Seal­ing in­dus­try is much more than seal­ers

The Southern Gazette - - EDITORIAL - Jim Win­ter St. John’s

The seal­ing in­dus­try is like most in­dus­tries in that it em­ploys many more peo­ple than sim­ply the pri­mary pro­ducer.

The say­ing “no man is an is­land” ap­plies also to in­dus­tries.

While seal­ers are the pri­mary pro­duc­ers in the seal­ing in­dus­try, by no means are they the only eco­nomic par­tic­i­pants. Economists mea­sur­ing the value of an in­dus­try take into con­sid­er­a­tion all those whose eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties are de­pen­dent on the work of the pri­mary pro­duc­ers. This is usu­ally re­ferred to as spin-off eco­nomic ben­e­fits. It makes up the to­tal value of the in­dus­try.

Many hun­dreds of Cana­di­ans are de­pen­dent on the seal­ers for parts of their in­come. That in­come is threat­ened by at­tacks on the seal­ers and the seal­ing in­dus­try.

Who are these peo­ple? They are the busi­nesses that sell fuel, gro­ceries, in­sur­ance (both per­sonal and ves­sel), ri­fles and am­mu­ni­tion, and tools of the trade to seal­ers. Not to men­tion ship­yard work­ers who re­pair dam­aged seal­ing ves­sels.

They are truck­ers who trans­port seals from land­ing ports to the plants, and buy gas, in­sur­ance and food in the process, as well au­to­mo­bile deal­ers who sell those ve­hi­cles.

They are the plant work­ers who process seal pelts and the plant own­ers who sell the re­sult­ing skins, and oil, which other work­ers in other plants turn into Omega-3 cap­sules.

They are cloth­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers who pro­duce coats, boots, hats, gloves, slip­pers, purses and so on from the pelts they buy and then re­tail their prod­ucts to the gen­eral pub­lic.

They are food pro­ces­sors, food trucks, gro­cery stores and restau­rants who sell seal meat they have pur­chased from seal­ers or plants.

They are artists and ar­ti­sans who cre­ate prod­ucts sold through whole­salers, re­tail­ers, or di­rectly to cus­tomers.

They are peo­ple in the im­port and ex­port busi­nesses.

In short, they are a cross-sec­tion of so­ci­ety. They are men and women with a com­mon de­pen­dence on the ac­tiv­i­ties of the seal­ers for por­tions of their an­nual in­come.

At­tack­ing seal­ing is at­tack­ing all of them. No in­dus­try is an is­land.

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