Connecticut Businesswoman Petitions the Canadian Government to Offer Federal Buyback to Sealers; She Urges Americans to Support Canadian Seafood Boycott and Asks Wal-Mart to Join it



    NEW CANAAN, Conn., March 27 /CNW/ -- Cathy Kangas, who in 2006 offered
the Canadian government $16 million to stop the seal hunt, today urged the
sealers to ask for a Federal buyback of their sealing licenses. The quota for
this year's hunt are 275,000 harp seals -- 5,000 more seals than were
slaughtered in 2007.
    Ms. Kangas has formed a "Coalition for Sealers and Their Fishing
Industry," to begin polling sealers who might accept a Federal buyback. It is
estimated that there are 15,000 licenses, 8,000 which are active. One excuse
that the Canadian government has given for continuing the hunt is that the
seal herd is expanding and needs to be culled. She agrees that with certain
breeds of seals, if there were an overpopulation problem, that a spay/neuter
program would be preferable.
    "Sealing is an extremely dangerous undertaking, and we believe that if
given the choice the sealers would accept a Federal buyback. This was done
years ago with Canada's commercial whale hunt, which has now become a
multi-million dollar whale-watching industry. Watching seals give birth on the
ice floes of Canada could be a viable form of eco-tourism," Ms. Kangas stated.
    On the eve of the opening of the Canadian seal hunt on Friday, March
28th, the largest slaughter of marine animals in the world, Ms. Kangas stated
that the Protect Seals Boycott has contributed to a 44 percent decline in
seafood exports from Newfoundland according to Canadian trade data. For Canada
as a whole, the value of exports to the U.S. from fishing and seafood
preparation industries decreased by 22 percent. "Soon a Canadian
fisherman/sealer's license will be absolutely worthless," she commented.
    Nearly two-thirds of Canadian seafood exports go to the United States,
producing $2.5 billion annually for the Canadian economy. More than 3,500
companies, including such national corporations as Whole Foods Markets, Ted
Turner's Montana Grill, Legal Seafood, and Trader Joes, have joined the
boycott along with restaurants including Tavern on the Green in New York City.
    "If Wal-Mart joined the Canadian seafood boycott," said Ms. Kangas, "it
could effectively shut down the hunt. We are asking Americans to do the right
thing and take action by boycotting Canadian seafood and asking their local
Wal-Mart, one of the most powerful companies in the United States, to join the
boycott."




For further information:

For further information: Frances Duffy of The Dilenschneider Group, 
+1-212-922-0900, Cell: +1-917-854-6580, MDuffy@dgi-nyc.com

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COALITION FOR SEALERS AND THEIR FISHING INDUSTRY

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