Info 12 and 17 december :

From: SEAL ALERT-SA
Subject: Namibian Minister Replies Officially To Dutch Minister Appeal (Seal Alert-SA Comments)
Date: December 12, 2007

Dear All Cape fur Seal Supporters,
 
     As we near the end of yet another Cape fur Seal clubbing year in 2007, we need to exert all our efforts to making it the last. Kindly Krista van Velzen of the Dutch Party for Animals has kindly forward Namibia's Fisheries Minister reply to the Official Dutch Minister Verburg's Appeal to Namibia.
 
     Please see attached.
 
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA


Seal Alert-SA is in possession of the Dutch Minister Verburg’s letter. Which is copied below.

The Namibian Minister completely ignores the first 4 paragraphs of this Official Dutch government appeal letter. Neither denying or confirming its contents or having any comment at all on a Dutch ban on Namibia’s seal products. Considering that Dutch tourists account for the second largest international tourists to Namibia. Instead he chooses to reply only to the last paragraph.



Article 95 does NOT call for the sustainable “harvesting” of the country’s resources. This is in fact deceitful for a Minister to official state so. Article 95 reads, (1) maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and the utilisation (not harvest) of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians (not three seal concessionaires and 120 part-time, unskilled workers).

The difference between the Constitution’s wording “utilisation” and the Namibian Minister’s falsehood “harvesting”, is that under the Constitution Seals could either be consumptively utilised or non-consumptive (eco-tourism). Nowhere does the Constitution state the State or Minister MUST harvest seals.
The second part of the Minister’s paragraph gets interesting. “According to our surveys in 2000, there were around 650 000 adult seals and 120 000 pups (born December 2006)”.

Is the Minister now claiming that the pup population surveys presented in the Seal Alert-SA 9 August 2007 with the Fisheries Ministry and their scientists were complete falsehoods. That in fact population figures given for December 2001 and 2005 were false. From what we know there were no annual pup population survey’s conducted in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 or 2006.

For the December 2005 pup count, the Namibian Ministry scientists claimed the pup population was 205 500. A year later, Namibian Minister now states that the December 2006 pup count has dropped 42% to just 120 000 pups.

In the 2006 Sealing season, the Minister increased the pup quota 30% from 60 000 to 85 000 and then for the next three consecutive years rolling, set the annual pup quota at 80 000 starting in 2007.

What part of this Namibian Sealing Policy is “sustainable utilisation” under the Constitution?

What confuses Seal Alert-SA is that following our meeting with the Prime Minister of Namibia in July 2007, it was he who actually co-wrote the wording of the Constitution. How he allows his Fisheries Minister to twist the Constitution and disregard it, clearly shows poor leadership.


This paragraph is utter nonsense. Nowhere else in the world, never mind “universally” is it accepted by anybody to club a nursing baby infant seal. The United States banned the practice in 1972. The European Union, amongst other countries banned the practice and import in 1983, as did the remaining sealing countries of Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway in 1987. Who each wrote into their respective sealing regulations the banning of clubbing a nursing baby seal.

Falsehood number three, Namibian Cape fur seals are utilized for “food”, until recently 75% of the weight of bulls and 63% of the weight of pups were discarded as waste. Currently the bones and carcasses of the seals are disguised as “Animal Fodder”, which has proven to be rejected by most animals if given raw. Never has seals been commercially used as human food.


Falsehood number four. Just because there is no humane method to club a wild nursing baby seal in its breeding ground – does not imply that Namibian can then use any method and claim humanness. To draw a comparison. Anywhere in the world it is a criminal offence to have intercourse or rape a human infant baby. To imply that there is no other way to have intercourse with such a baby is absurd.

Seal Alert-SA is awaiting the findings of the European Food Safety Authority Scientific Review into this exact issue. We will leave this to the EFSA panel to explain to Namibia’s Minister the scientific reasons and comments put forward by Namibia’s own scientists.

Once again the world’s least populated country’s Fisheries Minister is out of touch with Namibia’s economic reality. This desert state needs eco-tourism, and as has been explained to the Namibian Prime Minister, Namibia cannot economically do both via deceit. Clubbing nursing baby seals from 5am to 10am, and then sweep the blood stained beach colony, before charging international tourists the pleasure to see wild endangered Cape fur seals living in their natural state. If the international tourists, knew this, or became aware, economically they would boycott Namibia as a travel destination.

