Heal Our Planet Earth
Terminate the Canadian Seal Massacre

Terminate the Canadian Seal Massacre
Proposal - uplist Polar Bear and Harp Seal to CITES 1
Note:  The 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
CITES Secretariat
International Environment House
Chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva
Tel: +41-(0)22-917-81-39/40
Fax: +41-(0)22-797-34-17


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 international trade.

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 step.

Thank you for your consideration.


Anthony Marr, founder,
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)

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