The current Harp seal hunt has been controversial since the 1970s among (mostly urban) vegans and anti-fur protestors.

Inuit seal hunters are now, and proposed Grey seal hunts will be, impacted by the same efforts to reduce seal fur consumption or its use in fashion. Boycotts of Canadian fish products in Europe have been ongoing for years, though they have little impact. The primary impact of the protest is the reduction in the use of seal fur, thus pelt prices, over decades. Dene trappers likewise lost their market due to the reduction in use of fur in fashion from the 1970s to now, an issue in the Mackenzie River pipeline debate.

The seal hunt is of little or no ecological significance as the seals are not thought to be depleting North Atlantic cod stocks seriously. The loss of fish nursery due to deep coral is much more at fault, and has led to increased snow crab numbers in the Grand Banks.
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