The United States 'Marine Mammal Protection Act' (MMPA): policy implications, challenges, opportunities and a strategy for the east coast sealing industry

Rumboldt, Mark (2008) The United States 'Marine Mammal Protection Act' (MMPA): policy implications, challenges, opportunities and a strategy for the east coast sealing industry. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (3MB)


Since 1972 restrictions arising from the United States Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) have seriously hampered efforts to develop commercial markets for seal products to the United States, and other international markets influenced by the MMPA. This has resulted in significant negative economic impacts on the east coast Canadian seal fishery. The exemption of harp seal products from the restrictive grip of the MMPA is critical if the United States market for seal products is to be effectively developed. It is anticipated that access to the United States market would present new market opportunities for the sealing industry, particularly in the fur and neutraceutical sectors. The U.S. 'health food' sector alone is estimated to be worth $80 billion per year (Ho, 2003). This market includes all omega-three, oil based concentrates and a full range of herbal and homeopathic remedies purchased through the health food system. -- There is limited historical United States market data for seal products, as seal products impacted by 'MMPA' have not been exported to that market since the early 1970's. Therefore, to evaluate market potential, this report establishes linkages using similar products in the categories of other furs and marine oils. The potential American market for fashion fur items is significant, with United States fur sales of $1.53 billion reported in 2002. ( These strong market indicators might present an opportunity for the Canadian sealing industry, should the American market become accessible. -- The economic benefits of the current seal fishery and the total value of the seal industry to Newfoundland and Labrador is an important factor in determining our export readiness for developing the United States markets. In 2007, the sealing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador employed 6,000 harvesters and over 300 production employees and there are spin off benefits in service industries, supplies, transportation, vessel and plant maintenance. (T. Grace, personal communication, June, 2008). -- This paper analyzes important issues surrounding the MMPA, including the more recent activities related to the Act. The recommendations in this paper focus on a strategy for Governments, the private sector and trade associations, to address issues related to MMPA. These recommendations will be of particular interest to the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Canadian Sealers Association, who have coordinated their efforts since 2004 in support of amendments to the MMPA.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9369
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 62-63).
Department(s): Marine Institute
Date: 2008
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: United States--Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972; Marine mammals--Law and legislation--United States; Sealing industry--Atlantic Provinces; Seals (Animals)--Atlantic Provinces--Marketing

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics