Now that polar bears are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act as of May 14, Inuit groups have started to complain that they have lost money from the outfitting trade.
Though Americans were not the only group that frequented the outfitters of the north for the thrill of hunting the great white beast, they comprised the majority. All polar bear pelts, skins and trophies will now be banned from the U.S.
Outfitting companies are now hoping that new clientele can be developed in Europe, Australia and Asia.
The polar bear was placed on the endangered list after the U.S. Department of the Interior concluded that the projected melting of sea ice in the Arctic poses a threat to the bear’s habitat. At the same time, the U.S. has not capped greenhouse gas emissions which are most likely causing the ice to melt.
Indeed global warming was the argument used by the Department of the Interior to get polar bears on to the list. The issue has since sparked an outcry amongst environmental groups as there are still special regulations in the U.S. that exempt greenhouse gas emissions and oil and gas industry activities.
It is expected that environmental groups in the U.S. will launch new lawsuits to combat global warming now that this defense of saving the polar bear has been accepted.