Nfld. & Labrador

Catalina tannery won't buy seal pelts this year

The NuTan seal tannery in Catalina won't be buying pelts this season — another blow for an area still reeling from the loss of the OCI shrimp plant.

The NuTan seal tannery in Catalina won't be buying pelts this season — another blow for an area still reeling from the loss of the Ocean Choice International shrimp plant.

Less than 20 people got work at NuTan Furs last year, and that was for only three months.

Plantworker Dan Leonard said it looks like he'll head to Alberta.

"I wouldn’t want to go right now — I’m not 25, 30-years-old anymore, and it's tough — but you’ve got to move on, I guess," Leonard said.

Plant manager Dion Dakins is going to work for the competition, Carino, which is buying pelts this year.

Dakins says NuTan believes there will be work for Catalina employees processing other species, or in other plants.

"We think we can make this transition very easy for the community and find work for all workers there," Dakins said.

NuTan is owned by fishing industry heavyweight Bill Barry.

The market for Canadian seal products has been crippled by import bans. Most recently, Russia — a major client — signalled that it would join that list of countries.

The NuTan news follows more bad economic news for Trinity Bay North — the December announcement that Ocean Choice International was shuttering its plant in Port Union.

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