Ringed seals are protected by a variety of laws and quotas in different parts of their range, but even within Europe the legal provisions are not always being fully implemented in domestic law (Wilson et al. 2001). The population in Lake Saimaa has been protected since 1955, and additional protection has been afforded via the establishment of two national parks within the lake, and regulation of shoreline development. Similarly, the hunting of seals in Lake Ladoga was prohibited in 1980 (Sipilä and Hyvärinen 1998). In the United States the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 allows ringed seals to be harvested only by Alaskan Native hunters for subsistence purposes, and that Act generally prohibits all other forms of taking except where specifically permitted (Angliss and Outlaw 2005). State Nature Reserves at Franz Josef Land and in the White and Kara seas protect large areas of ringed seal habitat in the western Russian Arctic (Belikov and Boltunov 1998). Quotas and licensing of hunting have been in place in various parts of the Russian Federation for decades (Belikov and Boltunov 1998), though this has done little to stop the decline of ringed seals in Lake Ladoga. Baltic ringed seals were protected from all killing by the Soviet Union in 1980, by Sweden in 1986, and by Finland in 1988 (Härkönen et al. 1998).
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