Seal hunt to reopen by March 28th

FISH-NL: Seal hunt to reopen by March 28th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, March 24th, 2017

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) has received notice that Ottawa will reopen the harp and hood seal hunt to all harvesters and all fleets in Newfoundland and Labrador by March 28. 

“That’s great news for sealers and our rural communities,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “We had requested a reopening on the 25th, but the 28th is close enough.”

“I want to thank MPs Judy Foote and Scott Simms for hearing our call."

The federal government closed the hunt on March 15th to allow time for seal whelping and nursing, which will be all but wrapped up by the 25th. Sealers want to harvest the older seals now for their meat and high fat content (although the entire animal is utilized), but as more times passes, the animals lose their weight. 

Seal oil currently sells for $257 a barrel vs. $48 for a barrel of crude oil. When DFO shut down the seal hunt on March 15, the department did not give a reopening date.