Canada, you suck! Signed - the polar bears...


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Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 8, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
You too, Denmark!

Bid to ban commercial trade in polar bears fails

By Kim Murphy
March 7, 2013, 5:00 a.m.

An unusual coalition between the U.S. and Russia to win an international ban on commercial trade of polar bear parts failed Thursday.

Meeting in Bangkok, delegates to the 176-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species voted down a U.S. proposal to elevate the polar bears' status and effectively prohibit the lucrative trade in skins, teeth and claws from the animals, which are actively hunted in Canada.

The U.S. was joined in its campaign by Russia, which has battled widespread poaching of polar bears in recent years. But the effort met with opposition from Canada and Denmark, and was further sidetracked when the European Union attempted a compromise that would have allowed further study before an outright ban.

“The result was very disappointing, not just for us, but obviously for the fate of the world’s polar bears,” Andrew Wetzler, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council and two other conservation organizations, said in a telephone interview.

A total of 38 countries voted in favor of the U.S. proposal, with 42 against it, and 46 abstentions.

“It’s an unfortunate result after an ugly process,” added Brendan Cummings of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Countries and organizations that wanted to keep the international trade in polar bear skins going for political reasons had to distort or downplay the science showing polar bears are well on their way to extinction.”

About 25,000 polar bears exist around the world, two-thirds of them in Canada. The U.S. in its report to the convention said an average of 3,200 items made from polar bears were exported every year from Arctic countries, mainly Canada, representing about 400 to 500 polar bears.

The trade has become increasingly valuable, adding to the growing number of dangers to an animal already threatened by climate change. Two pelts sold at an auction last June in Ontario fetched a record $16,500 each.

"The current level of trade may have a detrimental impact on the status of the species because trade, particularly commercial trade, compounds the threat to the species posed by habitat loss," the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The Inuit population of northern Canada has fiercely defended rights to hunt the animals they have targeted throughout history and also to sell those they don't need for subsistence use. Income from foreign trophy hunters and sales of pelts is crucial for many of the remote, impoverished villages of the far north.

"For the world to suggest that we'll save the polar bears and forget the people, that's a little backwards," Terry Audla, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which represents about 55,000 Inuit across Canada, told the Los Angeles Times in an interview last year. Audla also spoke at Thursday’s meeting in Bangkok.

In the U.S., polar bears are protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Non-subsistence hunting and commercial trade in polar bear pelts is prohibited.

Canadian officials say they have carefully tailored regional hunting quotas designed to maintain healthy polar bear populations. Only about 2% of the Canadian polar bear population -- about 300 bears a year -- enters international trade, they said.

"Harvest quotas are based on principles of conservation and aboriginal subsistence, and are not market driven," the Canadian government said in a report on the CITES issue. "International trade is not a threat to polar bears."

But conservationists pointed out that the Canadian territory of Nunavut tripled its harvest quota for the most imperiled population of polar bears in 2011 and raised it again last year.

They are hoping to persuade the Obama administration to impose trade sanctions against Canada under international agreements, and are also challenging Canada's commercial polar bear trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Polar bears are struggling for survival already," said polar bear scientist Nikita Ovsyanikov, who was Russia’s delegate to the convention, according to the Guardian newspaper. "Exposing them to hunting will drive them to extinction."

Canada Nixes Polar Bear Hunting Ban

It is one thing for the Inuit to hunt them but it is another to profit by
selling the furs and whatnot.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 8, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
Their excuse for clubbing baby seals and skinning some alive is that the Newfoundland people are a special economic case as well. Of course part of their poverty comes from overfishing their home grounds.

A long way from where I started
Mar 8, 2013 - 05:28pm PT
If wealthy Euros (and Asians and Americans) did not pay huge prices for a guided polar bear hunt, there would be no polar bear hunt.

The blame does not lie with the poverty-stricken Inuit. Or at least not much of the blame. You can certainly point fingers at the Canadian government, but as I said, if wealthy animal-killers from Germany or Japan or the US or wherever weren't willing to pay huge sums to kill "trophies", there'd be no killing.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2013 - 05:57pm PT
I'm not pointing any fingers at the Inuit, just my middle finger at Ottawa,
the same finger I point at my own guvmint when it comes to First Nation
policies. That said I think there are a lot more Inuit and a lot fewer
bears around so it would be nice if they limited their 'take' to ceremonial
purposes, say. But I still wouldn't stand in their way even if I don't like it.

