We risk no longer seeing the tender eyes of the Harp seal due to the climate crisis



by LORENZO CIOTTI

We risk no longer seeing the tender eyes of the Harp seal due to the climate crisis
© Darren McCollester / Staff Getty Images News

The beautiful eyes of the harp seal are one of the distinctive features of the species. They become touching, considering how much the species is threatened by the melting of the ice, resulting from anthropic activities. I, together with the Rapusia staff, will never stop underlining how the innocence of these threatened animals should shake the consciences of those who read us to the core.

According to the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Department, the Canadian department that deals with fishing and life in the oceans, climate change is affecting the life of marine mammals that live on the ice. The melting of the Arctic is causing the natural shelters that have always provided a safe haven for pregnant seals as well as newborn pups to disappear, exposing them to predators and poachers.

Some features about the Groñladian seal

I leave you some information regarding this beautiful and tender animal. It lives in the Arctic seas, where it stays during the summer, spending little time on land. Between February and March it heads towards the coasts of southern Greenland, northern Scandinavia and northern Asia, where births take place.

Outside the breeding season, it can move 4,000 km in the open sea. It can thus appear in places where it does not usually live such as in Great Britain, at least until the 1980s. It feeds on fish, such as capelin, herring, polar cod, Arctic cod, Atlantic cod, mackerel, and squid and crustaceans.

In Canada, hunting is allowed from November 15 to May 15 according to quotas set by the government, which establish how many animals can be killed. Hunting of cubs has been banned since 1987, when whitecoat pelts were made illegal, but cubs can be killed after their first molt.

Subsistence hunting is permitted for the Inuit, who kill seals for food and to a lesser extent, for commercial purposes. The maximum lifespan is approximately 30 years. Between February and March it heads to one of the three breeding areas mentioned above.

During this period, females fight for a piece of territory where childbirth will take place, while males fight for the right to mate. Courtship may begin on ice, but mating usually occurs in water. He can hold his breath for up to half an hour.