally-destitute spectacle, meanwhile the provincial health care system is in a shambles from chronic underfunding? Absolutely ridiculous. Furthermore, it would be astounding if this "loan" is ever actually repaid.

  • Johnny Seven
    April 06, 2012 - 09:45

    Darin King will fritter away million$ of NLers tax dollars on a hare-brained scheme to prop up this bloody, outdated, economocally-destitute spectacle, meanwhile the provincial health care system is in a shambles from chronic underfunding? Absolutely ridiculous. Furthermore, it would be astounding if this "loan" is ever actually repaid.

  • Daniel Anstey
    April 06, 2012 - 06:08

    Finally we see our Newfoundland Government step up to the plate. This is our culture, our way of life. Something none of us should ever be ashamed of for one second. It is who we are. No different then the Puerto Ricans who eat iguanas or the Americans who eat turkeys! Well done Mr King.

    • David
      April 06, 2012 - 14:56

      Yes, this is our culture and way of life....always dependent on government handouts, always complaining they aren't enough, wanting a middle-class lifestyle without "working" more than 12 weeks a year, and not doing anything valueable or useful even then. More protection for Newfoundland culture!

    • Laureen
      April 12, 2012 - 12:17

      Your way of life? Who do you think you are going around killing these animals or deciding their fate? You are proud of this culture? Then you sit around after and drink beer discussing what went on. How ridiculous.

  • Mark
    April 06, 2012 - 01:10

    The headline for this article is wrong, it should read: ''Government provides $3.6 million loan to a single company.''

  • Christine Baldwin
    April 05, 2012 - 21:36

    $2,700,000.00 into the local economy??!!! Yep, that sounds ridiculous to me too!! And payback by the end of the year?? This deal is going South real soon!! I hope sarcasm is not a lost art!!

  • Edmund
    April 05, 2012 - 14:31

    This is great news for the seal fishery and the seal harvesters, processors etc. as it will help keep this industry alive, contrary to the opinions of others, in the tough times being experienced now. It is also a message for those rubber boot PETA low life where they can shove their seal protest. Trust they have all left the province or better still shipped out via a seal harvest boat headed to the front. Maybe a couple of days wrapped in a seal hide when they get cold and eating seal flippers, fresh from the carcas, when they get real hungry, will make them appreciate how important good seal meat is and thankful to have a meal, like a lot of people who depend on it as a source of food and clothing for their families.

  • advocate
    April 05, 2012 - 14:21

    so you people against this loan think it's a bad idea why? cause the sealing industry is dieing? I guess you would prefer that the people who depend on this industry simply go on unemployment and take the money out of your own pockets. so let's do some simple math, if only 300 people in the industry collect 300 a week from ei over a 40 week period than the magic number would equal 3.6 million... so the question is, do you want pay for them or do you mind the government paying them instead? why not try and stimulate the industry? it's a part of our history and heritage!

    • David
      April 05, 2012 - 14:57

      The inability to distingusih between tangible, cause-and-effect actions versus ideological philosophies and intentions is what makes Newfoundland so backwards. And as far as defending this complete, indefensible waste of money over that other one, chronic EI abuse, you're simply out to lunch.

    • Christopher CHafe
      April 05, 2012 - 16:45

      Since you brought up "history/heritage" what about highest number of welfare cases per capita, highest number of illiterate individuals per capita, highest unemployment rate in Canada. They are also part of our "history/heritage".

    • Brett
      April 06, 2012 - 07:47

      The government is my pocket. You've got 3.6 million dollars in your hands. Does it matter if you take it out of the left hand or the right hand? The industry is small, and cannot compete against the uneducated environmentalists/animal rights activists. So go and find something else to do. There are lots of ways to make money, these payouts only delay the inevitable. When are you better off to find a new job/career at 40, 50, 60 or 70?

