Essay about Seal Hunting in Atlantic Canada

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The annual hunt of harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) in Atlantic Canada is contested at the start of nearly every season, with celebrities, politicians, and the public actively weighing in on the matter. Within all of the dialogue and debate, there can be a lot of bias and misrepresentation of facts advocating for or against the seal hunt. Thus, the true sustainable aspects of the industry are drowned out and lost due to the sheer amount of controversy surrounding the issue. Sustainability entails meeting the needs of today without sacrificing the needs of the future (“Sustainable Development” 1). The concept of sustainable resource development involves support pillars that represent economics, society, and the environment. Seal…show more content…
Contemporary dishes like seal flipper pie have also contributed to the cultural identity of Newfoundland society. As a result of these strong cultural ties, commercial and subsistence sealing continues to exist through legal policy by demand from both government and society. The policies that govern seal hunting are based on a sustained yield principle that does not compromise the harvest for future generations, and are thus in accordance with sustainable aspects of resource development. Economic benefits gained from the seal hunt include an increase in trading relationships for Canada and the stimulation of the provincial economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. As reported by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the total landed value of the seal harvest for 2006 was $34.3 million dollars (“Market” 1). This figure represents a historic high, when market prices per pelt were favourable. Regardless, the money brought in from seal hunting is said to have a “trickle-down” effect on other sectors of the economy (“Market” 1). Canada has historically been the leading exporter of seal products in the global marketplace, and had exported over $70 million in product between 2005 and 2011 (“Market” 1) Nationally, the seal hunt has enabled Canada to forge new trading relationships in the international community, as evidenced by a 2011 deal between Canada and China. The

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