Grey Seal competitive fleet in Atlantic Canada

Dates of season (subject to change)

The 2016 season start dates for sealing fleets will be determined through consultation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Science. The commercial juvenile grey seal hunt usually runs from early February until early March, mainly along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia and in the Southern Gulf of St Lawrence. For more information, refer to your local DFO Area Office.

Total Allowable Catches and Sharing Arrangements

The grey seal Total Allowable Catch for 2016 is 60,000 animals, which is a rollover from 2015. The Total Allowable Catch specific to Hay Island, Nova Scotia is 1,900 animals, which is also a rollover from 2015.

The hunt on Hay Island will also be non-competitive, only 20 sealers will be allowed on the island at any time, all seal carcasses and other waste must be removed and no vehicles will be used on the island.

New Management Measures

Mandatory training on the three-step process

In 2009, the Government of Canada strengthened the Marine Mammal Regulations to formalize already well-established humane harvesting practices. Regulatory amendments articulate a prescribed three-step process that is in keeping with international scientific standards and provides for a safe and humane harvest.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada reminds all Commercial Seal licence holders that Humane Harvesting training on the three-step process is mandatory for all Commercial Seal licence holders. Sealers who did not renew their 2015 licence will be granted an opportunity to renew their 2016 licence after they have successfully completed this mandatory training.

It is important to note that if Commercial Sealers do not complete the mandatory Humane Harvesting training and renew their 2016 Commercial Sealing licence by November 30, 2016, their Commercial Seal licence will not be eligible for renewal in 2017.

Please refer to the Marine Mammal Regulations for details on the three-step process and other related management measures.

Links to other information

Seals and Sealing in Canada