The complying with article very first appeared in the National Post, Canada, Jan. 4, 2005, and also is reproduced with the author’s permission.

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Body-conscious buyers journey price of pelt to record high

By James Cowan because that the National Post

Boosted through softening perspectives toward the seal hunt and also renewed international trade, seal pelt prices room breaking records as consumers find sealskin is soft, challenging — and also exceptionally slimming.

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Sealskin prices got to an all-time high two weeks back at the fur Harvesters Auction in north Bay, Ont. Buyers payment an median of $70.80 per pelt, up substantially from the 2003 typical of $44.78. In the mid-nineties, a seal pelt to be worth just $15.

Bernie Halloran, the owner of Vogue Furriers in St. John’s, Nfld., stated sealskin’s popularity has actually exploded since women now demand fur coats the accentuate your figures. A sealskin coat can expense $1,300 to $4,000.

“Everyone is interested in exercise and also dieting, therefore they don’t want to look big and bulky any type of more,” Mr. Halloran said.

“One of the things we’ve i found it is how slimming a seal jacket have the right to be. The doesn’t make you look at big. And if you room someone who is a plus-sized, they choose it since it yes, really doesn’t do them look at big.”

The yearly seal hunting in Canada continues to be controversial and also closely regulated. In the 1970s, photos of infant seals being clubbed to death and also skinned alive sparked worldwide protest. The United states banned the import of seal commodities in 1972 and the european Union imposed its very own rules in 1983.

But opposition has weakened in recent years, thanks to strict laws forbidding the slaughter that the youngest pups and also evidence suggesting the seal populace has tripled since 1970. The thriving populace has triggered Greenpeace and other enviromental company to downsize your anti-hunt campaigns, although opposition tho exists.

The federal government currently permits 350,000 harp seals to be eliminated every year during the feather hunt in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Second 7,500 animals are caught in Nunavut and also sold with the territorial government’s pelt acquisition program.

The hunt is now the largest it has been due to the fact that 1956, but Mr. Halloran believes sealskin prices would remain high even if the cull was doubled. He stated international need for seal commodities is huge.

“It’s appealing to a the majority of people. And also when you to compare the number of skins that space taken every year to the population of the planet that we’re life on, that a very small variety of skins available. People want what they can not have,” the said.

Alan Herscovici, the executive vice-president that the fur Council that Canada, said the ballooning price reflect the renewed popularity of all fur products.

But the also noted seal is perfect commodity because that today’s market. Consumer no longer want heavy fur coats, definition that mink and beaver pelts are often sheared to reduce their heft. Seal pelts are naturally light therefore no trimming is needed. “It’s an extremely sleek. If you’re trying to find something flat and not too bulky, the nice because that that. And also yet it’s strong, it’s durable, that wind proof, it’s water resistant. It has some quite qualities,” Mr. Herscovici said.

Greg Leonard, the owner the Toronto’s Furs by Leonard, stated he may introduce seal products after next year’s harvest: “Nothing else on earth looks favor it.”

At the recent hair Harvesters auction, Russian and also Danish buyers dominated the bidding. And also while seal assets still can not be imported to the united States, other sectors are emerging.

“There’s a many of organization being done in China. Fur sales there room huge. Us forget that a most China has actually a climate very similar to Canada,” Mr. Herscovici said.

Meanwhile, other nations have uncovered other uses for the product.

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“In Norway, they’ve gift making boots for decades. It’s definitely super in regards to its capacity to burned water,” Mr. Leonard said.