Bear ban?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose a ban on polar bear trophies at the the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Qatar in March.  Inuit say the polar bear is as important to them as the automobile is to Americans.

Tourists and sport hunters who sometimes accompany Inuit in regulated polar bear sports hunts provide important income for entire communities and have no effect on the quotas set to maintain healthy bear populations, Smith said.

“The USA proposal challenges our right as Inuit to sustainably exercise our traditional rights and practices to harvest polar bears. We are becoming an endangered species ourselves.”

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. also sent out a news release on Oct. 16, noting its opposition to the U.S. proposal to up-list the polar bear’s status.

“If the proposal is passed, it will have a devastating effect on our communities. Inuit understand the importance of conservation of the polar bear because the animal is so important to our society, culture and economy, the same was the automobile is to the American society and economy,” said NTII vice-president Raymond Nincheocheak.

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