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March 13, 2017
Because of their huge numbers in our ecosystem, there will be a harp seal population count around Newfoundland and Labrador this spring. Department of Fisheries and Oceans says this will be the first scientific count since 2012.

DFO scientist Gary Stenson says the seals never stay in one place at the same time, so estimating their numbers needs the development of a population model with such data on catches and reproductive rates. Although this information is available annually, about every four or five years DFO will do a count of the number of pups being born.

Stenson says their scientists cover a huge area in a limited amount of time. The numbers went from about 800,000 pups in 2004, to 1.6-million in 2008, then back down to 800,000 in 2012, the last time they were counted.


March 3, 2017
DFO advises that both the Commercial fishery and Personal Use fishery for Harp seals and Hooded seals will close in all areas to all Seal harvesters and all fleets based in Newfoundland and Labrador at 2000 hours on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. This is the annual closure to allow time for Seal whelping and nursing. Re-opening dates for the 2017 season for these Seal fisheries, in both the Gulf and on the Front, will be announced at a later date.

The Regional Director General, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Region gives notice that Variation Order 2016-017 has been revoked and Variation Order 2017-013 comes into effect on March 7, 2017.

“Notices to Fish Harvesters” for all commercial fisheries are now available online under the Fishery Notices link on the DFO NL Region webpage at http://www.nfl.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/e0004341


January 15, 2017
CBC.ca – Seal meat may turn some stomachs, but Inuit country food is smart
‘We eat what we know. We like to eat the things we grew up with’

When a Vancouver chef put seal on the menu this week he attracted some negative attention — but in Nunavut icy chunks of raw whale blubber and seal meat are common fare.

Seals are not endangered, so why the aversion to seal dishes in urban Canada?


Provincial Fisheries Minister reacts to Taiwan ban

VOCM NEWS – St. John’s
December 30, 2012 –   Fisheries Minister Derrick Dalley says Taiwan’s ban of seal products is ‘unfortunate’, however it does not sway the provincial government’s resolve in continuing to support the industry. Dalley says Taiwan’s decision is based on what he calls the ‘deceit and self-serving political motives’ of groups like the Humane Society International and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Dalley says it seems as though Taiwan has been misled by what he calls misinformation and propaganda spread by animal rights activists . The Asian nation is the latest in a number of countries to ban the import of seal products, including the United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the countries under the European Union. Taiwan imported some 430 thousand kilograms of seal oil between 2003 and 2009.

The country has placed an exemption on marine mammal products procured through traditional indigenous hunts. Dalley says the province will continue to work with federal officials to find new markets and opportunities for products procured through a ‘legitimate, humane, ecologically balanced and economically viable seal hunt’.


Government industry loan to Carino processing  almost paid back
December 21, 2012 – The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has been repaid just over half of a $2-million loan it provided a company to help boost this year’s commercial harp seal hunt.

Provincial fisheries minister Derrick Dalley rose in the legislature today to announce that Carino Processing Ltd. has made the first payment of approximately $1.1 million toward the loan. Canadian Press story is here.

The official Newfoundland and Labrador government press release is here


Aariak appeals for dialogue, “a fairer approach to trade” and respect in sealing debate
“We in Nunavut reject seal bans… as an attack on our way of life”
Nunavut,  November 22, 2012, NUNATSIAQ NEWS

“Throughout the centuries, seals have fed us, clothed us and provided the oils that we burned to cook and heat our shelters,” says Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak in a Nov. 20 letter sent to the president of the European Parliament.

Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak has released the text of a letter she wrote Nov. 20 to Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, defending the Nunavut seal hunt as “sustainable and humane.” Story is here


A note from the Seals and Sealing Network Coordinator, Gil Thériault
November 21, 2012:  A very busy week indeed. For the first time, we have met with seal stakeholders from both sides of the Atlantic and agreed on expanding our reach even further to all seal range states. Communication wise, this will be a great opportunity to exchange relevant information and unite our messages.

There was some mention of the hearing in the media, but as the battle will go on for a long time, it doesn’t appear that sexy to the media business. To them, it’s just updates and we should probably keep it that way as public awareness of legal matters won’t help us much. We have to win that battle in the court house, not in the media. The important aspect here is to keep the plaintiffs informed of what is going with the cases, but this has to do with internal communication. Public communication on this issue should be kept factual and general.

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Animal welfare respected in seal hunt: Study
November 6th, 2012. (Sun News Media) OTTAWA — A pair of researchers — one Canadian and one Australian — have given the much-maligned seal hunt a seal of approval. In a new study published in the Animal Welfare journal, two veterinarians conclude that “based on current practices, there is no reliable evidence that the Canadian harp seal hunt differs from other forms of exploitation of wildlife resources from the perspective of animal welfare.” Full article here.