ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Newfoundland and Labrador will help fund an awareness campaign that it says is aimed at combatting misconceptions around the seal industry.

Fisheries Minister Keith Hutchings says the province will give $60,000 to the Seals and Sealing Network, an industry group that's leading the campaign.

He says it's especially important to support the commercial hunt as Ottawa appeals a World Trade Organization ruling.

A WTO dispute settlement panel in November upheld Europe's ban on imported seal products, citing "public moral concerns" for animal welfare.

Animal rights advocates say the commercial seal hunt is a needless slaughter, and called the trade ruling a major victory.

But the province and Ottawa have defended the seal hunt as humane, sustainable and well regulated.