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138 Unintended Consequences: The EU Seal Ban and Indigenous Seal Hunters

21 . 09 . 2021

Notes

Watch this on video | Buy us a coffee: Chris / Henry / Mario

POLAR NEWSREEL Protection of marine wildlife can result in conflicts with small scale fishing communities. // Protection of marine wildlife can give healthier ecosystems and increased carbon capture by the ocean: meet the sea otter. // More whales equals more carbon storage. // After the decrease in hunting pressure harp seals are increasing in numbers and their population is growing fast

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: THE EU SEAL BAN AND INDIGENOUS SEAL HUNTERS In 1964 Radio Canada released a film about hunting harp seals in the Gulf of St Lawrence. The images, later admittedly choreographed and not corresponding to the reality of the hunt, shocked the world and resulted in opposition to this activity. Among the notable opponents we find a baby seal-hugging Brigitte Bardot, one of the icons of the fight to end seal hunting. It took forty years for the EU to deliberate in 2009 what is known as the EU Seal Ban which in practice was a ban on imports of seal products. The ban's wording was at best unfortunate and this caused dire problems for the Inuit and indigenous communities traditionally relying on sealing for nutritional, cultural and spiritual needs especially in Greenland and Canada, and resulted in the 2015 amendment to the regulations. The present EU law allows trade in seal products from "hunts conducted by Inuit or other indigenous communities" and sets a clearer definition criteria among which we find the terms "tradition", "subsistence" and "animal welfare". In spite of the EU public apology, the damage to the Inuit and other indigenous communities of the Arctic might be permanent. Another consequence of the decrease in hunting pressure has been an increase in harp seals numbers and in the area of highest hunting pressure, the Northwest Atlantic, their population has been growing fast.

This is an episode of the Curiously Polar podcast

with Chris Marquardt https://chrismarquardt.com/ Henry Páll Wulff: https://henrypall.com/ Mario Acquarone https://www.buymeacoffee.com/polarmario

Listen to all podcast episodes at https://curiouslypolar.com

All video episodes at https://tfttf.com/curiouslypolarvideo

Find us here: Web: https://curiouslypolar.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/curiouslypolar Instagram: https://instagram.com/curiouslypolar

137 A Comprehensive Polar Library, Part 1

14 . 09 . 2021

Notes

Watch this on video | Buy us a coffee: Chris / Henry / Mario

POLAR NEWSREEL There have been historical mentions of polar bears using tools to hunt walruses mainly based on accounts by Inuit local. An article by Dr Ian Stirling, the foremost authority on polar bears, reviews the knowledge on the matter and concluded that "possible tool use by polar bears in the wild is infrequent and mainly limited to hunting walruses // Space technology has an impact in the polar area in more than one way, reports The Barents Observer. This Thursday parts of a rocket will hit the surface of the Barents Sea and hopefully avoid the many vessels that are present in the area. // Cleaning the Arctic of past sins is a priority of the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The Barents Observer reports of success for an expedition to find the location of nuclear material dumped in the sea. // Being different is usually considered detrimental to reproductive success, but new research shows that penguins with unusual coloring still find mates. // The demand for krill oil seems to increase and so is the fleet equipped for harvesting this resource. But is it a good - sustainable - idea? // While trying to save award-winning director Alexander Melnik during strategic drills in the Arctic, Russian Emergency Situations Minister Yevgeny Zinichev died tragically.

A COMPREHENSIVE POLAR LIBRARY, PART 1 This week we present a collection of our most favorite polar books, gems that are not to miss for your comprehensive polar library.

