From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2002:
OTTAWA–The Supreme Court of Canada ruled 9-0 on February 22
that the authority of the federal government “to preserve the
economic viability of not only the seal fishery, but the Canadian
fisheries in general” gives Ottawa the constitutional right to ban
the sale of whitecoated harp seal and bluebacked hooded seal pup
pelts–as has been done since the 1995 resumption of offshore
commercial sealing, to protect the public image of the hunt. The
verdict allows Ottawa to resume prosecuting 101 sealers for allegedly
killing seal pups in 1996. About 25,000 pelts were seized from them.
Funded by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union, sealer Ford
Ward, of La Scie, Newfoundland, challenged the federal right to
pursue the case.
The current sealing quotas are 275,000 for adult harp seals
and 10,000 for adult hooded seals–but only 91,000 seals were killed
in 2001, as pelt prices collapsed years ago and Viagra cut into
Asian demand for seal penises.