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Video, Infographic & Brochures References

Discover all the credible sources of the information found in the Canadian Seal Products videos, infographic as well as brochures.

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Sustainability & Ecosystem Video and Infographic

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  1. Longest coastline in the world“: Geography. Statistics Canada. October 2016. LINK
  2. The ocean in Canada creates 300,000 jobs for Canadians and contributes $31.65B to our economy”  : Blue Economy Strategies. Government of Canada. June 2021. LINK
  3. Canadian marine and freshwaters contain more than 160 species of fish and seafood“: Government of Canada launches consultation on boat-to-plate traceability for fish and seafood products. Canadian Food Inspection Agency. August 2021. Government of Canada. LINK
  4. Canada’s marine ecosystem is facing challenges. This includes species like capelin, herring, mackerel, and even commercial species like cod and tuna.”:
    • Fishery Audit. Oceana. 2021. LINK
    • Government of Canada, Status of Major Fish Stocks LINK
  5. Out of the 33 species of seals found worldwide, 6 species can be found in Canadian waters.“:
    • List of Pinnipeds. Britanica. LINK
    • Identify a Species. Department of Fisheries and Oceans. March 2018. LINK
    • Note: Six species of seals – the harp, hooded, grey, ringed, bearded and harbour – are found off the Atlantic coast of Canada, although ringed and bearded seals are typically Arctic species. However, some science include the Northern Elephant seal specie in British Columbia increasing the number to 7 species of Phocidae. If we include Otariidae, Phocidae and Odobenidae, there are a total of 11 species present in Canadian waters: Northern Fur Seal, Northern Sea Lion, California Sea Lion, Hooded Seal, Bearded Seal, Grey Seal, Northern Elephant Seal, Harp Seal, Harbor Seal, Ringed Seal and Walrus.
  6. In fact, Canada’s total seal population is estimated at more than ten million – the largest number ever observed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.“:
    • Harp Seal: 7.6 million. Science Advisory Report 2020/020, Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Government of Canada. LINK, IUCN Redlist, specie of least concern LINK,
    • Grey Seal: 424,300. STOCK ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN NORTHWEST ATLANTIC GREY SEALS (HALICHOERUS GRYPUS). Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Government of Canada. September 2017. LINK 
    • Hooded Seal: 593,000 LINK, LINK
    • Ringed Seal: 2.3 million LINK
    • Bearded Seal: 500,000 to 1 million across the Arctic LINK LINK
    • Harbour Seal: 100,000 British Columbia and 25,000 Atlantic Canada LINK, LINK, LINK
    • If we include these 6 species, this represents a total of approximately 11.5 Million seals.
    • More information on the different seal populations is available in this document: D.H.M Cumming. Seal Range State Policy and Management Review. IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Groups. (2015)  LINK
  7. Our oceans have a lot of seals, and seals eat a lot too – the total Canadian seal population eats roughly 30 million tons of fish each year. That’s 53x more fish than the entire Canadian Atlantic fishing fleet catches!
    • The ratio 1:53 has been simplified in order educate Canadians about the relationships between seals and the ecosystem.  Scientific details cannot possibly be explained in the 2 minutes video and it is for this reason that we wish to bring some nuances below.
    • Multispecies management is complex but vital. Still today, the wildlife management focus tends to be on individual species. But in the case of ecosystems like our oceans, multispecies management is very complex, and hard to achieve and this is why the influence of species like seal on food webs is still not perfectly understood.
    • When we compare the fish caught by Atlantic fisheries vs. the number of fish eaten by seals, there are several elements that we need to consider.  The species of seals, size of the seal species which will impact the amount of fish they eat, their geographic distribution (This information is data deficient and more research in the spatial distribution and migration patterns of all seal species need to be completed), etc.
    • Several studies have indicated the amount of fish eaten by harp seals. A study of harp seals by Polar Research estimated 7.4 kg/day for adult males and 9 kg/day for adult females, with females consuming more to support pregnancy and lactation. Assuming the population is half male and half female, that means an average seal eats 2.99 tons/year. LINK
    • In 2019, the grand total of the Atlantic Coast commercial landings were 560,484 metric tonnes. LINK
    • Canada’s total seal population is estimated at more than 10 million. (See #6 above).
    • This means that the total Canadian seal population eats roughly 30 million tons of fish each year. That’s 53x more fish than the entire Canadian Atlantic fishing fleet catches! Calculation: (7.4+9)/2 = average of 8.2KG per seal. 8.2*365 days per year = 2,993KG. 2,993KG x 10 million seals = 29,930,000,000. 29,930,000,000 (total KG of fish eaten by seals)/ 560,000,000 (harvested by the Atlantic fishing fleet) = 53 TIMES.
    • Facts: Ringed seal populations is estimated at 2.3 million. Ringed Seal (Pusa hispida): COSEWIC assessment and status report 2019. LINK
    • Together with Harp Seal (7.6 million) and grey seals (424,300), this represents over 10M population for these 3 species. Calculation: (7.4+9)/2 = average of 8.2KG per seal. 8.2*365 days per year = 2,993KG. 2,993KG x 10 million seals = 29,930,000,000. 29,930,000,000 (total KG of fish eaten by seals)/ 560,000,000 (harvested by the Atlantic fishing fleet) = 53 times.
  8. One of the more prominent seal species found in Canadian waters is the harp seal, with a population that’s grown nearly 60% to 7.6 million since 1994.”
    • Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Science Advisory Report 2020. 2019 Status of Northwest Atlantic Harp Seals, Pagophilus groenlandicus. 2020-03-26 LINK
    • Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 2011-2015 Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for Atlantic Seals. LINK
  9. In 2020, the Government of Canada’s total allowable catch limit for the harp was only 5% of its population.
    • Harp seals: 400,000 LINK
    • Grey seal: 60,000.  Grey seal quota: “Portrait-diagnostic sectoriel de l’industrie québécoise du phoque », p. 3. LINK

