|Eco-tourism is a wonderful concept that does not work in the "real world" for the majority of locals where Harp seals are located.
It is possible to run eco-tourism businesses out of Prince Edward Island or the Magdalen Islands of Quebec but in practice these businesses are prone to high economic risk and employ very, very few people: generally a helicopter pilot and one or two helpers. Some years it is possible to operate boat based eco-tourism businesses but, again, the economic risk is very high and the employment very, very low.
In Newfoundland and Labrador the Harp seal herds are rarely close enough to land to make either helicopter or boat based eco-tourism viable. The Harp seal herds in Newfoundland and Labrador are usually well offshore and range from the island of Newfoundland northward along the coast of Labrador. As is the case in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the economic risk is high and the employment very low.
In both the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador the volatile weather plays a major role in any potential eco-tourism and the physical risks to both the business operators and the clients can be very high.