Cosmetic Company Owner Offers Incentives to Sealers and Alternatives to
NEW CANAAN, Conn., March 14 /CNW/ -- Cathy Kangas, who last year offered
the Canadian government $16 million to shut down the Canadian seal hunt, will
now work directly with the sealers on a new plan for the government to buy
back their licenses. The cosmetic industry executive plans to run ads in Nova
Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island newspapers outlining the
reasons sealers should ask the government for a buyback. "At a time when
Prime Minister Harper is offering $172 million to rebuild Afghanistan perhaps
he should be looking in his own backyard and provide funding to help sealers
before the market for seal products evaporates," Ms. Kangas said.
Mrs. Kangas and a group of concerned citizens and organizations say they
will provide monetary incentives to support the sealers in conjunction with a
government buyback. As a private citizen, she cannot buy back the licenses
She is also working with Lenie 't Hart, Executive Director of the Seal
Rehabilitation and Research Centre in the Netherlands, one of the world's most
famous seal sanctuaries. At the present time, Mrs. 't Hart is meeting with
sealers and government officials on Prince Edward Island through Friday, March
16th. Mrs. Kangas and Ms. 't Hart believe that seal sanctuaries in Canada can
generate income through tourism.
As the CEO and founder of PRAI Beauty, a global beauty company sold on
home shopping networks and the Internet, Ms. Kangas offered the following
rationale for a buyback:
* The revenue from the seal hunt is insignificant. The Newfoundland
government reported that in 2005 sealing contributed less than 3% of the
landed value of the province's fishery and only 0.1% of Newfoundland's
GDP according to the Statistic Canada and the Newfoundland and Labrador
* In August 2005, Environics Research conducted a national opinion poll in
Canada and found that 78% of Canadians polled felt that clubbing seal
pups is inherently cruel.
* It is precarious and arduous work, which puts sealers in great danger.
They net as low as $1,000 (CAD) to as much as $2,854 for the season
based on 2005 figures from Newfoundland. Sealers have the right to more
profitable and safer employment alternatives.
* Sealers are not being given the true facts. The industry is slowly
dying. The European Union will close its market for seal products. The
Netherlands and Germany are about to. Mexico, Croatia and Panama have
banned seal products. Belgium has banned all seal products and cut off
crucial trade routes. The United States has banned seal products since
1972. In Norway, the Reiber Company burned all the pelts held in its
warehouse because of lack of demand. In fact, Canada stands out as one
of the few nations that continues to allow commercial hunting of marine
* Global warming is already having a dramatic effect on the seal
population. Many pups are drowning on melting ice floes.
* The boycott of Canadian seafood products is starting to impact Canada's
fishing industry. Since 2005 when animal protection groups launched the
boycott, more than 330,000 individuals and 2000 businesses in the United
States have signed on. The campaign has focused on snow crab, because
it accounts for half the value of Newfoundland's fishery and many of the
sealers are actually crab fisherman. Since the start of the boycott,
exports of snow crabs to the United States have dropped by more than
$350 million CDN, representing a 36 percent decline compared to pre-
* Bloody images of sealers striking baby seals with their hakapiks are
shown around the world and have sent a negative message about Canada and
"Now is the time for the Canadian government to take steps to protect the
sealers before the industry becomes completely obsolete," commented Mrs.
Kangas. "If the government is willing to buy back the sealing licenses, we
are willing to supplement the buyback and increase their income. In addition,
we will work with local authorities on developing other economically viable
businesses in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, "she added.
Contact: Mary Frances Duffy
The Dilenschneider Group
For further information:
For further information: Mary Frances Duffy, The Dilenschneider Group,
+1-212-922-0900, Cell - +1-917-854-6580