A unique method for breeding Greenland seals on a special farm has been worked and put into practice in the village of Koida near Arkhangel'sk in the Soviet Union.
SV Young seals swimming in sea in Arkhangel'sk region, U.S.S.R.
SV Seals on shore (2 shots)
SV seal in foreground with men in background
GV & SV Seals being put into net (2 shots)
SV Captured seals on platform
SV Helicopter flying seals to Koida (3 shots)
SV Seals arriving at farm by truck
GV & SV Seals on farm (2 shots)
The largest annual kill of harp seals on record is that of 1831, when 678,000 were taken by about 300 ships and 10,000 men. After 1910, between 250,000 and 300,000 seals were taken annually, except during World War Two, when most of the sealing ships were inactive.
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Background: A unique method for breeding Greenland seals on a special farm has been worked and put into practice in the village of Koida near Arkhangel'sk in the Soviet Union. The men behind the project are scientists Fyodor Ponomaryev and Nikolai Kasyanov.
SYNOPSIS: The seals are valuable animals. In this northern region of the Soviet Union they are bred for oil, fur and leather and the pup is the basis of the fur stock. This is why the young Greenland seal -- known in the trade as the harp seal -- has always been sought after.
However, there is basically no hunting on these shores. The scientists supervising the farm claim that they only catch pups which are too weak to survive in their natural surroundings.
Once on land the animals are kept in open-air tanks each housing up to 125 pups. Helicopters are used to speed up the transport of the valuable catch. The fur of a young Greenland seal is very highly prized. It is pure white, light and durable. It can easily be worked to resemble beaver, otter or even mink. The experiment in the village of Koida is aimed at making better and more rational use of natural riches.
Besides perfecting methods of breeding the Greenland seal, the scientists working at the farm are also studying the specific characteristics of the animals.