Seal Alert-SA has already shown the EFSA and Namibian Ministry that over 70 000 tourists have generated over N$2 million in seal-viewing, and a further operator taking over 34 000 tourists on boat-rides to see the seal-colonies generates a further N$5 million. All in all, eco-tourism already exceeds Namibia’s three-man sealing industry and with it, creates vast potential for growth and year-round sustainable employment at a much higher wage.

Seal Alert-SA therefore calls for a complete economic boycott of all things Namibian, until it announces an end to its sealing policy and industry.

For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA

CorrespondenceMinistryofFisheriesMarineResourcesSealCullNamibia


From:
SEAL ALERT-SA
Subject: Namibia's Dispute of Live Seal Exports and Trophy Hunting
Date: December 17, 2007

Dear All Cape Fur Seal Supporters,
 
     Perhaps you will see how difficult it is going to be to end the baby seal clubbing in Namibia, because even if they say they will stop, they will lie. When it comes to the seals it appears they just lie about everything. The collapse of the colonies, the mass starvation, the extermination of Cape Cross seal colony, the sealing quotas, the income generated, everything and now the very latest.

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     When I was in Namibia recently it was like hunting capital of the world. Wildlife hunters were everywhere. How many of these thousands of international tourists from the US and Europe are engaged in creeping up to a sleeping bull seal on the beach in camouflage gear and shooting it as a hunting trophy is unknown. It could in fact be much more than the sealers shoot for their annual quota for the Far East penis trade. But it is truly sick, because I approach at least 20 wild bull seals everyday. Scientists have even expressed concern that the 6000 bull seals killed in the annual sealing is a threat to the survival of the species. Com'on this is not ethical or even remotely hunting, its just plain sick. If South Africa started doing this, you could walk up and sit down and shoot 20 bulls a day, at point-blank range on the pier where I work. Truly sick, sick or go to a nearby seal colony and shoot away at thousands from a tourist boat.
 
     But here is the kicker. For a website in Namibia to offer these seal hunting trips, business must be booming to offer it in French, German and English. So why an earth does the Prime Minister's Chairman of the recent Fisheries meeting completely deny that Seal Trophy Hunting is taking place? Why an earth equally deny, that besides the 80 000 pups slaughtered and the 6000 bull seals shot in their annual seal culling spree, that these three seal concession holders are also exporting the vast majority of live Cape fur seal pups, as well. Why deny the obvious, when these live exports are also CITES (Convention in Trade of Endangered Species) approved exports with a CITES database log.
 
    Yet, as you will see they (Namibia) deny it completely to the Media - Why? If you get a chance, please use the email addresses below and write to the Prime Minister of Namibia and the Director of Resource Management, and tell them you will each tell 10 people to boycott Namibia until they stop killing seals and change their attitude to appreciate these harmless, magnificent marine wildlife mammals.
 
    See below for proof and facts.
 
    For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
----- Original Message -----
From: Sealalert
To: Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2007 11:47 AM
Subject: Dispute of Live Seal Exports and Trophy Hunting

Dear Prime Minister of Namibia,
 
    You will see that Dr Moses Maurihungirire has been publicly quoted in the media as disputing Namibia is engaged in Live Seal Pup exports and Trophy Hunting of its Bull Seals. The facts of which are presented below in this email. Seal Alert-SA believes it is unacceptable for a government official, and a person whom your Excellency appointed to Chair a meeting, to publicly present false and fabricated facts, whilst defaming Seal Alert-SA.
 
    I trust you will address this unacceptable mismanagement.
 
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
----- Original Message -----
From:
Sealalert
To: mmaurihungirire@mfmr.gov.na
Cc:
Claire Bass ; Tine Villadsen Gundersen ; mark.glover@dial.pipex.com ; jbell@ifaw.org ; kit.kovacs@npolar.no
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2007 11:34 AM
Subject: Dispute of Live Seal Exports and Trophy Hunting

Dear Dr Moses Maurihungirire/Namibian Ministry Fisheries,
 
      Following Seal Alert-SA's meeting with the Prime Minister of Namibia in July 2007. I was then requested by his Excellency to attend a follow-up meeting with the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries. This meeting which took place in Namibia on the 9 August 2007, involving 34 stakeholders from Namibia, where you were appointed by the Namibian government as the Chairperson, with the Humane Society (HSI), World Society Protection of Animals (WSPA) and National Society for the Protection of Animals (NSPCA) present.
 
