Seal hunting part 8 - Why do we shoot seal and not porpoises?

21 February, 2024

Many want to blame the seal and the cormorant when the fish disappear, but porpoises also eat fish. So how come we have license hunting for seals but not porpoises? A political decision says researchers.

Reportage: Lena Scherman
Editing: Alexandre Gobatti
Photo: Kimmo Hagman, Johan Candert, Leif Eiransson, Simon Stanford, Anders Kronborg, Lunds Universitet

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When the seal population had collapsed around 1980 and was almost completely extinct, the authorities put an end to all hunting. Seal protection areas were established, and all three species found along our coasts were protected. At the same time, we received EU directives to reduce emissions of DDT and PCBs. It led to the recovery of all three seal tribes….
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Sweden, Finland, and Norway conduct hunting for seals as trophy hunting. In most other countries, hunting of large marine mammals has been prohibited. In the USA, they have even banned the import of fish from countries that kill marine mammals to protect their fishing industry. Sweden doesn’t have much fish to export, so that import ban is unlikely to affect us significantly. However, we hunt a large marine mammal – and that is unique….
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Since almost four years ago, we have license hunting on gray seals, since two years on harbor seals and protection hunts on ringed seals since several years ago. We hunt all three seal species along the Swedish coast and there are several reasons….
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