  • For pioneering expeditions to climb the Arctic peaks: H.W. Tilman (1974) "Ice with Everything" and (1977) "Triumph and Tribulation", originally by Nautical Publishing Company. Look for these and other fascinating works by the prolific Tilman on Amazon
  • In "The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey Into Greenland's Buried Past and our Perilous Future" writer Jon Gertner explains how Greenland has evolved from one of earth’s last frontiers to its largest scientific laboratory. The story begins with adventure describing explorations of Greenland’s ice covered interior from the 1880’s through the 1930s, leading to climate change, the future of Greenland’s ice sheet and glaciers, and what that holds for the world.
  • An account of the events during World War 2 that led to the establishment of the Sirius Patrol in North East Greenland and beginning of the home-rule: David Howarth (1957) "The Sledge Patrol", Collins. On Amazon
  • Many books have been written about the story of Ernest Shackleton, but Nick Bertozzi managed to address a different audience to this remarkable story of survival. The graphic novel "Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey" is introducing Shackleton’s expedition aboard in a nice and surprisingly uplifting way.
  • About the expeditions seeking the North West Passage and especially about the Franklin voyage and all the rescue efforts that followed, but not only: Pierrre Berton "The Arctic Grail, the quest for the North West Passage and the North Pole 1818-1909", first edition in 1977, my copy shown during the podcast is 1988 published by McLelland and Stewart. Last published in 2000 by The Lyons Press and still available on Amazon
  • Icelandic writer Andri Snær Magnasson manages what many people before and after him couldn't manage: making Climate Change personal. In his book "On Time And Water" he uses elements of memoir, world history, mythology and the latest scientific reportage to help readers connect with and truly understand where we are in the fight and what is at stake. A true marvel.

This is an episode of the Curiously Polar podcast

with Chris Marquardt https://chrismarquardt.com/ Henry Páll Wulff: https://henrypall.com/ Mario Acquarone https://www.buymeacoffee.com/polarmario

Listen to all podcast episodes at https://curiouslypolar.com

All video episodes at https://tfttf.com/curiouslypolarvideo

Find us here: Web: https://curiouslypolar.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/curiouslypolar Instagram: https://instagram.com/curiouslypolar

136 Back With a Vengeance

07 . 09 . 2021

Notes

Watch this on video | Buy us a coffee: Chris / Henry / Mario

POLAR NEWSREEL The time of discoveries in the polar regions has not ended yet. A team that was aiming to land at Oodaaq island, the northernost dry land in the world north of Greenland, actually landed on new emerged bank slightly northwest of it and thus serendipitously discovered the, so far, northernmost emerged land in the world. The discoverers have suggested the name “Qeqertaq Avannarleq”, which means “the northernmost island” in Greenlandic. Algae are the basis of all life in the oceans. This project from UNIS in Svalbard studied how the rapid temperature rise in the Arctic affects the sea ice algae and the phytoplankton. The results are to be used for modeling the impact of Arctic warming on the ecosystem. Penguins have inspired the shape of one of the newest additions to the instruments to study oceans: the Quadroin, a 25kg and €80,000 wireless AUV that can sample data autonomously down to 150m in environments where other vehicles are unable to go, for example, under sea ice or in shallow water. For the first time in recorded history rain fell at the normally snowy summit of Greenland. Over a weekend in mid August temperatures at the Greenland summit rose above freezing for the third time in less than a decade. The rain dumped 7 billion tons of water on the ice sheet, the heaviest rainfall on the ice sheet since record keeping began in 1950. Our currently most favourite iceberg out in the ocean, the well documented A-74 that's nearly the size of Greater London, reportedly touched the western tip of Brunt Ice Shelf due to strong easterly winds. The bump, however, has not been strong enough to effect Brunt Ice Shelf and nearby Halley research station of British Antarctic Survey which has been in hibernation since the begin of the pandemic.

BACK WITH A VENGEANCE After a two months break we are back with an alarming topic. The IPCC has recently released the first part of their Sixth Assessment Report focusing on "The Physical Science Basis" of climate change. Two more parts are due for completion next year, "Mitigation of Climate Change", and "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" as well as eventually the "Sixth Assessment Report Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2022". The good news on this report is: There is nothing new. There's no big news, nothing that we didn't already know. We're seeing the effects of climate change already. And this report just confirms what our research and experience has told us is happening. "The Physical Science Basis" states that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach. What’s surprising is that the IPCC uses in this report a very strong, definitive language, like the use of words like unequivocal in a way that leaves no doubt. It takes away all the conspiracy arguments of the so-called sceptics. In its press release the IPCC summarises the report very clear: "Climate change is bringing multiple different changes in different regions – which will all increase with further warming. These include changes to wetness and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans."

This is an episode of the Curiously Polar podcast

with Chris Marquardt https://chrismarquardt.com/ Henry Páll Wulff: https://henrypall.com/ Mario Acquarone https://www.buymeacoffee.com/polarmario

Listen to all podcast episodes at https://curiouslypolar.com

All video episodes at https://tfttf.com/curiouslypolarvideo

Find us here: Web: https://curiouslypolar.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/curiouslypolar Instagram: https://instagram.com/curiouslypolar

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