Upcoming seal hunt in Canada in 'limbo'

March 2, 2012 at 3:31 PM

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland, March 2 (UPI) -- Seal hunters in Canada say an upcoming hunt is in a holding pattern over uncertainty about how much seal processors are willing to buy and at what price.

The seal hunt off Newfoundland's northeast coast and near southern Labrador is set to start in a few weeks, but seal hunters are apprehensive about the market conditions, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.

"Normally, we've got a fairly good idea on the volume the processors are looking for and a price at this time of the year, but there's so many uncertainties in the industry that we're pretty much out in the cold," Eldred Woodford, president of the Canadian Sealers Association, said.

Seal hunters are reluctant to buy supplies and equipment because they don't know if the hunt will be worth their while, he said.

Markets in Europe have been devastated by a ban on imports, and some countries that had continued to buy seal products, notably Russia, have joined the ban.

"We're pretty much in a state of limbo here now," Woodford said.

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