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Never Furget

How harp seals came to the verge of extinction

This RT Documentary film, Never Furget, is about the disappearing harp seal population in the Arctic, particularly the pups with their cute looks, snow-white fur and almost human black eyes. Ecologist Anna, and her husband Sergey, a first responder, have embarked on a journey to the Arctic. Their goal is to find as many harp seal colonies as possible and calculate the approximate population. First, they travel to an eco-hotel on the coast of the White Sea, only reachable by helicopter or small bush plane. After touring the area with other tourists Anna and Sergey come across several seal colonies and see the fantastic relationship between seal pups and their mothers.

Harp seals are mostly known for their cute pups, making sounds that can easily be mistaken for a human "mom" and have soft white fur and big black eyes. However, seals are relatively friendly, and some are so brave that they can let people hold them. Anna and Sergey decided to explore the harp seal population because there is no definite statistics. However, what is clear is that the number of harp seals is rapidly decreasing, but there are no measures planned to stop it.

Harp seal hunting was very popular in Soviet times. It was the main occupation of the coastal dwellers and their primary source of income. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the hunting and the trade stagnated, as the fur dropped in value. Besides, seal pup harvesting was declared an act of savagery, and in 2009 seal hunting was prohibited altogether. However, the fate of harp seals is still not sealed. What dangers are harp seals facing now?