Governments offer help to develop seal products in backing Atlantic industry

The Canadian Press
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Almost $500,000 is being spent by the federal and Newfoundland and Labrador governments to enable the Atlantic Seal Development Association to develop a frozen seal meat product for the wholesale market and a vacuum packed product for retailers.

Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea takes part in a funding announcement today in St. John's. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says Ottawa will spend $292,000 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, while the province will contribute the remaining $206,000.

Shea made the announcement today at a boutique in St. John’s, N.L., that sells seal skin coats, boots and other merchandise.

It comes after a World Trade Organization ruling last week that Europe’s ban on imported seal products can be justified on public moral concerns for animal welfare.

Ottawa has defended Canada’s commercial seal hunt as humane and plans to appeal the WTO decision.

Animal welfare advocates called the trade ruling a major victory that respects aboriginal sustenance hunts.

They say public tax dollars should not be used to prop up what they describe as a dying industry.

Shea said the WTO findings should be of concern to all its members and by appealing the ban Ottawa is standing behind thousands of families that rely on commercial sealing.

The pilot project for seal meat will be based in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

 

Organizations: World Trade Organization, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Geographic location: Ottawa, Europe, Canada Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Linda W.
    December 07, 2013 - 05:14

    I have no problem with the seal industry here in the province as the lovely seal products made are the finest. However, if the pricing weren't so high - the ordinary man could afford to buy and wear them.

  • frozen_hoser
    December 07, 2013 - 00:14

    I would like to buy a seal skin coat for warmth, durability and in support of my fellow Newfoundlanders. The question is where can they be purchased in Manitoba ? I'm sure this is a problem in other provinces. Availability. Who is in charge of marketing and distribution ?

  • sc
    December 06, 2013 - 18:52

    Doesn't anyone find it strange that governments that claim to have no money for social programmes, ensuring decent wages, protecting pensions, or curbing emissions are all too willing to waste it trying to promote an 'industry' that produces a product that hardly anyone wants? I guess the provincial government is supporting such an inane waste of money as it's desperate to win votes. This stance of standing up to the rest of the world is bound to appeal to those who think NL can, and should do whatever it wants regardless of international laws or popular international and Cdn opinion. Steve is equally desperate for votes from this part of the country. I read elsewhere that this money will provide 20 jobs. Wow. That's really going to help the economy.

  • Gil Theriault
    December 06, 2013 - 14:56

    Super news! Québec is already doing miracle with this meat, but the demands are far exceeding the offer. NFLD has the quota and the transformation facilities necessary to supply a higher demand and open other markets. Seal meat rocks!

  • Dion Dakins
    December 06, 2013 - 13:56

    This is great! Thanks to the Federal and Provincial Government for this continued support of the industry! And before detractors start (IFAW and HSI) this is not a subsidy. ACOA and Provincial Governments through these programs help all kinds of businesses with Innovation and Development. The WTO Ruling upholds that Sealing People (Norwegian, Canadian, Namibian, European…etc) are Morally Inferior for sustainably using their local natural resources! That is Inhumane Treatment of Humans and cannot be tolerated. This is a wake up call to all sustainable resource based industries!

    • dontgetmestarted
      December 06, 2013 - 16:04

      I agree, these are quality products that we should be proud to wear. Support local.

  • Dion Dakins
    December 06, 2013 - 13:47

    This is great! Thanks to the Federal and Provincial Government for this continued support of the industry! And before detractors start (IFAW and HSI) this is not a subsidy. ACOA and Provincial Governments through these programs help all kinds of businesses with Innovation and Development. The WTO Ruling upholds that Sealing People (Norwegian, Canadian, Namibian, European…etc) are Morally Inferior for sustainably using their local natural resources! That is Inhumane Treatment of Humans and cannot be tolerated. This is a wake up call to all sustainable resource based industries!