Seals are seen on the beach of Les îles de la Madeleine in Quebec, Canada.
On Canada’s Atlantic coast, there are gray, harp, harbor, bearded, hooded and ringed seals. Commercial hunting mainly targets the first two species.
During the 1950s and 1960s, hunters could make money from the pups’ white coats, highly sought after by the fashion industry. The practice was banned in 1987.
The US banned seal products since 1972. And in 2010, the European Union imposed an embargo because of hunting methods that were deemed too cruel.
Today, seals are mostly hunted locally for their meat, which is served in some high-end restaurants across Quebec.