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The Neglected Tradition? – The Genesis of the EU Seal Products Trade Ban and Commercial Sealing

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
Author:
Nikolas Sellheim Legal Cultures in Transnational World (LeCTra) Doctoral Programme, Faculty of Law, University of Lapland Finland

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Abstract

The European Union’s ban on the placing on the market of seal products stemming from commercially hunted seals has triggered much controversy due to its negative impacts on Arctic livelihoods. This article looks at the different documents and steps that constitute the crafting process which has led to the adoption of Regulation 1007/2009 on trade in seal products. It puts special emphasis on the degree of recognition of commercial sealing as a livelihood and asks if it is a tradition that may have been neglected by the political discourse in the EU. Also the role of antisealing groups is considered that may have contributed to a pre-determined stance on the commercial seal hunt during the policy-making process.

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