Friday, June 19, 2009

Canadian seal hunt 'collapsing'

The market price for a seal pelt has plummeted in recent years

By Lee Carter
BBC News, Toronto

Canada's fishermen catch only 25% of this year's seal quota, blaming falling prices for seal pelts and an expected EU ban on seal products.

Canada's annual seal hunt has ended with only a quarter of the quota of seals being caught.

The quota had been set at 273,000, but fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador, eastern Canada, took some 70,000 seals.

They blame plummeting prices for seal pelts and an impending European Union ban on seal products, which is expected to come into effect in October.

Some local fishermen are wondering if this could be the beginning of the end for the centuries-old practice.

Many hunters from fishing communities in eastern Canada, did not even bother taking their boats out for this year's seal hunt.

The market price for a seal pelt is about $12, a steep decline from a peak of $100 a pelt a few years ago. …

Canadian seal hunt 'collapsing'

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