March 15, 2011 19:06 ET
CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement welcoming Norway's request to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel in connection to the European Union's ban on seal products:
"We are encouraged by Norway's decision to join Canada in requesting the establishment of a dispute settlement panel by the WTO. Canada welcomes Norway's support for our position that the European Union's ban on seal products is groundless.
Our Government has consistently and firmly maintained that the Canadian seal hunt is safe, sustainable and economically legitimate. We welcome Norway's strong and principled stand in support of sealers and the sealing industry.
While the value of the seal harvest may appear negligible to the anti-sealing lobby, it provides important income for thousands of families every year in remote coastal and northern communities. We will continue to ensure that Canadians have the opportunity to harvest seals in a safe, sustainable and humane manner.
Whether it is standing up for traditional markets, opening new markets internationally, or correcting misinformation about the seal harvest, the Harper government will continue to defend Canadian sealers and their right to pursue an honest livelihood."
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
Office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
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