Comments: Hunted and trapped for meat and hides for thousands of years; mainly subsistence havest by native arctic peoples. Harvested by natives in Canada, principally within the Northwest Territories; the present annual harvest is about 700, which is probably close to the maximum sustainable yield (Stirling 1991). See USFWS (Federal Register, 17 July 1995) for information on sport harvest in Canada. Subsistence hunting by natives also continues in Alaska. Subjected to sport hunting, mostly by non-natives, in Alaska from the late 1940s to 1972 (Reeves et al. 1992).
Some believe that study of polar bear fur could lead to improvements in solar panels for homes and industry; reportedly the fur is excellent at absorbing ultraviolet radiation (Boston Globe, 4 June 1990).