#FinBanNow Donald Trump will help Sharks
Wutsup with the tropical aquarium fish industry lately?
Lawmakers may stop Hawaii’s aquarium fish industry and regulate activity.
The hunt happens in an area larger than France in a very harsh, remote location,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of the Humane Society International-Canada, which obtained the government documents. “It’s very expensive to monitor this hunt, and it’s impossible to ensure a humane death in conditions like these. The regulations even allow people to hook conscious animals onboard with a metal spike, which no one would consider humane.“The industry makes no economic sense. We know the seal hunt would have ended years ago if it was left to the market. We know our campaign is winning and we are now at a crossroads. We need to all move forward together beyond commercial sealing.”Pandamonium: Justin Trudeau meets newly-named Canadian panda cubsRead moreThe Humane Society has proposed a buy-out of existing sealing licenses, with financial help for fishermen to transition to other areas. But the Canadian government has given no indication it would support such a plan.
So bear populations are either increasing or declining. Hunting is either an ecological outrage or a perfectly sustainable aboriginal right. On balance, the majority of polar bear scientists agree that even if the current state of things looks shakily stable, the future for bears is poor. Nonetheless, as long as climate change is political, polar bears will be too. And the tone of the discussion can get downright ugly.
The tourists come, of course, because polar bears are a dying breed, and they want to check that furry face off their life lists before it’s too late. The environmental movement has never had a higher-profile spokesmodel than Ursus maritimus. Every discussion about global warming has to include a mention of polar bears; every article about the human disregard for nature has to feature a photograph of a sad-looking bear on a tiny speck of ice.
Granted, the population numbers have been startling. Research from 1984 to 2004 showed that the western Hudson Bay population, which includes the Churchill bears, had declined from 1,194 to 935. The trendlines from that study suggested that by 2011, the population would fall to as low as 676.
Fast-forward to today and a new study, which reveals that the current polar bear population of western Hudson Bay is 1,013 animals.
Wait … what? More bears than there were 10 years ago? Nearly double the prediction? “Polar bears are one of the biggest conservation success stories in the world,” says Drikus Gissing, wildlife director for the Government of Nunavut. “There are more bears here now than there were in the recent past.”
“That’s false,” says Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, the international advocacy organization that, in 2008, successfully pushed to have polar bears listed as “threatened” in the United States. “Polar bear populations are in decline. That means individual bears are starving and drowning.”
Take the population in the greater Churchill area, for example, which was analyzed in a 2012 paper entitled Western Hudson Bay Polar Bear Aerial Survey. While the Government of Nunavut, which commissioned the study, was quick to trumpet an increase in polar bear numbers — and call for higher hunting quotas — the University of Minnesota scientists who actually did the work were more judicious. The sea ice in Hudson Bay is now breaking up two to three weeks earlier than it did three decades ago. And since a bear on land is easier to spot from a helicopter than a bear on the ice, catastrophically early ice breakup may have just made the bears more visible. By that logic, a higher count could actually be evidence that the bears are doing worse.
A follow up to 2017
In Canada, hunting rules are determined by individual provinces and territories, so a particularly peripatetic bear in Hudson Bay could wind up being “managed” by Manitoba, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec and possibly even Newfoundland. Factor in the disparate laws in the other four polar bear nations — the United States, Russia, Greenland and Norway — and you’ve got a recipe for worldwide confusion.
Approximately two-thirds of the world’s polar bears live in Canada, and about 600 are legally hunted here every year. Of that, 86 percent of the hunting occurs in Nunavut. For years, First Nations and Inuit residents of polar bear country have reported increased interaction with bears. More bears are coming into settlements, scavenging garbage, hassling dogs and terrifying residents. But some scientists counter that if bears were doing well, they wouldn’t come around town and, therefore, a greater number of bear encounters is actually evidence of fewer bears.
The truth about polar bears
Unlike some endangered species that can be saved by roping off a grove of trees, polar bears live locally and suffer globally. Although some scientists have suggested creating protected refuges in the High Arctic, what’s really important is how much rain forest the Brazilians will burn in the next 50 years and how many Texans will buy SUVs instead of tuning up their 10-speeds. And few of the environmentalists who visit Churchill talk about the thousands of kilometres they flew to get there or whether a tourist town in the middle of nowhere is part of the reason why the sea ice is melting in the first place.
We Went to a Fur Auction in North Bay
Turns out it’s where you can buy 90% of Canada’s legally harvested polar bear fur.
