Seal Extermination Program - Namibian Style
Seal Alert-SA August 3, 2006
 
   In the Commission on Sealing in 1990 - which resulted in South Africa stopping its sealing policy on the same species, it stated;
 
"If the objective is the reduction of the total seal population, the most efficient way to achieve this is to cull the adult females; however, it must be appreciated that the products from such a cull have negligible economic value, so that such an operation will not be self-financing".
 
Not self-financing - and therein lies the dilemma of the Namibian sealing industry. The seals must pay for their own slaughter !
 
   Hence the Sealing quota for 2006 of 85 000 pups and 6000 bulls and no adult females.
 
   Albert Brink of Sealion Products, a sealer with 20 years in the industry and the man behind the increased quota from 65 000 to 85 000 - claims he is just a farmer. "View it as another type of farming - we kill sheep and cattle everyday - so why not seals" ?
 
   If either one of us - took just one Cape fur seal home to love and keep as a pet. Within minutes we would have an armed troop of NSPCA, WWF, IFAW, South African Police Services and SA government conservation officials banging down our door - just for, one Cape fur seal. Albert Brink can kill 85 000 nursing baby seals every year and everything is fine - he is "farming".
 
   If I rescue and save the life of a dying baby seal, incurring over R4000 in feed costs alone, and over 2000 hours raising this pup - I can claim no ownership or exploitation rights. Albert Brink on the other-hand, can come along wait for nature to carry all the costs to grow this nursing pup (to a sealing age), and then club its brains out and sell its skin for just US $3 - and then claim he is a "Seal Farmer".
 
   If he had even half the costs I have or any other "commercial farmer" - How much would he have to sell each baby seal's skin for - R2000, R4000 or R6000, instead of his usual $3. Why should he alone be allowed this "exclusive profit" on these terms? If he had a market for 85 000 skins (as he wanted the increased quota) - would he be so keen to feed 85 000 seals at R4000 each to bring them to "market" and sell them for $3 ? How long would this "Seal Farmer" stay in the seal farming business in this way?
 
   If he sold them for the costs normally incurred by commercial farmers - would there be any market at all for Cape fur seal skins, at R2000 a skin ?
 
   Or - is this just a Namibian government Seal Termination Program - Like Hitler's extermination attempt of the Jews. Is Brink - the SS and his factory - the "gas chambers" and the mainland colonies - the "concentration camps" and the seal skins - the "gold tooth fillings" ? Afterall was Namibia not formerly a German controlled territory, and did these mainland seal colonies not start at the same time Hitler invaded Poland ?
 
   The answer to this, lies in Brink's own words to a reporter - "I am carrying out orders on behalf of the Ministry of Fisheries". 
 
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA