Dems Ask DOI To Ban International Trade of Polar Bear Parts

Despite pressure from the public and scientific community to halt oil drilling in the Arctic, exploratory rigs owned by the Shell Oil Company are preparing to set sail for the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

The expansion of oil drilling to the Arctic’s fragile ecosystem is a blunt visual that represents human attitudes toward the obvious evidence of climate change happening all around us. Other species, which don’t enjoy the luxury of artificial habitats, are forced to deal with the consequences of our actions right now. But melting sea ice isn’t the only threat facing endangered animals, like the polar bear, which live in this cold corner of the world

Polar bears are also hunted for their meat and skin, and demand on the global marketplace is growing. That’s why Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and 42 House Democrats today called on Interior Dept. Secretary Ken Salazar to advocate for the ban the international commercial trade of polar bear parts and stronger protections for the bears from trophy hunting.

In the letter, Rep. Markey and his colleagues ask the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to submit a proposal to transfer polar bears from Appendix II to the more protective Appendix I of the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) at the next international meeting occurring in March 2013.

“Greater protections for polar bears are needed to strengthen populations so they will have the best chance of survival,” writes Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, and his colleagues. “With the polar bear’s plight getting worse over the last two years – record prices for polar bear skins, unsustainable harvest of polar bears in Canada (the only country that still allows the killing of polar bears for international trade), and new evidence of polar bears’ habitat melting away – the case is stronger than ever for securing stronger protections under CITES.”

Read the entire letter here [PDF].

The polar bear’s habitat is the annual sea ice over the continental shelf and inter-island archipelagoes of the Arctic basin. As climate change causes this ice to melt rapidly, the best scientific estimates show polar bear populations declining by two-thirds within the next 40 years. Arctic sea ice is below the average extent this year, and has been rapidly declining for decades as the Arctic has warmed.

Related Reading:

Shell Sues Environmentalists Over Arctic Drilling

Giving Polar Bears A Chance

Alaskan Polar Bears Are Losing Their Fur: Why?

Image via Thinkstock


Mary K.
M. C4 years ago

Who is the WANKER who voted YES. This wanker is the one percent, what an A***hole SOD.

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

Thanks for this article.

maghiar mihaela
mihaela maghiar5 years ago

stop killing the bears!!!!!!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Darla G.
Darla G5 years ago

With all of the obstacles facing the polar bears (all caused by HUMANS), their demise is certain to be soon. It makes me sick to know these beautiful creatures are suffering.

Harshiita Sharma
Harshita Sharma5 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Dave Beanland
Dave Beanland5 years ago

No human should kill any other animal except for food.
If they want to hunt for no reason but their enjoyment then they should be allowed to hunt!!!!!!!!!!

But on one condition.................................................................... The animal that they hunt has only the natural weapons of tooth and claw. If the human animal wishes to hunt then the stipulation should be made that the only way they are allowed to hunt is with...................................................................................................................................... THE WEAPONS THEY WERE BORN WITH............. TOOTH AND CLAW
Lets see how far they run in the opposite direction ;-)

Karen Neisany
Karen Neisany5 years ago

HUMANS LOVE TO MURDER. And it is basically planned and carried out by men. Will the GOOD men ( the ones that say, I don't like killing) P-L-E-A-S-E speak out against murder and violence????????????????

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

Anybody who hunts for whatever reason in this overpopulated human age, especially the repulsive ones harming threatened species like this for their own sordid greed, is by nature a depraved thing that is not fit to be free in this society.

Linda MacRae
Linda MacRae5 years ago

What is it going to take to stop polar bear hunting and make it a federal offense punishable by a huge fee and imprisonment for these crimes. Don't they care if this population of beautiful animals is dwindling? Help STOP IT!