Plans are underway for a new seal tannery in the Newfoundland community of Fleur de Lys.

The company PhocaLux is presently constructing the tannery, and has asked government for an environmental assessment.

Once that approval comes through in December, general manager Shannon Lewis said the tannery should be operating by the next day. They also want to expand their oil processing facility.

"We're not just a fur industry, we're not just a oil industry, we're not just a meat industry," said Lewis.

"Our plan is to make sure we're utilizing the full animal, so all the processing of the animal happens in Fleur de Lys."

PhocaLux International Inc. began operating in Fleur de Lys in April, removing the fat and oil from seal hides.

With the new tannery, the company will also dress the seal skin in preparation for clothing manufacturers. They also want to increase their seal oil exports.

Not just for clothes

Lewis said the industry also needs to bring attention to the nutritional benefits of eating seal meat.

"If we're going to prove to the world that this is a very viable natural resource that we're utilizing, we want to use 100 per cent of the commodities," said Lewis.

"When we can prove to the world that this is very important to your health, the sealskin is more of a byproduct. It's a very important commodity in the industry, but all three of things will make the industry sound for the future."

Lewis said that once the tannery is running, the company will employ 30 to 35 people year-round.