ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The federal Fisheries department says fewer than 40,000 seals were landed during this year’s East Coast commercial hunt, making it one of the lowest on record.
There were just over 38,000 harp seals and about 1,100 grey seals hunted, mostly off the coasts of Newfoundland and Quebec.
A provincial loan of up to $1 million helped Newfoundland’s only buyer this year — PhocaLux International Incorporated — purchase about 35,000 seals.
General Manager Shannon Lewis says demand for seal fur products and meat is up across Canada.
But the industry is hampered by seal product import bans in Europe, the United States, Mexico and other countries.
Rebecca Aldworth of Humane Society International-Canada says this year’s catch is the lowest in two decades and the commercial hunt should be phased out.