Seal Hunting in Atlantic Canada Essay

Seal Hunting in Atlantic Canada Essay

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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 hunting, as it is practiced today in Canada, is indeed sustainable and should continue. The harvest is rooted in a cultural tradition that brings economic benefits to Atlantic Canada while maintaining due respect to the environment. An examination of these tenets, as well as criticism in opposition of the hunt constitute the body of this essay.
Sealing in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has been occurring for hundreds of years and has become a mainstay in the traditional way of life for coastal communities and aboriginal peoples (“Facts” 1). Many jobs and commodities such as seal meat, oil, and hides arise as direct benefits to society through the seal harvest. According to the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, seal hunting “provides direct annual employment for over 6000 people on a part time basis” and provides employment at a time of the year when opportunities may be limited (“Facts” 1). The historical integration of seals in aboriginal heritage can not be discounted when consid...


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... Canada, 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. .
"Sealing in Canada." Department of Fisheries and Oceans, 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Mar. 2012. .
Southey, Clive. The Newfoundland Commercial Seal Hunt: An Economic Analysis of Cost and Benefits. Issue brief. Print.
"Sustainable Development." Environment Canada. 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. .
"A Sustainable Harvest." Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 10 May 2011. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. .
Waldie, Paul. "Deal Lets Canada Sell Seal Products to China." The Globe and Mail [Toronto] 12 Jan. 2011, Business sec. The Globe and Mail. 12 Jan.

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