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Summit or same-old, jury out on DFO’s latest move on seals: SEA-NL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, Nov. 7th, 2022

The above picture of a seal hunting caplin was taken in June/July 2019 in King's Point, Green Bay by Brandon Batstone.

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) will be represented at this week’s Seal Summit in St. John’s, and is eager to learn whether the event will lead to clear objectives and an action plan.

“DFO Minister Joyce Murray took a monumental step earlier this year by acknowledging seals eat fish, and skippers now want to hear what Ottawa is prepared to do about it?” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director.

“The next two days will reveal whether the federal government will put words to action, and we’re going in with a positive attitude,” added Cleary, who will attend the summit with board member Merv Wiseman.

The summit is by invitation only, and is scheduled for Nov. 8th and 9th in St. John’s.

In April, a federal seal task team recommended a science forum to overcome gaps in seal science for commercial fisheries, and to improve the use of seal data gathered by the inshore fleet. Murray announced the seal summit in May,

The task team also recommended transparency, although the seal summit’s agenda had not been released as of Monday afternoon.

DFO scientists have said that almost eight million harp seals have little or no direct impact on stocks like northern cod. But they also appear to minimize the indirect impact that millions of seals consuming millions of tonnes of seafood a year have on commercial fish stocks.

In 2017, the entire NL fishery, inshore and offshore, landed just under 200,000 tonnes of all species.


Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director

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.

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