Gauging US and EU Seal Regimes in the Arctic Against Inuit Sovereignty
The European Union and the Arctic, edited by Nengye Liu, Elizabeth A. Kirk, and Tore Henriksen, 2017
36 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017
Date Written: May 26, 2017
The US and EU each enacted seal hunting moratoriums that provide an exception for indigenous hunters. This paper compares the respective seal regimes – the US marine mammal conservation laws and the 2015 EU trade import ban – because seal hunting is a practice that not only provides sustenance and income to Inuit and other indigenous peoples, it also defines self-hood in the Arctic. This chapter argues that whoever regulates animals is in effect regulating land and water of where animals live. And to regulate a space leads to regulating people by restricting their activities. The seal regimes are principal ways each authority negotiates its relationship with Arctic indigenous communities and expresses power in the Arctic. As such, I conclude that the EU, through its seal regime, is in effect projecting sovereign power beyond its existing territorial boundaries, and re-configuring Inuit relationships to seals, land, and water.
Keywords: Indigenous rights, Seal hunting, international trade
JEL Classification: K33, Q37, F13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation