Creating a Full Utilization Commercial Seal Industry
In partnership with First Nation and non-indigenous harvesters, Perennia is leading a project to build the capacity of Nova Scotia’s sealing industry and develop economic opportunities to fully utilize the meat, blubber, organs, carcasses, and pelt of grey seals.
Funded by the Atlantic Fish Fund and the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the aim of the initiative is to generate a long term, commercially viable, sustainable, and profitable sealing industry that will economically benefit the province’s rural and First Nation communities. It will also address concerns around the impacts of grey seal predation on wild commercial fish stocks.
Efforts for the 2022 harvest focused on recruiting new harvesters from Pictou Landing First Nation. Eleven new harvesters were trained in humane harvesting. They were licensed and received in-field training on how to properly harvest and process grey seals.
An on-going feasibility study has demonstrated increasing market interest for seal-based pet foods, which could lead to a viable option to fully utilize the resource. This year, product was collected and will be used for research, analysis, and product development to pursue identified pet feed opportunities.
As the project continues to grow, efforts will focus on harvesting, recruitment, and market access efforts.