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.