Seabird harvest
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SeabirdSeabirds have been harvested by humans in the circumpolar Arctic for centuries for their meat, eggs, skins, and down. Harvesting is a significant factor in the population size of many species, and there are examples of overharvesting causing substantial losses in some populations, as well as rapid recovery following major changes to harvest regulations. Currently, harvest levels in the Arctic are tending to decline due to factors such as stricter hunting regulations, declining seabird populations, fewer or less active hunters, or a combination of these. In some areas, harvests for several species have declined by 50% or more. The number of birds harvested varies considerably between countries, from less than 5,000 in Norway to 250,000 in each of Canada, Greenland, and Iceland. For some species, climate change can be a serious threat to the sustainable use of seabird populations in the future, especially if the availability of important food sources is affected. The migratory nature of seabirds means international cooperation is vital for their conservation.