Thursday, 15 May 2014

Canadian Polar Bear Hunt Continues, Despite Extinction Threat (Op-Ed)

Zak Smith, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) | May 14, 2014 01:28am ET

Zak Smith is an attorney for the Marine Mammal Protection Project at NRDC. This Op-Ed is adapted from one that first appeared on the NRDC blogSwitchboard. Smith contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Most people don't know that Canada is the only country where polar bears are still hunted and killed to supply the world trade in polar bear skins and other parts (teeth, claws, skulls, etc.). But Canada's practice of allowing polar bears to be killed for profit when their very existence is threatened by climate change is now going to be scrutinized by the international community, which is expressing concern that such trade is not sustainable.

This critical issue came into focus at a meeting I recently attended in Veracruz, Mexico, of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) — the international organization tasked with managing trade in endangered species.

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