Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

February 27, 2009 17:15 ET

Government of Canada Defends the Right of Hard Working Canadian Sealers to Earn a Livelihood

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2009) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement in defence of Canadian sealers:

The Government of Canada is disappointed by the news that Liberal Senator Mac Harb will introduce legislation calling for a ban on the seal hunt. This proposal undermines Canada's ongoing efforts abroad to defend the legitimacy of the seal hunt at a time when Canada is facing proposals to ban seal products in Europe and elsewhere.

But most importantly, it questions the right of hard working Canadian sealers to provide a lawful livelihood for their families.

Besides having been a source of food, fuel and shelter for hundreds of years, seal products continue to be commodities sought after by consumers in Canada, Europe and Asia. As such, the seal hunt is an economically viable activity and it represents a valuable source of income for thousands of individuals and their families in remote towns and villages, at a time of year when few other economic opportunities exist. To deny them this basic right would be irresponsible.

I, and our government, will remain steadfast in our commitment to defending the legitimate economic activities of Canadians and will work with our provincial, territorial and industry partners to maintain market access for Canadian seal products.

It is my hope that Senator Mac Harb can appreciate the hardship his proposal will cause and stand with us in support of Canadian sealers.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Ann Matejicka
    Director of Communications