    • Anner
      December 03, 2012 - 23:07

      Advocate: The simple math is better using the "net" amount of each seal harvestor (hunter). Say the 300 people net $1,000 after they pay for their boat, fuel, etc. That would be $300K. Also, if the seal hunt ended, then the tax payer would no longer be on the hook for other expenses such as: Canadian Coast Guard – Ice breaking for the sealing ships to get through; 2. Monitoring the Hunt: (Your website states t “the surveillance coverage varies from year to year depending on requirements” because it is impossible to monitor the entire Canadian Atlantic coast line, plus inland waterways (designated hunting area). a. Air Surveillance b. At-Sea Surveillance c. Other Patrol/Surveillance Activity - Fishery officers conduct coastal patrols, dockside checks, and quota monitoring. d. In-Port Inspections – to ensure that no white coats or blue coats are hunted 3. International Government Entourages travelling to China, Russia and other parts of the world try to find business for this unwanted industry. International opposition to the seal hunt is growing -- 33 countries now ban the trade in seal products 4. $3.6 million bailout of the sealing industry 5. Millions of dollars to challenge the European trade ban of commercial seal products at the World Trade Organization. The Conservative Government must respect the right of Europeans to say ‘no’ to a bloody, cruel and unnecessary industry and acknowledge their right to defend the moral values held by European citizens. Those saved tax dollars would be better spent on government creation of new jobs/industries for them . I agree that the sealers (less than 1,000 people?) are entitled to fair compensation. The sealing industry is dying. Very few customers want the product. It is not worth a national or provincial subsidy. Let's move on and work towards new industry for the Atlantic provinces.

  • Darrin
    April 05, 2012 - 13:38

    I respectfully disagree. If anything the government should be pouring more money into efforts to support the sealing industry. I laugh at how everyone still complains over the absence of a cod fishery but expects to kill the sealing industry as well. We can't return to healthy cod stocks to have a reliable fishing industry or even enough to have a decent extended fishing season for the general public beyond the few weeks they presently get during less than optimal fishing conditions. Seals eat far more fish than any of us mere humans. Plus I'm tired of the smear campaigns put on by the likes of Ellen Degeneres, Pam Anderson, and the rest of the PETA clowns. Of course the general public internationally is taking action against the seal hunt when they can walk out on the ice and film these cute little fluffy whitecoat seals that are illegal to hunt and portray the hunt as a barbaric clubbing of seals, which is also illegal. What I laugh at is how they get all these huge stars to speak out on their behalf, which of course catches everyones eye internationally. What we need to do is have people expose this as pretty much false advertising for PETA's cause, have these points they're throwing around refuted by an equally big name and throw in some facts about the loss of our fishery and how many seals exist and how they eat all the cod, and how they are far from cute when they shed their whitecoats and far from cuddly. Show the humane practices of the hunt with the use of guns as opposed to clubs. Explain that out of all animals hunted in the world there is next to no waste in the seal hunt. The fur yes is used for clothing, the blubber/fat is used to produce natural health products, the meat is eaten...get real the seal hunt is viable it's the malicous and ill-informed attacks tied to these big names that are tanking the industry and not a real lack of interest in the products that a seal hunt offers. I hear Russell Crowe likes NL...let's recruit him and get some DFO reports to take to the media and start a real war, expose these imposters called PETA and stand up for our people and the way of life. I wonder how quick the Ellen's of the world would speak out once they're proven out to lunch by real facts instead of fed whatever PETA wants to tell them at the time.

    • Christopher Chafe
      April 05, 2012 - 16:48

      I respectfully disagree when you say "it's our way of life". It's a "chosen" way of life for a small few of Newfoundlanders. So please do not include every person living in this province when you make your statements, because that statement is just as false as what PETA are stating!

  • I Loves Nfld
    April 05, 2012 - 13:00

    And I said I'd never vote Liberal again! ... never say never.

  • David
    April 05, 2012 - 12:47

    More Hibernia money thrown away into a gaping, black hole. It must be Thursday.

    • Katy
      April 06, 2012 - 10:50

      David, I have been following this story and comments since the HSI article yesterday, and your Hibernia comment caught my eye. I believe that , in fact, this is NOT oil producing money thrown away. Rather, the Harper government is extremely interested in maintaining the status quo in order to get votes and once those votes are secured, PM Harper is interested ONLY in createing a Canada which would be an energy superpower. And that means OIL SANDS. So, in effect, Hibernia will see the favourable results of this effort. As for the seals, the sealers, the activists, the cod, etc., he could care less -- and trust me, he'll lose interest in it all as soon as the political climate makes it possible. Sealers will be out in the cold(sorry for the play on words) so fast it will make your head spin!!!

  • NowIsee
    April 05, 2012 - 12:38

    Stop this foolishness right now. What a waste of money!!!

  • Fred Penner
    April 05, 2012 - 12:32

    The last acts of a desperate industry.

  • DON II
    April 05, 2012 - 12:23

    This is just a case of the Government of Newfoundland throwing good money in after bad! The Government does not seem to realize that the international environmentalists will never cease their quest to see to it that markets for seal products are permanently closed and the seal hunt is finally abandoned!