Brochures

Download our Brochures

  1. Download CSP Canadian Seal Industry (all languages)
  2. Download CSP Seal Oil Brochure (all languages)
  3. Download CSP Seal Meat Brochure (all languages)
  4. Download CSP Seal Fur Brochure (all languages)

Canadian Sealing Industry

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Benefits to the industry

Based on data from several studies using traditional methods, a single adult grey seal can eat up to 2 tonnes of prey per year. Cod can represent up to 50% of this diet. This represents an estimated 500,000 tonnes of cod per year. In comparison, Atlantic Canada’s commercial cod catch was estimated at, only 11,000 tonnes.

  • An adult seal will eat between 1.5 and 2 tonnes of fish per year.” : Page 16 of The Sustainable Management of Grey Seal Populations: A Path Toward the Recovery if Cod and Other Groundfish Stocks, Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, Oct. 2012<http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/411/pofo/rep/rep07oct12-e.pdf>
  • Cod can represent up to 50% of this diet.” Grey seals and cod. Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Visited on 2021-03-26. <https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/seals-phoques/cod-morue-eng.html>
  • Atlantic Canada’s commercial cod catch = 10,581 tons”: Atlantic Coast Commercial Landings of fish and seafood in 2019-Groundfish-Atlantic Cod. Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Visited on 2021-03-26. https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/stats/commercial/land-debarq/sea-maritimes/s2019aq-eng.htm

 

Harp seals alone eat over 18 times more fish than the entire Atlantic Canadian fishing fleet’s annual seafood harvest.

 

The 2019 hunt alone saved our fishery $250 million in fish resources that would otherwise be consumed by seals.

  • Approximately 32,000 harp seals were harvest in 2019. It is estimated that seals eat over 1.5 tons of fish per year. The value per tons of fish was at $5,200 in 2018. Source: 32,000 seals x 1.5 tons x $5,200 = $CAD 250 MILLION.

 

If the full quota was harvested, that value would be CAD$3.12 Billion.

  • The annual quota is 400,0000 for harp seals. It is estimated that seals eat over 1.5 tons of fish per year. The value per tons of fish was at $5,200 in 2018. Source 400,000 seals x 1.5 tons x $5,200 = $CAD 3.12 BILLION.
  • Total Allowable Catch (TAC) numbers are set by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and announced every March, prior to the opening of the season. Harp seal Total Allowable Capture: Current Status of Northwest Atlantic Harp Seals. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, P.11, 2019. https://polarbearscience.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/2019-harp-seal-status_dfo-2020_march-020-eng.pdf

Quick Facts

The Harp, Grey and Ringed seal populations is estimated at 10 million”:

 

“The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans estimates the average adult seal eats 1.5-2 tons of fish per year. This equates to millions of tons of fish and seafood consumed by seals each year.”

 

Abundant population

The harvest from 2019, represented less than 10% of the sustainable quota on each species.

 

Sustainably harvested

The annual seal harvest contributes to marine biodiversity protection. Seal is considered “Smarter Seafood”:

 

Humane & Professional

Canadian harvesting practices are among the best in the world. They are guided by rigorous animal welfare principles that are internationally recognized by independent observers: Ensuring the seal harvest is humane, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, visited on 2021-03-26 <https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fisheries-peches/seals-phoques/humane-sans-cruaute-eng.html>

 

Seal Oil Brochure

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Helps repair blood vessels

Data show that DPA helps to achieve maximal endothelial migration, a critical function in repairing blood vessels:

  • Kaur G, Cameron-Smith D, Garg M, Sinclair AJ. Docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-3): a review of its biological effects. Prog Lipid Res. 2011 Jan;50(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2010.07.004. Epub 2010 Jul 23. PMID: 20655949
  • Mann NJ, O’Connell SL, Baldwin KM, Singh I, Meyer BJ. Effects of seal oil and tuna-fish oil on platelet parameters and plasma lipid levels in healthy subjects. Lipids. 2010 Aug;45(8):669-81. doi: 10.1007/s11745-010-3450-z. Epub 2010 Jul 23. PMID: 20652432.

10x more effective than EPA

Studies have shown that the same health results are achieved using just 1/10th the amount of DPA compared to EPA:

  • Kanayasu-Toyoda T, Morita I, Murota S. Docosapentaenoic acid (22:5, n-3), an elongation metabolite of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5, n-3), is a potent stimulator of endothelial cell migration on pretreatment in vitro. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1996 May;54(5):319-25. doi: 10.1016/s0952-3278(96)90045-9. PMID: 8832760.

An Omega-3 that absorbs better

  • Mann NJ, O’Connell SL, Baldwin KM, Singh I, Meyer BJ. Effects of seal oil and tuna-fish oil on platelet parameters and plasma lipid levels in healthy subjects. Lipids. 2010 Aug;45(8):669-81. doi: 10.1007/s11745-010-3450-z. Epub 2010 Jul 23. PMID: 20652432

Boosts all key Omega-3’s

DPA increases the levels of all key omega-3’s (EPA, DHA and DPA), therefore boosting Omega-3 levels in the body:

  • Miller E, Kaur G, Larsen A, Loh SP, Linderborg K, Weisinger HS, Turchini GM, Cameron-Smith D, Sinclair AJ. A short-term n-3 DPA supplementation study in humans. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Apr;52(3):895-904. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0396-3. Epub 2012 Jun 23. PMID: 22729967.
  • Kaur G, Cameron-Smith D, Garg M, Sinclair AJ. Docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-3): a review of its biological effects. Prog Lipid Res. 2011 Jan;50(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2010.07.004. Epub 2010 Jul 23. PMID: 20655949. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20655949/

 

Seal Meat Brochure

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Nutritional comparison of seal meat and other meats

Seal Meat Nutritional Value:

  • Nutrition Facts for Adult Harp Seal Loin made by Environex for SeaDNA.
  • The nutritional values refer to the values supplied by the SeaDNA (report n ° 16-13 Merinov for SeaDNA).
  • The reference amount for raw sea animal meat is 125 g.
  • Data on protein, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin B12 are from a research from Shahidi and Synoweicki from 1996.

Information on lipids and calories were taken from the website https://nutritiondata.self.com/

Other meats:

 

Seal Fur & Leather Brochure

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References