Altogether seven species of
pinnipedia have been spotted in Icelandic waters, the common
seal, the grey seal, the ringed seal, the harp seal, the bearded seal,
the hooded seal, and the walrus. The
common seal and the grey seal breed all around the country, but the
others are vagrants. Traditionally, the seals have been hunted in Iceland from the
time of settlement for their furs and meat.
The annual catch has fluctuated between four and seven thousand
during the last decades, and has diminished considerably during the last
few years. The seals were
and sometimes still are an issue of debate between the conservationists,
fishermen and the fish industry because of their impact on the
commercial importance of fish stocks, the damage to fishing gear and
their part in the spreading of the cod worm.
The conservationists managed to ruin the economy of the Inuit
seal hunters in Greenland and did not hesitate to use falsified film
material to do so. Scientific
research clearly shows that the populations of the seal species around
Iceland are not endangered.
oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some
three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth.
Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth
eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on
earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred
years is a long time. Hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes,
computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a
hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and
breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful
rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here
for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.
Michael Crichton, "Jurassic Park"