Seal Hunt


Economics of the Seal Hunt

The commercial seal hunt has been condemned internationally for over 35 years, and has been the reason for several boycotts of Canadian products including fish and tourism. The European Union, in response to the international outcry, has banned the importation of whitecoat and blueback baby sealskins. The US has banned the importation of all marine mammal products.

  • In 1997, Dr. Clive Southey, an economist from Guelph University, performed an economic analysis of the commercial seal hunt. He concluded that the net value of the hunt is zero.
  • In 2001, the Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment (CIBE) produced an overview of the subsidies invested in the commercial seal hunt. The report estimated that more than $20 million has been provided to the sealing industry in the past seven years alone through interest free loans and grants.
  • According to the Southey report, the seal hunt provides the equivalent of about 100 full time jobs for Atlantic Canadians. This means that Canadian taxpayers are providing about $28,000 per job that the hunt creates.
  • According to the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the seal hunt accounts for a mere 0.06% of the Gross Domestic Product of that province.


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