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Letter: Sealing industry is much more than sealers

['Government support of the sealing industry is like a lightning rod for opponents of the hunt.']
['Government support of the sealing industry is like a lightning rod for opponents of the hunt.']

The sealing industry is like most industries in that it employs many more people than simply the primary producer.

The saying “no man is an island” applies also to industries.

While the sealers are the primary producers in the sealing industry, by no means are they the only economic participants. Economists measuring the value of an industry take into consideration all those whose economic activities are dependent on the work of the primary producers. This is usually referred to as spin-off economic benefits. It makes up the total value of the industry.

There are many hundreds of Canadians who are dependent on the sealers for parts of their income. That income is threatened by attacks on the sealers and the sealing industry.

Who are these people? They are the businesses who sell fuel, groceries, insurance (both personal and vessel), rifles and ammunition, and tools of the trade to sealers. Not to mention shipyard workers who repair damaged sealing vessels.

They are truckers who transport seals from landing ports to the plants and buy gas, insurance and food in the process, as well automobile dealers who sell those vehicles.

They are the plant workers who process the seal pelts and the plant owners who sell the resulting skins and oil. Oil which other workers in other plants turn into Omega-3 capsules.

They are clothing manufacturers who produce coats, boots, hats, gloves, slippers, purses and so on from the pelts they buy and then retail their products to the general public.

They are food processors, food trucks, grocery stores and restaurants who sell seal meat they have purchased from sealers or plants.

They are artists and artisans who create products sold through wholesalers, retailers, or directly to customers.

They are people in the import and export businesses.

In short, they are a cross section of society. They are men and women with a common dependence on the activities of the sealers for portions of their annual income.

Attacking sealing is attacking all of them. No industry is an island.

 

Jim Winter
St. John’s

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