The Swedish government has approved a move that allows an annual hunt for 180 grey seals in the Baltic, after fishermen complained that the animals catch too many fish and damage their nets. This year’s three-month hunt will begin in September, and in 2002 the hunting period will last from May to September.

Other countries and conservationists have slammed the move, which comes twelve years after Swedish King Carl Gustaf himself publicly criticised a Norwegian seal hunt for cruelty. The royal household has declined to comment to Norwegian daily Verdens Gang on the issue.