For decades the Canadian seal hunt has been subject to severe international criticism. Particularly the hunts animal welfare aspects and its low economic yield are perceived to undermine its legitimacy. However, little is known of the hunt other than tabloid knowledge and information put forward by groups opposing it. Based on this knowledge, in 2009 the European Union adopted a regime banning trade in seal products, yet exempting Inuit seal products from this trade measure. This study screens the drafting process of the EU seal regime and analyses the narratives that can be found in it. Special focus is put on the role knowledge plays in the process as well as the way morality is perceived in the EU. Ethnographic data from sealing communities and the processing industry in Newfoundland, Canada, link the European understanding of the seal hunt with empirical findings, unveiling a cultural dimension of the seal hunt that is commonly neglected.