View Full Version : Environment Ministry Legalizes Seal Hunting

11-11-2010, 05:54 PM
Environment Ministry Legalizes Seal Hunting (http://news.err.ee/culture/656aea62-69a2-4ec4-b4cc-60e5c8825c37)

A grey seal in the Tallinn Zoo ( Photo: Postimees/Scanpix )

The Ministry of the Environment finished a bill on November 9 that would legalize hunting of grey seals.

In the last decade, grey seal numbers have grown significantly from 1,500 to roughly 4,000. Among the main proponents of grey seal hunting are the Kihnu islanders who have traditionally hunted the sea animals. Currently, 12 out of 14 grey seal resting places are protected reserves.

"The risk that their habitats will be destroyed is very low. That would require an irreversible change throughout the entire Baltic Sea ecosystem," said the billís authors.

In September, the Ministry of the Environment relabeled the grey seal population as category-three endangered species. In addition to grey seals, another 1,500 ringed seals swim in Estoniaís waters.

The current hunting law permits seven large game animals, including moose, red deer, wild boar, roe deer, brown bear, wolf and lynx. Another 48 smaller species, including 37 birds, can be hunted.