Proponents of the venture maintain that controlling seal and sea lion populations is critical to protecting salmon, though there are divided scientific opinions on the question.
DERRICK PENNER Updated: August 18, 2019
“First Nations members advocating a seal and sea lion hunt to protect salmon are renewing pressure on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to allow commercial sales of products from the animals in light of low returns this summer.
Tom Sewid, a director with Pacific Balance Marine Management Ltd., said he and company president Roy Jones Jr., will be in Vancouver early next week to demand that DFO act on a request they made last March.
The First Nations are acting on the premise there is an overpopulation of harbour seals, California and Steller sea lions, that are decimating coastal salmon stocks, but could be controlled through hunting.
And Sewid said First Nations are also in need of the potential economic opportunity from selling seal hides, meat and blubber for its oils rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Many First Nations have rights to hunt seals and sea lions for food, ceremonial and social purposes, Sewid said, but they need DFO’s co-operation for sales and export of products from the animals.”