OTTAWA — The federal government has announced the quota for this year’s commercial harp seal hunt, weeks after it began.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says on its website that the total allowable catch for harp seals this year has been set at 400,000, the same quota that was set for last year.
The quota for hooded seals is 8,200 — also the same as last year.
The harp seal hunt off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador began about a month ago.
In past years, the department announced the quota before the hunt started.
Animal welfare groups say the hunt is inhumane and have called on Ottawa to support a buyout of the sealing industry.
But the government says the hunt is humane, sustainable and a source of revenue for fishermen on the East Coast.