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Kevin Parsons, Fisheries Critic for the Official Opposition, is demanding the federal government conduct a seal population survey this spring to quantify the threat facing the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries.
Thursday, February 7, 2019

St. John’s, NL (February 7, 2019) – Kevin Parsons, Fisheries Critic for the Official Opposition, is demanding the federal government conduct a seal population survey this spring to quantify the threat facing the Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries.

“It’s not just a few seals stranded by an ice anomaly in a particular Northern Peninsula town.  Seals are showing up in harbours throughout the province in places where they haven’t been seen before.”

Parsons said Ottawa has already been warned it needs to act.  In a report on the Northern Cod Fishery released in March 2017, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans recommended that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans “control the seal populations.”

“A seal population boom threatens the resources our commercial fisheries rely on to employ people and sustain our communities.  It threatens to throw the marine ecosystem out of balance in ways that could cause severe and lasting damage.”

Parsons said, “The seal population has clearly been allowed to thrive to the point that it is out of control.  A count would quantify the magnitude of the problem and the magnitude of the response required.”

“Other jurisdictions – even ones that aren’t great fans of sealing – have found it necessary to step in to protect the local ecosystem.  Surely in Newfoundland and Labrador, with our great history of sealing, we can find a solution that will restore the balance and protect our way of life.”

Contacts:

Denise Tubrett

Deputy Chief of Staff

(p) 1.709.729.6105

(c) 1.709.725.2594

DeniseTubrett@gov.nl.ca

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