MJIEL Vol 11 Issue 3 2014 - Article 5

Seal Hunting, EU Regulation and Economies of Scale

Zia Akhtar

ABSTRACT: The World Trade Organization (WTO) has in May 2014 upheld the ban on the importation of seal products to the European Union as legally justified. The Inuit nations of Canada who harvest seals have been effected by this embargo since the Regulation EC/1007/2009 and the consequent implementing Commission Regulation (EU) No 737/2010 prevented their exports of this aquatic animal source to the EU. The Native communities who brought an unsuccessful action in the ECJ to overturn the law consider their harvesting of seal as environmentally ‘sustainable’. The affirmation of the ban takes no account of the animal welfare practices that have been put into effect by Canada. While the EU regulation is not a global governance system it is nevertheless a regional license with an adverse financial impact on the indigenous communities in Canada. This article presents an argument that the restriction on trade of seal products by international regulatory bodies must the fact that environmentally friendly harvesting and the economies of scale will not diminish the seal populations.

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