Seal hunting

A look at both sides of the debate.

The most controversial point of disagreement is, of course, whether the seals are at least being killed according to humane stipulations. Balil says the hunt is monitored closely, with fishery officers making sure that the sealers – who he assures have been licensed only after a number of years as apprentices – are following a strictly defined three-step process when killing the seal. Fink disagrees, however, arguing that the rapidity of the hunt renders humane killing processes unfeasible.

“Because of the sheer expediency of the hunt – 300,000 killed in a matter of days or weeks – and the geographic areas over which it occurs, it is difficult to monitor or enforce regulations. There are boats competing to meet the quotas, so they’re trying to get the skins off as many seals as quickly as possible before the ice melts.”

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