Organizace na ochranu zvířat protestují proti trofejnímu lovu polárních medvědů v Grónsku

10.02.2005

Na začátku února oznámilo Grónsko, že v příštím roce plánuje umožnit zahraničním turistům, aby jezdili do Grónska na lov polárních medvědů, které si pak budou moci odvézt jako trofeje. Proti takovému lovu polárních medvědů se postavilo více než 40 organizací na ochranu zvířat z celého světa (včetně Nadace na ochranu zvířat), které zaslaly společný protestní dopis dánskému ministerstvu pro rybolov (text dopisu v angličtině viz níže).  

Proti sportovnímu lovu polárních medvědů mluví zejména tyto argumenty:

-          neexistuje spolehlivá statistika populace polárních medvědů v Grónsku, na základě které by bylo možné stanovit udržitelné kvóty pro lov

-          už mnoho let existují ve světě obavy, že lov medvědů v Grónsku je neudržitelný (nejsou zde stanovené žádné kvóty). Tento nový vývoj může už tak špatnou situaci ještě více zhoršit   

 -          panuje také obava, že Grónsko umožní i lov v chráněných oblastech 

-          v Grónsku není zaveden kontrolní a monitorovací systém, kterým by bylo možné lov kontrolovat a vést podle něj statistiky

-          Mezinárodní dohoda o ochraně polárních medvědů zakazuje lov těchto medvědů, “kromě lovu provozovaného domorodci, tradičními metodami lovu a na územích, kde byl lov tradičně provozován“. Tuto dohodu podepsalo i Dánsko, pod které Grónsko administrativně patří. 

-          polární medvědi kromě toho čelí také nebezpečí způsobenému změnami klimatu a znečištěním moří

 
Více informací lze nalézt (v angličtině) níže, v textu dopisu pro dánské ministerstvo pro rybolov.

 

Mr. Ole Heinrich
Head, Directorate of Hunting
Department of Fisheries and Hunting
Greenland Home Rule Governement
P.O. Box 269
3900 Nuuk
DENMARK

Cc: Department of Environment and Nature 

1st February 2005

 

Dear Mr. Heinrich,

I am writing to you on behalf of the 40 undersigned organisations from all over the world with regard to

the hunting of polar bears. Polar bear hunting in Greenland has so far been limited to traditional hunters.

However, we have learned that the Greenland Home Rule Authority is planning to introduce polar bear

sport hunting next year. The undersigned organizations urge the Greenland Home Rule Government to

reconsider this decision.

There are no reliable population data available for populations in Greenland on which to base

scientifically sound hunting quotas . The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) estimates the

global polar bear population between 21,500 -25,000 distributed over 20 distinct populations (IUCN

PBSG, 2001). For East Greenland no inventory has been conducted and no valid population estimate

exists. However the IUCN PBSG estimates that a population of 2,000 bears would be needed to sustain

the current offtake in East Greenland. The other three populations are shared with Canada: The Kane

Basin population is estimated at 200 bears, Baffin Bay is currently estimated at 2,200 (estimate from

1993-1995) and Davis Strait at 1,400 (estimate from 1993). Several population estimates are not

validated or are currently under revision.

 There has been international concern for years that the Greenlandic polar bear hunt is

unsustainable. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not approved for trophy import any population

shared between Canada and Greenland, based on this concern. The IUCN PBSG has expressed

concern that polar bears in most parts of Greenland may be over-harvested: it also reports that

researchers have encountered few polar bears along the Greenland coast through 1994-1997 and

concludes this may be a consequence of intense harvest pressure. Researchers also found that in the

Kane Basin population, which is shared with Canada, polar bear densities on the Greenland side were

much lower than on the Canadian side.

Article II of the International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears requires Parties to

base decisions on “sound conservation practices based on the best available scientific data”.

However, the information available from Greenland is insufficient to permit the setting of sound quotas.

Introducing trophy hunting under such circumstances is ill-advised.

Polar bears are also listed on Appendix II of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in

Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. International trade with CITES Parties requires an export

permit that must only be granted when it can be ensured that offtake will not be detrimental to the

survival of the species. It is doubtful that a scientifically sound non-detriment finding could be

issued for the export of polar bear trophies from Greenland, given the lack of population data and

concerns that the current use is already unsustainable.

Although the Greenland Home Rule Government decided in principle to work toward the introduction of

quotas in 2000, so far the number of polar bears hunted is not limited. It is also of concern that

Greenland does not prohibit polar bear hunting in protected areas.

Concerns have also been expressed about the implementation of hunting regulations, as well as

International Conservation Agreements, in Greenland. Reporting and monitoring systems are still

under development in Greenland. So far reporting of hunted bears has been voluntary. In a resolution

on “Improvement of harvest monitoring program in Greenland”, the IUCN PBSG in 2001 noted that

“sound conservation practices for sustainable harvest of polar bears requires accurate information on

the number, sex, age and location of harvested animals” and recommended that Greenland should

improve its monitoring program accordingly.

