Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

January 26, 2007 13:28 ET

Statement by Loyola Hearn Minister of Fisheries and Oceans: Minister Loyola Hearn Pleased European Commission Will not Draft Ban on Seal Products

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 26, 2007) - I am pleased to learn of a recent response by the European Commission to the European Parliament's declaration regarding imports of seal products. The response means that at this time no seal import ban legislation will be drafted at the European Union level.

This measured response is positive, and significant. It affirms our cautious management approach to conserving the seal herd, and acknowledges that there is no conservation threat to Canada's harp seal population.

More importantly, the response acknowledges "contradictory" information arising from the debate on humane aspects of the hunt, and confirms that there is much distortion and frequently inaccurate rhetoric in many anti-seal hunt campaigns.

We welcome this effort to fairly and energetically pursue the fact-based side of the seal hunt story. We also urge individual countries in Europe to take note of this significant, well-reasoned development.

This positive step shows the importance of engaging the international community, and ensuring the facts concerning the seal hunt are shared with the public.

I was proud to meet with numerous groups of European parliamentarians over the last year to personally represent this industry that is key to the economic health of rural Quebec, our Northern Territories, our Maritime provinces and Newfoundland and Labrador.

International efforts to disrupt the Canadian seafood industry serve to highlight the need for increased representation on the international scene, which makes yesterday's announcement of Ambassador Sullivan even more important.

Ambassador Sullivan and I, with the support of our departments, look forward to working with European Union parliamentarians and officials to assure them that this hunt is humane, economically viable, and sustainable, because we want to protect this valuable natural resource for generations to come.

Loyola Hearn

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Steve Outhouse
    Director of Communications, Office of the Minister