It is the sum total of this varied income that allows them to continue living in the villages and towns that have been their homes for generations.
This is no different than rural people throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. It also applies to sealers from Greenland in the north to Namibia in the south; the USA in the west to Norway in the east.
Canadian sealers are strictly licensed. The government monitors fishermen's actions daily to ensure humane killing practices and adherence to quotas, manages the hunt as well as sets quotas under rigorous scientific guidelines.
It is, arguably, the world's best managed wildlife slaughter (another word co-opted to be a negative by the animal rights movement).
Range of products
Sealers use as much of the animal as possible to produce a range of products. They range from food and clothing to medicines, artisan art and souvenirs.
The animals sealers kill have the skin, fat, flippers (meat) and some carcasses prepared and stored on the boat.
Remaining parts of the carcass are left on the ice, which melts to return the remains to the sea where it becomes food for fish and crustaceans.
This avoids the land-based abattoir problem of disposing of offal produced by animal slaughter. What could be more 'green'? What could be more eco-friendly?
Sealing communities desire to see even greater use of the meat but, outside these communities, there is no cultural habit of eating seal.
This is true even though seal is a high protein, lean and healthy meat. It also lends itself to 'meal' production - the same as fish meal.
This has tremendous potential as a protein supplement in food aid programs. Bambi syndrome prevails.
Given all of the above, it begs the question: Why attack sealing?
The sad reality is that we live in an urban world where Bambi syndrome has permeated city dwellers' consciousness.
Urban people do not make the connection between the food they eat and the killing that produces that food. They are not used to seeing the killing that leads to the neatly packaged and plastic wrapped food they eat, or to the jackets, pants, hats, shoes, belts, purses and briefcases they wear or carry.
Therefore they can, understandably, become upset when exposed to the production side of these products.
Animal rights fanatics understand this and use Bambi syndrome as a tactic to further the goal of ending man's use of animals. Sealing is the perfect vehicle for them because it is bloody, takes place in the open air in a beautiful environment - and the animals are wrongly seen to be cute and cuddly!
The same attack approach applies - currently to a lesser degree - to fur trappers, fur farmers, cattle ranchers, sheep and pig producers; those who raise lambs for food and clothing; also those who catch fish and crustaceans. Medical and pharmaceutical researchers are affected, too.