DFO NL has said seals don't have an impact on snow crab stocks, but this video taken in March last year of the stomach contents of an animal harvested off St. Anthony tells a different story. Ottawa is hosting a seal summit in St. John's today/Wednesday, and the below video should help all hands focus on the impact of 7.6 million harps. .
The harp seal population off Newfoundland and Labrador was estimated at 7.6 million in 2019. This is the largest harp seal population in the world, and the largest northwest Atlantic harp seal population in recorded history. Newfoundland and Labrador's snow crab fishery is Canada's largest, with a landed value this year of $758 million.
Total prey consumed by harp seals off eastern Newfoundland and Labrador (fishing zones 2J3KL) was estimated at 3.2 million tonnes in 2014.
The same year, all commercial landings in Newfoundland and Labrador totalled around 256,000 tonnes.
In 2021, DFO starting estimating the amount of fish consumed by fish, compared to the amount of fish consumed by seals. The move was seen as an attempt by the department to pivot away from the impact of seals.
Besides harp seals, there are also harbour, hooded, grey, and ringed seals.
Merv Wiseman and I will be attending the seal summit on behalf of SEA-NL. Below is the agenda.
Executive Director, SEA-NL
Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization serving as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. You can read more about SEA-NL, and join us here.