Group out to improve seal industry’s image
National association launches booklet to educate public
The Canadian Sealers Association is gearing up for the release of its new booklet on this province's sealing industry.
Similar documents have been produced to highlight the harvesting and applications of other fisheries species - now it's the sealing industry's turn.
Frank Pinhorn, president of the Canadian Sealers' Association, gave The Telegram a look at the publication Monday. He said they would be ready for distribution in the very near future.
The document is called " Sealing: Renewable Resources - Responsible Harvesting - Natural Products." It's 26 pages long and, while it was produced by the sealers association, the factual data came from the provincial and federal governments
It's chock-full of information about various aspects of the sealing industry, said Pinhorn.
It's also a direct attempt to educate the public and dispel some of the myths associated with the industry.
"We've highlighted the major elements of the sealing industry and what it means to our province through our history and our culture. A lot of the self interest groups like to belittle, and say that this is only a very minor part of Newfoundland and Labrador, but it's quite the contrary. It's a major part of our history and our culture," he said.
The booklet is full of colourful illustrations, graphs and various high-resolution photos. It covers everything from the historical hunt to seal biology and a step-bystep process of harvesting an animal to the various uses of the meat and pelts.
The documents will be made available online at www.sealharvest.ca and in print at various local establishments including stores that sell seal products, restaurants, libraries and so on.
People are curious about the industry, said Pinhorn, adding his office regularly gets requests from journalists, students and others who want a synopsis of the industry and its history. This publication provides that. It's also a useful marketing tool, he said. Demand for seal products is as high as it ever was, said Pinhorn, and while the herds' numbers continue to climb, it's the perfect time to start this campaign.
"What we all have to realize is that the market for seal meat and seal related products has not changed - it's politics that has changed. What happened in Russia was politics. What happened in Europe was politics. This (document) tries to dispel that," he said, referencing two large industries that have shut their doors to the import of seal products.
Pinhorn said the booklet is available publicly immediately and will be distributed in the coming weeks.
Funding for the booklet was obtained through the province's Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Program. firstname.lastname@example.org witter: @TelegramMacLean