Seal meat was used as food and the skin and fat were utilised for various purposes. It was mostly the seal pups that were used as food; adult seals were eaten too, but their meat was not considered as delicious as that of the young animals. Compared to other food at the end of the Middle Ages, seal meat was extremely rich in energy, which was important for man’s thermal balance in the cold climate. Seal meat has also been used for medicinal purposes. The seal was an important supplement to the diet in the archipelago as late as the beginning of the 20th century when few other sources of protein were available.