He said that they’re the “eyes and ears” of the Ministry of Natural Resources, who rely heavily on the numbers reported by hunting and trapping quotas to record data about the health and sustainability of certain species. He also made a point to note that trapping methods are constantly progressing, and the laws of trapping are based on making a kill as humane as possible. He summed it up as: “You can’t just dig a hole and put spikes at the bottom of it.”
From what I gathered, the government of Nunavut has a contract with certain Inuit groups who guarantee them at least $10,000 dollars per bear. Nunavut also has a contract with the Fur Harvesters Auction in North Bay, which is where they send all of the furs to be sold. If a fur sells for more than 10 G’s, the hunter picks up the surplus, if it sells for less (which isn’t likely) they still keep that guaranteed 10k.
Yesterday, Fur Harvesters released the sales numbers from Tuesday’s auction and stated that it set an “all time historical gross sales record… and this was made possible by the Chinese market that continues to dominate.” In case you’re too lazy to click through, they sold 24,078 muskrat at about $15 bucks a pop, the top wolverine wet for $800 bucks, and the prize grizzly bear ran some fur collector $1,550. Polar bear wasn’t listed in the results, but there were 150 bears laid out with each fur going for as little as $10,000 and as much as $30,000 USD. So if they were all sold, they would have been the highest earners, grossing somewhere in a conservative estimate of around $2 million.
IT’s obvious why the people who are on the fur industry’s front lines don’t want a lot of attention paid to the polar bear trade. Considering how controversial it’s made out to be, Fur Harvesters really could have told me to go fly a goddamn kite in a goddamn lightning storm, but they were remarkably open, accommodating, and understanding as to why I’d be interested in their line of work. The plight of the polar bear is more complex than simply ragging on the Inuit who have been hunting them for thousands of years, but I can understand why someone would look at a room full of 150 polar bear carcasses and freak the fuck out. It’s a tricky issue, but after my highly positive experience hanging out with the trappers, I’d much rather spend time with them than a bunch of anti-fur types who don’t see the appeal of hanging out in a room full of international ballers who are looking to buy new rugs. That’s just me though.
Follow Dave on Twitter: @ddner
Check these things out if you like fur:
The hunt is part and parcel of a very bloody, horrific, painful experience for the bears
Detective-Sergeant Cynthia Mann of the Conservation Officer Service’s major investigation unit said in an interview Wednesday that the Wildlife Act defines resident hunters as Canadian citizens or permanent residents whose primary residences are in B.C. and who are physically present in B.C. the “greater portion of each of six calendar months out of the 12 calendar months” preceding both their application for the hunt and the date of the actual hunt.
The legal argument is that Stoner did not meet those conditions due to living out of the province as a professional hockey player. At the time of the hunt, Stoner played for the Minnesota Wild but joined Anaheim as a free agent in 2014. “All five charges are directly related to the residency requirement,” Mann said.
Anyone who cannot meet that criteria must pay to hunt with a licensed B.C. guide-outfitter — typically, about $25,000 US for a coastal grizzly. The charges carry potential maximum fines of $50,000 to $250,000.
Stoner said through the Anaheim head office Wednesday that he did not wish to comment.
Faisal Moola, a director general with the David Suzuki Foundation, said it is interesting that the province has charged Stoner for “bureaucratic reasons” while continuing to allow a cruel sport that is at odds with the “morals and ethics” of average British Columbians. Coastal First Nations also believe it is disrespectful and unethical to kill bears for trophies and not for food.
On behalf of Jane Goodall and all wildlife.
Hello, my name is Jane Goodall, and I’m here to ask for your support to end wildlife trafficking. I spend about 300 days every year traveling and talking to people about how we can help animals, but I know the power of social media can connect far more people much more quickly than anyone could do on their own. Please help me end wildlife trafficking.
Greed and the desire for increasingly rare “trophies” have resulted in a boom in illegal wildlife trafficking. This is a gruesome trade that is rapidly pushing the earth’s endangered species toward extinction. I’m meeting with some of the top conservation leaders in the world this year, and urgently need your support to tell them you want wildlife trafficking to be a priority for the international community to focus on.
My colleagues and I at the Jane Goodall Institute have seen the horrific wounds that wildlife trafficking inflicts on its victims. As a conservation charity that works on the ground in a number of African nations and with incredible global partners, we know the slaughter of such incredible animals is cruel and indefensible. We have also seen the heroism and loss of life of Rangers who defend wildlife against poachers: we cannot let them die in vain.
At our Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, we see apes who have been maimed by lethal snare traps, monkeys suffering from bullet wounds, and infant chimpanzees who have been pried from their mother after she was shot dead by poachers, her body headed for markets where people illegally purchase chimpanzee meat.
The chimpanzee infants who come to us are often gravely injured, severely ill and suffering from deep psychological wounds that may never heal. They, however, are the lucky ones. The infants who do not make it to Tchimpounga are often trafficked into the illegal exotic pet or entertainment trades, destined to lead short, lonely lives filled with pain and abuse.
This is not a simple issue, but one filled with examples of the intense pressures of poverty, lack of training in enforcement, governmental corruption, and the careless demand for wildlife products by global consumers.
The inhumane practice of invading a protected animals’ natural habitat to obtain “parts” based on this complicated global market demand by capturing and/or killing is destroying our world’s most precious species, and it needs to stop.
The facts reflect the urgency of this crisis:
35,000 elephants a year are killed for ivory.
Poaching of rhinos went up 9,000% from 2007-2014.
73 million sharks are killed each year for their fins.
A 2014 survey showed there may only be 3,200 wild tigers left in Asia.
3,000 great apes (including chimpanzees) are illegally killed or stolen from the wild each year.
And these numbers may be estimates based on population sizes that don’t even exist – as there are fewer and fewer animals left to poach each year.
The Jane Goodall Institute has created the Jane’s Traffic Stop campaign, and I want you to be part of it. Our hope is that we will help stamp out wildlife trafficking for good by creating an enormous community of supporters on social media who will continue to hold key decision makers accountable in the fight against this violence.
I strongly believe that from majestic elephants to the smallest butterflies, threatened and endangered animals should be celebrated and left to live their lives … wild and free.
But no one person can do it alone. And we need support. This movement needs you!
So stand up to wildlife trafficking by signing this petition to show your support, and help me bring this message of hope to groups like the IUCN at the World Conservation Congress, the International Primatological Society at their biannual congress and CITES at the CoP17 meeting in South Africa this year.
We must tell the world that wild animals were not put on the earth to be hunted to extinction and sold off in pieces as trinkets and trophies. We also must not support the business of wildlife trafficking, and shop with a greater awareness to avoid buying illegal animal products or support companies that do. Each of us is only one voice in the fight to stop illegal wildlife trafficking, but if all of you as a collective join me and care enough to speak up, our message will be impossible to ignore.
I’ll be working closely with our partners to ensure the signatures on this petition add further pressure and momentum in this global movement to save wildlife. Sign this petition now, and join us in Jane’s Traffic Stop as we share additional actions and keep you up to date in the coming weeks and months.
-Dr. Jane Goodall
This petition will be delivered to:
United Nations Environment Program
Sign the petition and stop the nonsense.
Last year, more than a thousand rhinos were poached in South Africa, elephant populations have plummeted 66% in just five years, and the export of lion “trophies” has increased ten-fold–hunters bringing home animals’ heads and bodies to stuff and mount. In response to such threats, South African Airways has declared an immediate, worldwide ban on transporting any hunting trophies made from rhinos, lions, elephants, and tigers. Now I need your support to ask Delta Air Lines to match this policy and refuse to transport exotic animal hunting trophies!
South African Airways made it clear this ban applies to all such hunting trophies, without exception, “even if the shipper has a valid permit issued by the relevant authorities.” “With the depletion to near extinction of wildlife that once roamed in prolific numbers,” there is no justifying the slaughter of such incredible animals for sport and vanity.
But for South African Airways’ embargo to have the most effective result in saving animals’ lives, it is imperative that the hunting trophy transport ban is honored across all air carriers.
As one of the world’s largest airlines, and the only U.S. carrier with direct service to South Africa, Delta Air Lines is in a key position to help protect these and other vulnerable wild animal populations from further hunting and poaching pressures.
By refusing to play a role in the wildlife trafficking supply chain, Delta Air Lines can demonstrate the strong and ethical leadership that has made it such a successful and respected company. More importantly, Delta will be preserving a valuable natural resource that provides one of the primary reasons customers choose to fly Delta to visit Africa and other wilderness destinations. As a loyal, “Diamond Medallion” Delta customer who has logged over 650,000 miles with the company, I can attest that Ecotourism now accounts for a full 12 percent of GDP in some African countries.
As the Legislative Director for a national animal protection organization, I also am acutely aware how over-hunting has devastated threatened and endangered species. It is a tragic circumstance driven almost exclusively by the $20 billion illicit trade in imperiled animal body parts.
So join me in asking CEO Richard Anderson to show the world that Delta cares by doing its part and refusing to transport exotic animal hunting trophies.
Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow
“The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination.”
― It’s another beautiful day on the Bay Of Quinte – Z