By international agreement, only indigenous peoples may hunt the world's remaining polar bears. In Canada, subsistence hunting permits are issued by lottery; hunters keep the meat and can earn more than $10,000 from the pelt, like this one harvested in Arviat, an Inuit village on the western shore of Hudson Bay. Tags may also be sold to non-indigenous trophy hunters. Local hunters disagree with conservationists on whether the hunt harms the already vulnerable species' numbers. Yet amid concerns that Canada might ban the trade in skins, last year hunters in the Nunavut region agreed to cut their annual quota from 60 to 45 polar bears.
At the annual Hunters and Trappers Association town hall meeting, hunters line up to draw names out of a box for the opportunity to hunt a polar bear in Arviat, Canada. Polar bear hunting in Nunavut works on a lottery tag system for eligible Inuit hunters. Ten names are randomly drawn out of a box; the chosen have 48 hours to successfully kill a polar bear—if not, their tag goes to another hunter. Listing the polar bear as a threatened species, the United States and many environmental groups have pushed for a global ban on the commercial trade of their fur, meat, and body parts. The Canadian government opposes this, on behalf of the Inuit.
Friday, October 02, 2015
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