Sealing doesn’t pacify Canadian fishers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1997:

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland––The final
toll isn’t in yet from the 1997 Atlantic Canada seal
hunt, believed to be near the quota of 275,000, but the
only evident protest as it ended came from unemployed
fishers, whose militancy escalated with a May 12 occupation
of Canadian fisheries minister Fred Mifflin’s
office, seeking longer payments for loss of fishing privileges,
suspended since 1993 due to depleted stocks.
Moving to quell unrest on the eve of a federal
election, Mifflin on May 18 opened an experimental
commercial cod season in Placentia Bay and the northern
Gulf of St. Lawrence, against the advice of fisheries
biologists. The move was unlikely to win him as
much favor as his predecessor Brian Tobin curried by
reopening the seal hunt in 1995, just before resigning
to successfully run for premier of Newfoundland: more
than 5,000 fishers exhausted the 16,000-metric-ton limit
within four days.

Earlier, Newfoundland fisheries minister
John Efford announced a plan to create about 75 jobs by
turning part of the defunct Baie Verte asbestos mine
into a tannery for seal, moose, and caribou hides.
Plans to expand the sale of seal meat to fur farmers and
the pet food trade may be held up, however, by outbreaks
of staph infection among ranched mink and
foxes, believed to be related to “seal finger,” a form of
infection common among sealers who cut themselves
during skinning.

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