For the seal conservation folks out there this was a good year indeed. After almost 30 long years of protests, marches, letter writing campaigns and in depth work with lawmakers and NGO's the European Parliament voted this week to ban most seal products from the European market. This ban will eliminate a primary source of revenue for the world's seal hunters re Canada. The legislative resolution was adopted with 550 votes in favor, 49 against and 41 abstentions.
An exemption is allowed for indigenous communities. The legislators exempted those seal products resulting from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities, which may still be imported and marketed into European Union countries.
Otherwise, the import of seal products is permitted only where it is of an occasional nature and consists exclusively of goods for the personal use of the travelers or products that result from by-products of hunting conducted for the purpose of sustainable management of marine resources on a nonprofit basis, the measure provides.
The European Parliament's ban on commercial trade in seal products will become law if it is adopted by the European Council of Ministers, which represents the member states.
Stay tuned, after 30 years of protests the final resolution still may be a ways off, but the end is near and that for conservationists is a real win.