Limited Grey Seal Harvest on Hay Island

Fisheries and Aquaculture

February 8, 2008 2:39 PM

A limited and licensed grey seal harvest is set to take place on Hay Island, Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Hay Island is part of a provincially protected wilderness area near Scatarie Island.

"My department is working to protect fish species in the Hay Island area," said Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ron Chisholm. "We looked carefully at all the available information, including local knowledge and industry experience."

Mr. Chisholm added that the seal population is growing by tens of thousands every year.

The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture requested access to Hay Island and presented information to the Department of Environment and Labour that highlighted the need to protect the fish species in the surrounding waters.

The island is designated a protected wilderness area under Nova Scotia's Wilderness Areas Protection Act. Under the act, approval was needed from the Minister of Environment and Labour to allow sealers access to the island. The sealers will conduct a harvest this year only, with strict conditions set in place by the Department of Environment and Labour.

The Hay Island seal harvest will take place over three to five days and end no later than March 15.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     A limited and licensed grey seal harvest is set to take

place on Hay Island in Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

     It is part of a provincially protected wilderness area near

Scatarie Island.

     Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Ron Chisholm says the

department looked carefully at all the available information when

making the decision to allow the seal harvest.

     The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture requested

access to Hay Island, highlighting the need to protect the fish

species in surrounding waters.

     The island is designated a protected wilderness area under

Nova Scotia's Wilderness Areas Protection Act. Under the act,

approval was needed from the Environment and Labour Minister to

allow sealers access to the island.

     The Hay Island harvest is for this year only.

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Media Contacts: Celeste Sulliman
                Fisheries and Aquaculture
                902-424-0192
                E-mail: sullimcc@gov.ns.ca

                Bruce Nunn
                Environment and Labour
                902-424-6427
                E-mail: nunnbx@gov.ns.ca