Canada increases quota for Atlantic seal harvest

17 Mar 2010
The TAC for grey seals remains the same. Credit: NOAA

The TAC for grey seals remains the same. Credit: NOAA

Gail Shea has announced an increase in the TAC for harp seals for the 2010 Atlantic seal harvest.

The 2010 TAC for harp seals has been increased to 330,000. With a potential population range between 6 million and 7.7 million, the current estimate is approximately 6.9 million, or more than triple what it was in the 1970s.

The one year total for the harp seal TAC includes a developmental allocation of 20,000 seals to support three value-added projects proposed by the sealing industry in Atlantic Canada. These new projects are part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s ongoing efforts to encourage the industry to make the fullest possible use of the harvested animals.

Consistent with previous regional shares, about 70% of the TAC is allocated to the Front (waters east of Newfoundland and Labrador), while the Gulf of St. Lawrence receives about 30% of the TAC.

The TAC for the grey and hooded seals remain the same as last year’s, with respectively 50,000 and 8,200 animals. The estimated populations of the grey and hooded seal herds are over 300,000 and 600,000 respectively and continue to grow every year.

Effective immediately, the freeze on personal use licenses has been lifted. Coastal Canadians will be eligible to apply for a licence to hunt up to six seals per season for personal use. Every sealer must follow the Marine Mammal Regulations dealing with sealing methods, including the three-step process for harvesting seals, as well as all other licence conditions required by DFO. 

Fishery Officers will be rigorously monitoring this year’s harvest to ensure compliance with the regulations and licence conditions and will take enforcement action when necessary.

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