The Harp Seal Is a Threatened Species
The harp seal, also known as Pagophilus groenlandicus, is a species of mammal that is naturally found in the seas and regions of the North Atlantic, in Canada, Greenland, and other parts of the Arctic. This species of seal has a wide, white harp-shaped marking on the back of its head; and is sometimes referred to as the “angelic seal.”
Unfortunately, the harp seal is a threatened species, and it has been since at least the mid-twentieth century. The earlier, indiscriminate and unsustainable hunting of this species has left its population in a precarious state, and it has yet to make a significant recovery.
For this reason, the harp seal should not be hunted. Although hunting harp seals may seem appealing or alluring to some, it would do great harm to this species, and all those that depend on it, in the long run. Any hunting of this species must, therefore, be outrightly discouraged. The reasons why hunting harp seals should not be practiced are discussed in greater detail below.
Reasons to Not Hunt Harp Seals
1. It is Unethical: Hunting of harp seals is unethical for the obvious reason that it threatens the existence of a species that has already been pushed to the brink of extinction. In some cases, it may even be illegal. Such hunting should, in fact, not be allowed at all.
2. Environmental Impact: Harp seals are integral to the delicate Arctic ecosystem; they are both predators and prey. And as such, they form an important part of the balance that is necessary for the health of the Arctic environment. In this light, hunting them would have a great, negative impact on the environment.
3. Economic Fallout: Unsustainable hunting of the harp seal could jeopordize the livelihoods of some who depend on its killing and sale. This is because, as the population of this species declines, so too do the profits made from its hunting and sale. Such economic fallout could prove very expensive in the long run.
4. Emotional Trauma: The harp seal is a sentient creature, it feels emotions like we do. Therefore, it experiences emotional trauma whenever it is hunted, killed, and its carcasses used for commercial purposes. To some, this may even be considered a form of animal cruelty.
Alternatives to Hunting Harp Seals
1. Animal Conservation Campaigns: It is possible to reverse the fortunes of the harp seal by investing in animal conservation campaigning and efforts. By raising awareness to the threats that this animal faces, we can help to preserve its population and deter any future hunting of it.
2. Investment in Research: Research into the complexities of this species’ ecology and mortality rates is also of paramount importance. This allows us to better understand the effects of climate change and other variables on the population of the harp seal and step in to restore the balance if needed.
3. Legislation: Finally, it is also important to push for the enactment of laws that protect the harp seal, and other species of seal, from being overhunted or commercially harvested. This can help to ensure that any future hunting of the species is sustainable and consistent with the needs of its population.
In conclusion, the harp seal is a threatened species. Hunting it, therefore, should be strongly discouraged. Aside from being unethical, such hunting would also have a great, negative impact on the environment, have an economic fallout, and cause emotional trauma to the creature.
Rather than hunting, therefore, it is much better to invest in animal conservation campaigns, research, and legislation that could help to protect the species and give it the best chance of surviving and thriving in our oceans.
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