The International Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears prohibits all taking of polar bears,

but in Article III allows them to be hunted “by local people using traditional methods in the exercise of

their traditional rights and according to the law of the Party…or wherever polar bears have or might have

been subject to taking by traditional means by its nationals”. Most Parties to the Agreement, including

Denmark, have interpreted this to mean that hunting can be conducted only by a Party’s residents and

should be restricted geographically to those areas where traditional hunting occurred historically.

Polar Bears are facing increasing threats of yet unknown extent through climate change and

pollutants:

·  Polar bears are at the top of the Arctic marine food chain. In the large deposits of fat needed to

survive periods of food shortage, they accumulate toxic pollutants including heavy metals and

persistent organic pollutants. Particularly high levels of organic pollutants have been found in

polar bears from northeast Greenland, Svalbard and the Russian Arctic (IUCN PBSG 2001).

High levels of contaminants can affect the immune system, reduce reproductive success and

cause physical deformities. For example, a pseudohermaphroditic bear has been found in East

Greenland (Dietz et al. 2001).

·  During the last decades, the ice in the East Greenland area has diminished both in extent and

thickness (Parkinson 2000). Ice thickness during the summer month has decreased by 40%

during the last three decades (WWF 2002). Accordingly, polar bears have less time to feed and

store fat needed while they are on shore. This significantly influences the condition and

reproductive success of polar bears as well as of their prey (IUCN PBSG 2001). Studies from

Hudson Bay show that for every week earlier that ice break-up occurs, bears will come ashore

10kg lighter (Stirling and Derocher 1993) and in poorer condition (Stirling 1999).

In addition, their normal biology (low reproductive rate, high adult survival, late sexual maturation and

long interbirth intervals) makes polar bears particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation and limits their

potential to recover.

The proposed trophy hunt can only exacerbate other major threats to polar bear populations,

e.g., climate change and pollution in the Arctic. It is not foreseeable that the introduction of trophy

hunting would have any benefit for the conservation of polar bears in Greenland. Instead it would pose

an additional threat to already endangered populations.

Given the concerns about unsustainable hunting of polar bears and the various other threats they are

facing, the undersigned organisations believe that it would be irresponsible to introduce sport hunting in

Greenland. Thank you for your attention to our views on this important matter.

 

Yours sincerely,

Daniela Freyer

Species Survival Network (SSN) European Bureau

 

ON BEHALF OF THE FOLLOWING ORGANISATIONS.

Birgith Sloth

Society for the Conservation of Marine Mammals, GSM, Denmark

 

Jens Peter Lange

UPPIK, Greenland

 

Naomi Rose

Humane Society of the United States, USA

 

Kitty Block,

Humane Society International, Australia

 

Sigrid Lüber

ASMS OceanCare, Switzerland

 

Steve McAuliffe

Care for the Wild International, United Kingdom

 

Jill Robinson,

Animals Asia Foundation, Hong Kong

 

Shelley Petch

Born Free Foundation, United Kingdom

 

Victor Watkins

WSPA, World Society for the Protection of Animals, United Kingdom

 

Sabine Kroker

Gesellschaft zum Schutz der Meeressäugetiere, GSM, Germany

 

Mary Muldoon

ISPCA, Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Ireland

 

Ben White

Animal Welfare Institute, USA

 

Anne Holmes

League Against Cruel Sports, United Kingdom

 

Sandra Altherr

Pro Wildlife, Germany

 

Ross Minett

Advocates for Animals, Scotland UK

 

Live Kleveland Karlsrud

Norwegian Animal Welfare Alliance, Norway

 

Michael Stocker

Seaflow, USA

 

Marton Kelemen

Milvus Group - Association for Bird and Nature Protection, Romania

 

Grigore Davideanu

Ecological Society AquaTerra, Romania

 

Susie Watts

Co-Habitat, United Kingdom

 

Peter Lengyel

UNESCO Pro Natura, Romania

 

Effie Dodoura

ARGOS Animal Welfare Society, Greece

 

Kate Sardi

The Whale Center of New England, USA

 

Joel Reynolds

Natural Resources Defense Council, USA

 

Sue Fisher

WDCS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, United Kingdom

 

Shirley McGreal

International Primate Protection League, USA

 

Vanessa McMain

The Humane Society of Canada, Canada

 

Regina Asmutis-Silvia

International Wildlife Coalition, USA

 

Alberto Díez

National Association for the Defense of Animals (ANDA), Spain

 

Annelise Sorg,

Canadian Marine Environment Protection Society, Canada

 

Bonnie Gretz

American Cetacean Society; USA

 

Vassilis Ayiannides

Chios Society of Friends of Animals, Greece

 

George Razvan Marcu

Ecosens, Romania

 

William W. Rossiter

Cetacean Society International, USA

 

Mark Berman

Earth Island Institute, USA

 

Mark Berman

Free Willy Keiko Foundation, USA

 

Romana Sonkova

Nadace na ochranu zvirat/The Animal Protection Trust, Czech Republic

 

Laszlo Szabo-Szeley

Aves Foundation, Romania

 

Clare Perry,

Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), United Kingdom

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