Why is Edible Canada serving Newfoundland Seal during the 2017 Dine Out Festival?
Seal is an indigenous Canadian protein which is good for you, sustainable, ethically sourced, is sanctioned by the Government of Canada, and regulated by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans. Seal meat and the seal harvest have a cultural and historical significance for many northern communities, and are therefore both a part Canada’s culinary heritage. Edible Canada’s mission is to explore the cultures and regions of Canada through seasonal, sustainable ingredients in the hands of the many cultures which make up our country.
The product which we are bringing in meets Canadian standards for humane hunting and is harvested in yields which support long term ecosystem biodiversity and seal population stability. According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, recent population surveys and estimates by Canada’s fisheries and marine science indicate that Atlantic seal populations are abundant and healthy, and not considered endangered under Canadian (e.g., Species at Risk Act) or International (e.g., Convention on the International Trade a/Endangered Species) legislation or policy. Additionally, effective annual population management has been applied as a method of increasing the annual replenishment of North Atlantic Cod stock.
The humane and ethical sourcing of all the ingredients served at Edible Canada is very important to us, and we are always searching for the best of what is local, sustainable, seasonal, and uniquely Canadian. In the case of produce, that means we utilize small local farmers and seasonal produce wherever possible. For traditional red meat and poultry, we work with respected butchers to source ethically raised, hormone and antibiotic free cuts using the whole animal. For seafood, we look to suppliers with integrity and marine certification bodies like our partners at Ocean Wise to ensure that what we put on our tables is a sustainable harvest. In the case of the seal, we are sourcing the product carefully, from suppliers which meet the DFO standards, and adhere to Canadian laws which require seals to be harvested in a humane manner, and prohibit the harvesting White Coat Harp seals or Hooded Blueback seals.
On this issue, we would like to acknowledge the complex issues of sustainability, humane treatment of wildlife, and biodiversity conservation, while at the same time respecting the needs of human populations and cultural traditions dependent on the harvesting of abundant biological resources. By putting seal on our menu for Dine Out 2017, we are inviting you to learn more about, and experience, a different facet of Canada’s diverse cuisine.
For FAQ and contact information, you can view a comprehensive post on our blog.