Seals were hunted in the Bay of Bothnia during the 16th century in four areas — inshore open water, fast ice, ice edge, and pack ice — with methods appropriate for each area. Inshore open water sealing involved netting and some seining, exclusively for ringed seals. On fast ice the techniques used were stalking, den-hunting, and breathing hole-hunting, again for ringed seals. Grey and ringed seals were hunted on the ice edge. Provincial tax returns have provided information on methods used by sealers from different parishes in the Bay of Bothnia area. Catching techniques, tools, prey species, numbers of crews, hunting seasons, catch figures and annual yields are discussed.
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