      I refer to questions put forward by Namibian newspaper Informante and its journalist Donna Collins in her article "Seal Culling Hots-up as Season Closes" on 31 October 2007. I quote from the last paragraph published,
"When asked (Dr Moses Maurihungirire) about the trophy hunting of seals and the exporting live seals to China, he pooh-poohed it as nonsense, saying (this is quoted) "We cannot take Hugo and his allegations seriously".
 
     For the record. Is Seal Alert-SA clear in its understanding that you as the Namibian Director of Resource Management at the Ministry of Fisheries and the Chairperson appointed by the Namibian Prime Minister disputes that the Minister of Environment and Tourism issued a permit on the 22 May 2007 to Seal Products (Albert Brink) a Seal Culling Concessionaire to export 20 live Cape fur seal pups to China and are you also disputing that this same Ministry issues Trophy Hunting permits to shoot live adult bull seals sleeping/resting on beaches in Namibia? This is excluding the annual culling quota of 80 000 pups and 6000 bulls.
 
     Furthermore I refer to the official Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources letter signed by Minister Abram Iyambo on 13 November 2007, which was sent to Dutch Minister Gerda Verburg Agriculture, Nature and Food, and I quote from the second paragraph,
"According to our surveys of 2000, there are around 650 000 adult seals and 120 000 pups (born December 2006)".
 
    For the record. Is Seal Alert-SA therefore correct in assuming the seal pup population survey figures presented by Namibian Scientists in the 9 August 2007 meeting for surveys conducted in 2001 and 2005, are in fact false and were fabricated? 
 
    Seal Alert-SA refers to the official media briefing report from Cabinet Chambers on 27 June 2007, and I quote,
"A Seal population survey conducted in December 2005 indicated a total pup count of 205 500 individuals". Is Seal Alert-SA correct in its interpretation that the Namibian Cape fur seal pup population has declined from 205 500 pups (2005) to 120 000 pups (2006), a decline of some 42% within a single breeding year?
 
    Is the Namibian Ministry aware that its own scientists have stated that pup mortality between (December - July) prior to the start of sealing season on July 1 is between 44% - 62%. Which would imply that prior to the start of the 2007 sealing season, between 52 800 pups and 74 400 pups, died from "natural causes, stravation or mortality". Leaving between 67 200 pups to 45 600 pups alive to harvest by July 1.
 
    To which the Namibian Marine Resources Advisory Council advised the Cabinet to approve, and I quote,
"approved an annual rolling TAC quota for seals for 2007, 2008, 2009 of 80 000 pups and 6000 bulls".
 
    A quota issued under Article 95 of the Namibian Constitution which lawfully only permits the "sustainable utilisation" of seals, which in fact, kills every seal pup still live after July 1, and if the quota is to be filled, would kill in excess of 12 800 pups to 34 400 pups (non-existent seal pups).
 
    I refer also to the 2006 Minister's official address to the Fishing Industry, where he stated, that there would be no new fishing rights awarded and that two sealing concession holders (Albert Brink and Willem Burger) rights end in 2007.
 
    Seal Alert-SA requests that you reply immediately to the contents of this letter, as quoted by yourself in the Donna Collins article, "
We do not have the right as human beings to cause the extinction of any animal", indeed you do not. Slaughtering every pup (and more) is pure genocide, in complete contravention of the Constitution of Namibia and is in fact, unlawful to continue to do so.
 
   Attached herewith is a copy of the Live Seal Pup Export Permit Issued by the Ministry of Tourism, and the website address of Kataneno Hunt on the African Trophy Hunting website
www.africantrophyhunting.com advertising in German, French and English openly offers Hunting Packages to shoot Cape fur seals. Hunting of Cape fur seal bulls for trophies takes place between September 15 and November 15 and costs 860 euros per trophy.

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Pics taken from website of Africantrophyhunting.com

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    I trust you will issue a public apology to Seal Alert-SA!
 
    For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA.