Tallinn (AFP) Aug 26, 2010
Islanders from Kihnu, a small Estonian island in the Baltic Sea, could soon regain seal hunting rights after a 30-year break due to a soaring seal population over the last decade, an Estonian official said Thursday.
"The Ministry of Environment has now prepared a draft bill that will move gray seals from category II protection to category III, so it will become possible to end the three-decade-long ban on seal hunting," Hanno Zingel, adviser to the Estonian environment ministry, told AFP.
According to Zingel, the population of grey seals in Estonian waters has risen from 1,500 to 4,000 over the last decade.
"The number of grey seals has increased rapidly partly due to the better environment conditions of the Baltic Sea, but the 4,000 grey seals in Estonian waters is far behind the number of over 10,000 seals we had 100 years ago. Our neighbouring countries Finland and Sweden allow seal hunting," Zingel said.
The island of Kihnu is located off Estonia's west coast. Its more than 500 permanent residents appealed to the ministry three years ago, asking to restore their ancient right to hunt grey seals and make traditional meals from them.
Kihnu residents want the right to hunt a total 30 grey seals annually and have reminded the ministry that seal hunting and making seal dishes is a centuries' old tradition.
"The open question is whether to give the seal hunting right only to Kihnu islanders or also to nearby islanders. Because the seals in the Baltic Sea form a united community and they can even swim from Estonia across the sea to Finland, seal protection ... has to be coordinated jointly," Zingel said.
"The maximum amount of seals Kihnu islanders could hunt will be one percent of seals counted in the previous year," he added.
The ministry is still also mulling the issue of which Kihnu islanders who will be entitled to the hunting rights -- those who are the descendants of islanders or also those who have simply bought homes there.
Though there are thousands of seals, with some weighing more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds), they are rarely seen near Estonia's popular sandy beaches.
"You might have never seen a seal but if you have been out on the Baltic Sea they probably have seen you," Zingel said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
Limiting Ocean Acidification Under Global Change
Southampton, UK (SPX) Aug 26, 2010
Emissions of carbon dioxide are causing ocean acidification as well as global warming. Scientists have previously used computer simulations to quantify how curbing of carbon dioxide emissions would mitigate climate impacts. New computer simulations have now examined the likely effects of mitigation scenarios on ocean acidification trends. They show that both the peak year of emissions and ... read more
Celebrating and commemorating, New Orleans remembers Katrina|
Pakistan on 'war footing' to save city
Chile, NASA in talks to rescue miners
Jazz breathes life back into New Orleans after Katrina
Canadian PM Announces Support For Next Gen Of Satellites
First Successful Corona Remote Sensing Satellite Marks 50 Year Anniversary
Apple expected to update iPod line at Sept. 1 event
Japan develops 'touchable' 3D TV technology
Lula's parting gift is a controversial dam
After decades, Estonians could regain seal hunting rights
EU overfishing charges 'preposterous': Iceland
Japan high-tech toilet makers flush with success
Why Fish Don't Freeze In The Arctic Ocean
Receding ice could unlock arctic trove
Is The Ice In The Arctic Ocean Getting Thinner And Thinner
Resolving The Paradox Of The Antarctic Sea Ice
Malaysia mulls landmark trial of GM anti-dengue mosquitoes
Plant Scientists Move Closer To Making Any Crop Drought-Tolerant
Ancient Roman mill uncovered in U.K.
Paraguay marks fragile farm-based recovery
Thousands flee as Indonesia volcano erupts
Antigua, Caribbean brace for Hurricane Earl
Hurricane Danielle halts high-tech mapping of 'Titanic'
Niger floods leave 200,000 homeless: UN
S.Africa defends Chinese expansion in Africa
S.Africa's Zuma in China for talks on growing ties
Somali peacekeepers may boost troops
South Africa's Zuma visits key partner China to boost ties
The Mother Of All Humans
Giant Chinese 'Michelin baby' startles doctors: reports
Mother Of All Humans Lived 200,000 Years Ago
Humans Trump Nature On Texas River
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|