A long way from where I started
Mar 8, 2013 - 06:06pm PT
Oh, I agree.

Just wanted to point out that when you are seriously poor, and someone says "I'll give you lots of money to help me kill a bear," you're probably going to say "Okay, let's go."

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Mar 8, 2013 - 06:11pm PT
Are the Inuits protected from the polar bears?

Think not!

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Mar 8, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
Let them go hunting..........with a(one) spear......

Take video and post on You Tube please ;-)

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 8, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
I'm not pointing any fingers at the Inuit, just my middle finger at Ottawa,
you've got it right.

Harper is an anti-science, pro corporation, pro rich, religious nutjob, Bush wannabe (not as dumb of course).
Unfortunately, Canada has a British system of government; which is designed to rob the poor and give to the rich.

Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 8, 2013 - 07:35pm PT

Do you mean just like the US government?
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Mar 8, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
oh, I thought this was about the World Baseball Classic. Mama mia, that was some spicy Italian meatball the Canucks had to choke down...

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 8, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
Do you mean just like the US government?

There's a slight difference.

The British system was designed from square one to shaft the commoners.
The US system was designed to be fair, but has been modified to exceed the British system at wealth inequality.

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 8, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
Polar bears like to play hide & seek

and they'll play with your mutts

and they are curious

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Mar 8, 2013 - 09:36pm PT
let them eat liver

Polar Bear Liver that is...
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Mar 9, 2013 - 01:26am PT
The time is ripe.... INVADE CANADA!

Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

Actually, this is a victory of the Inuit.

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 9, 2013 - 10:26am PT
better start with saskabush ... it's flat

One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military, a new report from the advocacy group Mission: Readiness says. And the U.S. Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans.

Kennewick wa
Mar 9, 2013 - 10:36am PT
I thought they sucked because of Kokanee beer.
Jolly Roger

Trad climber
here and there
Mar 9, 2013 - 10:48am PT
So if you had a polar bear rug with the head in excellent condition. Is it illegal to sell? Given it is from the 60's. Already in the US. Can you sell it?K

Trad climber
Mar 9, 2013 - 11:13am PT
One in 4 are too overweight for the military. That's why they invented the TSA!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 9, 2013 - 11:13am PT

You think this has anything to do with Canada? It has NOTHING to do with Canada.

Our country has no control over the Indians with respect to them killing game and fish. Indians hunt and fish out of season anywhere they want. We can't stop them from killing polar bears if they want to! They can shoot them from their snow machines.

In Canada, there are two rules for hunting and fishing - Indian Rules and White Man Rules. [In this instance, White Man = anyone who does not have an Indian card]

White Men are obligated to hunt and fish according to seasons, limits, and by fair means. We must angle for our fish, enticing them to bite a bait or an artificial lure. We can't fish out of season, when the fish are reproducing, in order for them to get a chance to make baby fishies that will ultimately grow into big fishies.

The Indians don't care about that!

In Algonquin Park, where I have to paddle and portage for days because I'm white, the Indians go in via the logging roads and net the trout out of the lake. These are lakes on the Canadian Shield that are so unenriched by lack of nutrients that one acre of surface area can only produce about a pound of trout per year. A few Indians with nets can destroy the fishery in the lake in a single harvest!

The Bay of Quinte in Lake Ontario used to be the #1 walleye fishery in the world, until the Indians started having their way. [walleye = pickerel in Canada] So these guys would grab their spears, and walk into downtown Belleville in the river and spear the fish in eighteen inches of water right on the spawning beds! This is of course, several weeks before the season opens. The rest of us would have to wait until the season opened.

In 1990, I remember standing on the bridge at Deseronto on opening day, and the fishing was so great, that you could see five hundred boats in either direction! Everyone was catching fish, it was amazing and fantastic. Now you go there in the spring, and you hardly see any boats, and those that you do see, only a few of them have any fish. The Indians took all the fish for themselves, and now the fishery is very depleted.

Don't blame Canada for the behaviour of its Indians.

Trad climber
Mar 9, 2013 - 11:39am PT
Spent time in Lillooet growing up. The Indians are allowed to hunt/fish however they want, whenever they want. BUT, it is supposed to be for personal use only.

Many Indians I knew had 2-3 freezers full of frozen salmon they had dip-netted and were selling to guys who then sold to restaurants in Vancouver.

I can't stop their behavior, but I did all I could do to remove the demand and am vegetarian.

Oh yeah, and then the one Indian didn't pay his electricity bill and he lost a freezer full of fish.
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