Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea in St. John’s for announcement
Provincial and federal government representatives are set to make an announcement today in St. John’s of funding for a development for the Newfoundland and Labrador seal industry.
© The Canadian Press
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea is shown in Ottawa on Thursday Feb. 10, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Natural Boutique on Water Street.
Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea is scheduled to attend, as is provincial Fisheries Minister Keith Hutchings and representatives from the Atlantic Seal Development Association. A notice about the announcement has stated Baie Verte-Springdale MHA Kevin Pollard will also be on hand.
It comes on the heels of a Thursday statement by Hutchings in the House of Assembly, regarding the decision by the World Trade Organization on Canada and Norway’s attempt to overturn the European Union ban on seal products. The WTO upheld the ban.
“The provincial government was disappointed when the World Trade Organization, or WTO, decided to uphold this ban using public moral concerns as the justification,” Hutchings said, going on to label the ban “wrongful” and the WTO ruling unjust.
“We believe this was an unfair ruling, as the Canadian seal harvest is one of the best managed harvests of animals anywhere in the world. Our provincial seal industry has increased the level of training sealers receive to ensure a humane harvest, and many internationally-respected veterinarians have reviewed the Canadian harvest and confirmed indeed it is humane.
Hutchings said the seal industry is growing, because of the work of industry players and the support of government.
“The provincial government has fostered this success by providing a $3.6 million inventory financing loan to Carino Processing in 2012, and again in 2013,” he said. “The industry fully repaid the 2012 loan, with interest, and is on its way to fully repaying this year’s loan. This government has also provided almost $40,000 recently to support an international branding and marketing strategy for seal products produced by Carino Processing.”
In 2013, over 90,000 seals were killed and taken in locally — an increase over the 69,000 in 2012.
More to come.