Processors may be funded to stockpile seal products
Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries minister says loan guarantees a possibility
Newfoundland and Labrador may fund processors to stockpile seal products this year.
"The discussion we’ve had with the industry right now is around whether we are able to provide some short-term financial assistance so the hunt can continue and we can stock the products from this year’s hunt in hopes that the market will open up in the long term," said Fisheries Minister Darin King.
"It’s really the only avenue open to us now at this time."
CBC Fisheries Broacast Host John Furlong asked:
"Is it possible the province may buy seal pelts and stockpile them until a longer-term solution can be found?"
King didn’t rule that out.
"That’s one possibility. The other possibility is that the government may provide financial assistance or loan guarantees to the operators out there so they can do that themselves," he said.
Seal cull discussed
King met with the federal minister of fisheries, Keith Ashfield, recently to discuss the seal hunt.
He said Ashfield didn’t commit to any measures to control the growing eastern Canadian seal population – estimated to be more than 9 million animals.
"He indicated that he fully understands the challenge that we face with the number of seals out there and that something is going to have to be done," he said.