Conventional on International Trade of Endangered Species - CITES ("SIE-tees")
- is the world authority on species conservation designation in
terms of being Endangered (CITES 1), Threatened (CITES 2),
Vulnerable (CITES 3), etc.. Once a species becomes classified as
"Endangered", it automatically becomes internationally protected
against hunting and trading.
If the Harp seal becomes uplisted
to CITES 1, it would become automatically illegal to hunt them or to
trade their body parts. If Canada persists in hunting them, it would
be violating international law in a big way (versus in a small way
in allowing the Inuits to kill one or two highly endangered Eastern
Arctic Bowhead whale).
To: Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species
International Environment House
Chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva
A Bengal tiger preservationist would say that given the enormous
pressure to which its natural habitat is subjected, for one reason, the
Bengal tiger's current conservation status of "Endangered" is accurate
and well deserved. We need no more reason to justify this, although, of
course, there is also rampant poaching and multi-billion-dollar illegal
In comparison, a Harp seal preservationist would consider the natural
habitat of the Harp seal - the polar ice cap - as being more critically
threatened than even the Bengal tiger's forests. As a direct result of
global warming, the polar ice caps will melt to nothing or next to
nothing within mere decades. This seems inevitable and unstoppable.
Since the Harp seals need ice as a species to survive, they could die
out within one generation of the total disappearance of the polar ice
cap. This year, for the first time in observed natural history, the Gulf
of St. Lawrence is nearly ice-free, resulting in the drowning of
days-old pups by the thousands.
For the same reason, Polar bear has been suffering a shortening and
shortened winter, resulting in poorer condition, and drowning when
forces to swim long distances. Further, the Polar bear is closely
connected to the Harp seal in the Arctic food web. If the Harp seal
falls extinct, so would the Polar bear.
I don't think I need another reason, such as the massive and
notorious Canadian commercial seal hunt, to propose the uplisting of
both the Harp seal and the Polar bear to CITES I - "Endangered".
Indeed, if we consider the period of merely 50 years, I do not see
any two large mammalian species as being more doomed than the Polar bear
and the Harp seal. To save them, to uplist them is the first logical
Thank you for your consideration.
Anthony Marr, founder,
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Return to Terminate the Canadian Seal Massacre