The recent rash of news alerts about the all-time-low, end of summer, Arctic sea ice extent has certainly given new food for thought about the state of the climate.
In the three decades since records began in 1979, the area covered by ice in early September - the 'sea ice minimum' - has been decreasing, shrinking by around 13% per decade. To date, the record sea ice minimum was in 2007. That is, until last weekend.
If harp seal populations are lost, the Canadian people will lose more than just a beautiful, iconic mammal. They will also lose any hope of benefiting economically from sustainable eco-tourism. For while the seal slaughter makes no economic sense, eco-tourism is a highly profitable and humane alternative.