Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Harp seals provide meat for some native Arctic peoples. Historically, harp seal fur, oil, and meat were incredibly important to humans. Currently, demand for harp seal products has dropped off considerably due to import regulations. ("Harp Seals", 2004; Kovacs, 1995; MarineBio.org, 2009; Novak, 1999; Schliemann, 1990)
Harp seals have also become an important part of the tourist industry in Canada, where tourists can visit harp seal whelping sites. ("Harp Seals", 2004; Kovacs, 2008)
Positive Impacts: body parts are source of valuable material; ecotourism
- Novak, R. 1999. Pagophilus groenlandicus. Pp. 887-888 in Walker’s Mammals of the World, Vol. Volume II, Sixth Edition. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Kovacs, K. 1995. Harp and hooded seals - a case study in the determinants of mating systems in pinnipeds. International Symposium on the Biology of Marine Mammals in the North East Atlantic, Developments in Marine Biology 4: 329-335.