Greenland has launched an initiative to support Inuit and indigenous communities in Canada and the EU to improve the perception of sealskin products. It focuses on sewing in a QR code which allows consumers to check their legality by scanning the label with their phone and learn about Inuit seal hunting and why it is environmentally sustainable.
The EU advocates for Blue Economy, the new framework for the sustainable growth in the marine sector. Does Arctic sealing, a traditional activity widely condemned by the EU and others, actually qualify as a component of the blue economy?
It is not profitable and may never be. And the EU has banned it. So why should seal hunting be supported? Because it is a sustainable way of life for Inuit people - and sometimes their only one. And the way forward for Greenland's independence, says Ditte Sorknæs.
Seal hunting has been associated with images of animal cruelty, Brigitte Bardot hugging a seal pup, and environmental groups asking for it to be banned, which the EU eventually did. The outcome has been disastrous for indigenous people, who traditionally live off the sea, but Greenland is now fighting to turn things around.