Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

February 20, 2009 15:33 ET

Minister Shea Continues to Defend the Canadian Seal Hunt

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2009) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement:

Earlier this week, I met with a number of key Czech Republic officials in Prague to discuss the proposed European Union (EU) ban on Canadian seal products. The Czech Republic currently holds the Presidency of the EU and plays a vital role in the decision-making process. They are seeking to find a consensus among the differing opinions of the 27 member states. I was pleased that they were open to hearing more about Canada's humane, sustainable seal hunt.

While the possible EU ban has the potential to halt all sales - imports, transits, and exports - of seal products from outside or within the EU, Canada's position remains that any ban on a humane, sustainable and responsible hunt is without merit. Canada will continue to defend Canadian sealers and will be within its rights to challenge actions that are inconsistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.

Canada will also continue to inform international discussions with factual material and to stand up for the rights of Canadian sealers to provide a livelihood for their families. We remain committed 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.

This is a crucial time for Canadian advocacy. We will continue to work with the European Union in advance of its vote on this matter.

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