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Fisheries and Aquaculture
April 5, 2012

Provincial Government Loan Boosts 2012 Seal Hunt

The annual seal hunt will occur off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador once again this year due in part to a loan provided by the Provincial Government to Carino Processing Limited (Carino). The $3.6 million loan for the purchase of raw material was announced today by the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, with representatives from the company and the Canadian Sealers Association in attendance.

“Through today’s announcement, our government is providing financial support for the seal processing industry in order to protect the future viability of the province’s seal hunt,” said Minister King. “Securing new market access is extremely important if all stakeholders are to collectively revitalize the sealing industry. Today’s commitment by the Provincial Government of $3.6 million will ensure adequate raw material is available to Carino to address market demands as they arise, and will ensure hundreds of harvesters secure an income this year.”

This initiative will see an inventory loan provided to Carino to a maximum of $3.6 million for the purchase of seal pelts and blubber or fat. The company will show its commitment to the future of the industry by making a matching contribution for processing/marketing activities.

“Seal products harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador and other parts of Atlantic Canada provide significant economic benefit to the region, as well as other parts of the world,” said Dion Dakins, Chief Executive Officer of Carino. “Uncertainty around market access and political risk has made it increasingly difficult for companies trading in seal products to secure financing from traditional sources. Therefore, the support of the Provincial Government is essential to secure our future in Newfoundland and Labrador. This industry can continue to make a significant contribution to the economy once the external political issues are resolved over the next year or so. We are confident this will occur.”

This initiative is in support of the industry while ongoing challenges to the World Trade Organization and the European Court of Justice take place. The Provincial Government and all stakeholders expect a positive outcome. The Provincial Government also continues to work with the Federal Government in securing new and previously existing markets for seal products.

“Countries throughout the world are indeed interested in acquiring our seals, and the products that come from them,” said Eldred Woodford, President of the Canadian Sealers Association. “Everyone involved in the hunt, harvesters and processors alike, will not surrender to the tactics and propaganda being spread by anti-sealing groups which have attempted to discredit Canada’s humane, sustainable and economically important seal harvest. Today’s announcement shows a strong commitment on behalf of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The value of the industry to the provincial economy has been estimated at close to $100 million in total in recent years. In addition, with close to eight million harp seals on the east coast, if left unchecked the future cost to the international seafood industry could be devastating.

“The seal hunt obviously represents a long-term economic opportunity for sealing industry participants, rural communities and the province from a renewable and sustainable resource perspective,” said Minister King. “This is a win-win situation for all. Therefore, the Provincial Government stands behind the annual seal hunt as it is an important economic contributor to rural and coastal Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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Media contacts:

Bradley Power
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 699-5707
Dion Dakins
Chief Executive Officer
Carino Processing Limited

Eldred Woodford
Canadian Sealing Association

2012 04 05             1:15 p.m.

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