Guides in Resolute, Nunavut, lost a lucrative deal this week when a Chinese business cancelled a planned polar bear hunting trip due to pressure from international media.

Resolute sees a lot of polar bears but few foreign hunters as the sport hunt slows, and that's hurting the already fragile local economy.


A polar bear and her two cubs walk along the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Man., in November 2007. Polar bears are listed as a species of special concern under Canada's species-at-risk legislation. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

A Chinese business, the "I Love Hunting Club" has been branded as cruel and barbaric by international media, following an article in the U.K.'s Daily Mail.

It was planning to offer a polar bear hunt near Resolute that interested plenty of wealthy Chinese until the backlash scared them off.

The company owner says he has now cancelled the trip.

Glenn Williams, a wildlife policy adviser with Nunavut Tunngavik, said the economic impact of sport hunting affects more than just the guides.

"It's employment for the community," he said. "Clothing is sold by the local seamtresses for the hunters. When these clients come into the communities, they also purchase carvings and they spend other money."

Williams said there has been misinformation about hunting. Polar bears are not an endangered species in Canada, contrary to what media were reporting. He says the animals are the best managed wildlife species in the country.