Seal hunt off Newfoundland called best in years as protesters push for its end

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The commercial seal hunt off Newfoundland is being called the best in years despite relatively low yields and ongoing protest.

Frank Pinhorn, executive director of the Canadian Sealers Association, says about 91,000 harp seals were landed this year.

That’s far short of the federal quota of 400,000 but an increase over the last four years.

Pinhorn says the price for the best pelts was also up to about $35 from $28 last year.

Animal welfare groups say the hunt is inhumane despite tighter regulations, and have called on Ottawa to buy out sealing licences.

The province says the hunt is a humane and vital source of income for fishing communities, and it gave a $3.6-million loan to a key processing plant.