Newfoundland and Labrador’s regional minister, Rob Moore is asking US border authorities to return a sealskin purse seized at the Maine- N.B. crossing belonging to Nora Fitzgerald of Corner Brook. In addition to having her purse confiscated she will have to pay a $250.00 fine by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Read CBC’s interview with Nora Fitzgerald here:
Listen to her interview on As It Happens on CBC radio here:

Rob Moore noted in his letter to the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection that the the confiscation of seal products at the border between the US and Canada should stop based on scientific fishery facts that the seal population is far from endangered, stating that is is at least 3 times the count taken when the act was put into law in the US. Part of the act states:

The MMPA prohibits the taking of marine mammals, and enacts a moratorium on the import, export, and sale of any marine mammal, along with any marine mammal part or product within the United States.  (US Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972)

Moore defined in his letter that the Canadian seal harvest is ” is a humane, sustainable and well-regulated activity,

Reaction provincially has been loud, swift and very supportive to Nora and the industry as a whole that the US laws need to be amended to make importing of seal products legal into the USA. Newfoundland and Labrador MHA Chris Mitchelmore wrote in the online journal “Live Rural Newfoundland and Labrador” about the hypocrisy of the US Act as it stands  and in his speech to the House of Assembly this past week stated:

“Mr. Speaker, recent news show our seal products are confiscated at the US border for breaching the Marine Mammals Protection Act, 1972. The act inaccurately deems our seals as endangered. In fact, in 1994, the US amended the act to permit Alaskans to take seals.

I ask the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs: Will he make representation to the federal government to ask the US to review the facts on the seal population that would permit a regulation change, given that our seals are surely no different than the Alaskan seals?”

Read more here:

Related story: (New York Times)  The ever growing seal population on the US eastern seaboard catch the eye of friends and foes

A recent study reveals in scientific detail about the ever growing seal population on the US east coast. It is written by Nils Stolpe, a Florida-based fishing industry journalist and advocate who states: “…predation by several groups of voracious marine animals on our most valuable fisheries and the fact that neither our management system system nor federal laws allow it to be handled effectively

Click here to see Nils study in PDF format: