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Vol 39  No 15
June 7, 2007


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DELT films seal hunt video
by Kristine Hamlyn


From left, Ed Durnford, MI, Tony Grace, Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mark Shallow, DELT, Kevin O’Leary, DELT and Bob Small, sealer. (Photo by Gerry Boland Studio Productions)

Over the last few years there has been much discussion surrounding the seal hunt that takes place in this province. But how much do people actually know about the technique and skill that goes into it? Interestingly there is a science to the way seal harvesting is done.

Two members of Memorial’s Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) were recently invited by the Marine Institute to film seal harvesting in progress for the purpose of educating future sealers.

While floating on ice pans off the coast of Fleur de Lys in Newfoundland and Labrador, and visiting plants to film seal processing in progress, Kevin O’Leary, producer/director and Mark Shallow, videographer, of DELT captured on video everything future sealers would need to know.

Mr. Shallow called the trip a personal learning experience. “The harvesters we observed were amazingly skilled,” he said. “Their ability to navigate their boats through the ice while watching for seals was very impressive.”

The video, funded by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, will be used to educate future sealers on how to maximize the quality of the pelt, blubber and meat during the harvest. This will include all of the steps from the initial contact with the animal until the products are delivered to the processing plant.

The video will also demonstrate the most humane harvesting techniques. Following the steps outlined in the video should allow all involved in the hunt to maximize the return for their effort by delivering a top quality product to the consumers. The finished video will be distributed by the Provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

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