$3.6 million loan to Carino will ensure hundreds of sealers secure an income this year
OTTAWA, April 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The Fur Institute of Canada welcomed today's announcement by the Government of Newfoundland to provide a loan of up to $3.6 million to Carino Processing Limited for the purchase of raw material. The loan will allow Carino to purchase inventory necessary to meet market demands for seal products harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador. Carino has committed to matching provincial contributions for processing and marketing activities.
"Today's announcement by Minister King is excellent news for families and communities who depend on a sustainable seal industry for much of their livelihood," said Rob Cahill, Executive Director of the Fur Institute. "Despite all the misinformation perpetuated by single interest groups, the sealing industry remains an important way of life for many small Canadian communities, providing jobs and economic opportunities for many families," added Mr. Cahill.
Contrary to some reports, current ice levels on the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland are abundant. Furthermore, the Northwest Atlantic seal populations are numbering some 8 million animals - the highest level ever scientifically estimated and four times what it was in the 1970s.
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the harp seal as a species of "least concern." In fact, the overabundance of the harp seal population has had a considerable effect on this year's crab and fishing quotas, making it particularly difficult to maintain healthy crab stocks.
Dion Dakins, President and CEO of Carino stated, "We greatly appreciate the support from the Provincial government. This is a repayable loan with repayable terms - it is not a subsidy. We have seen renewed strength in demand for seal products coming from both domestic and international markets. Beyond traditional uses for seals in fur and leather, Omega 3, and Neutraceutical products, I am also optimistic about the emerging market for the use of seal products in research and development in the biomedical sector for such things as heart valves." He went on to say that "We are confident that the investment our company, the Province of NL and sealers are making will pay back for years to come and I am proud to be a part of it."
The Fur Institute of Canada remains committed to continuing on in the spirit of tradition, leading the way globally by promoting new markets and greater public awareness of sustainable use and to ensure our fishing sector and sealing industry are viable for the future, while at the same time preserving jobs and the economic benefits for many families and communities that depend on a strong sealing industry.
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Executive Director, Fur Institute of Canada