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Province gives $3.6-M loan to boost seal hunt
Carino Processing will get the cash to buy pelts and blubber until rebound in market demand FROM :

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is providing a $3.6-million loan for the purchase of raw material to boost this year’s seal hunt.

“Through today’s announcement, our government is providing financial support for the seal-processing industry in order to protect the future viability of the province’s seal hunt,” Fisheries Minister Darin King said.

Carino Processing Limited will get the cash.

King says the loan will “ensure adequate raw material is available to Carino to address market demands as they arise, and will ensure hundreds of harvesters secure an income this year.”

The money will allow Carino to purchase seal pelts and blubber or fat.

The government said the company will make a matching contribution for processing and marketing activities.

“Uncertainty around market access and political risk has made it increasingly difficult for companies trading in seal products to secure financing from traditional sources,” said Dion Dakins, chief executive officer of Carino.

“Therefore, the support of the provincial government is essential to secure our future in Newfoundland and Labrador. This industry can continue to make a significant contribution to the economy once the external political issues are resolved over the next year or so. We are confident this will occur.”

In December, King said Ottawa must do more to protect the industry after Russia — a major customer of Canadian seal products — signalled it would impose trade restrictions on those imports.

Canada has filed a challenge with the World Trade Organization over a 2009 ban imposed by the European Union. "

ALSO FROM NEWSLETTER : Sealers have killed dozens of seal pups in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but the main phase of the killing is yet to come. Sealers from Newfoundland and Labrador will begin killing seal pups on April 12.

The Canadian government set a quota of 400,000 seal pups this year, a ridiculously high number from an ecological standpoint alone. However, based on the numbers killed last year (over 37,000) and the fact that the biggest importer of seal pelts, Russia, has now banned seal product imports, we expected sealers to kill fewer seals than last year.

Unfortunately, the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador has decided to bail out the Norway-based seal pelt processor, Carino, which is the largest seal pelt processor in Newfoundland. The fisheries minister of Newfoundland and Labrador, Darin King, announced that Newfoundland and Labrador taxpayers would foot the bill for a CAN$3.6 million loan paid directly to Carino. The minister says that hundreds of sealers will be paid for killing seals with this bailout money.

The terms of the loan have not been released, nor has the provincial fisheries department explained how Carino can be expected to repay the loan, given market conditions.

If instead, the province paid 1,000 sealers for not sealing, as part of a license buyout, each sealer could have been given $3,600, which is far more than sealers have earned in each of the past several years.

We have a new automated email to the Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries Minister and premier. Please click here to express your disapproval of this taxpayer-funded bailout of a Norwegian company that has no strategic significance whatsoever.

Today: Aleksander is counting on you

Aleksander R needs your help with “Darin King - Minister of Fisheries, Newfoundland and Labrador: LEAVE SEALS ALONE! WE BOYCOTT ALL PRODUCTS FROM CANADA”. Join Aleksander and 67 supporters today.