Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 547

547 Arctic Yearbook 2014 certain animal welfare standards were met (EU Commission, 2008: Recital 11), the adopted regulation, Regulation 1007/2009 on Trade in Seal Products (basic regulation), no longer provides for such derogation from the ban. Instead, all seal products that stem from commercial seal hunts are banned from the European markets, unless they are in the personal property of a traveller. Moreover, non-commercial dispersion of seal products is granted when the products stem from marine management initiatives while the trade in products from Inuit or other indigenous hunts is also not prohibited. It is especially this so-called ‘Inuit exemption’ and its application in non-indigenous contexts which is the centrepiece of this note. Enshrined in art. 3 of Commission Regulation 737/2010 (implementing regulation), seal products are still allowed to be traded in when they 1) stem from hunts conducted by Inuit or other indigenous communities that have a tradition of seal hunting; 2) are at least partly used, processed and consumed in the communities; and 3) when the hunts contribute to the subsistence of the community. These three exemptions stem from the inchoate will of the European policy makers not to affect the socio-cultural integrity of Inuit communities, as expressed throughout the crafting process of the legislation and responding to the adverse effects of the 1983 Directive banning the trade in products stemming from seal pups (Council Directive 83/129/EEC or ‘Seal Pups Directive’) (see Wenzel, 1991). On the other hand, socio-economic effects of a ban for commercial sealing communities or communities in which the sealing industry is located are by and large not considered (Sellheim 2013a: 422, 423). Argumentum a contrario, throughout the legislative process of the ban, adverse effects on commercial sealing communities are silently accepted. Seal Utilization in Newfoundland I have argued elsewhere that these three characteristics are equally applicable in non-indigenous communities and therefore pose empirical problems in the exemption’s applicability and feasibility beyond ethno-cultural considerations (Sellheim 2014: 8-10). In a similar manner as in the whaling context, the cultural importance of sealing and the commercial sealing industry is closely linked to ethnos although similar traits of utilization between indigenous and nonindigenous resource users exist (see Sowa, 2013). Although also discursively the utilization of seal skins for clothing is recognised, it is predominantly located in a context of ‘luxury’ as highquality seal skin products such as boots, jackets or mittens are sold for very high pri