Norwegian sealing is sustainable, well monitored and controlled, and harvesting the seal stocks is part of a balanced ecosystem approach. Products from sealing include meat, blubber and fur.
The quotas for sealing are set on the basis of scientific recommendations made by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Recommendations made by ICES form the basis of the quotas decided on by the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission.
Vessels have a public veterinary inspector on board to ensure compliance with rules and regulations concerning sealing. Sealers are required to complete courses on the rules and pass shooting tests before they are allowed to take part in sealing expeditions. The animal welfare regulations applicable to sealing are updated on a regular basis in order to ensure that the hunt is conducted in a manner that is as responsible as possible.
Sealing in Norway has long traditions and contributed to food supplies, employment, and economic and social development in the coastal communities engaged in sealing. Campaigns against Norwegian sealing in the 1980s led to changes in operations and reduced opportunities for revenues for the Norwegian sealing industry. Since the 1980s, it has been difficult to maintain a sealing industry without state funding.