From: sasealion@wam.co.za
Subject: Namibia Sealing Industry - Missing Scientific Data
Date: August 6, 2006 9:52:27 PM GMT+01:00

Dear All,
 
     This is my 3rd request to CITES - please see charts below. Although no message from CITES has been received - I understand they are meeting in this regard and a reply will be forthcoming this week.  Thank you all for your support in this very urgent of matter. If we are to halt and end this genocide slaughter of these pups we have to do so now - Francois.
 
Contact Numbers :
Cites Secretariat - Deputy Secretary-general Jim Armstrong +41 (22) 917 8127
Cites Animal Committee - Dr Edson Chidziya +263 (4) 79 27 86
----- Original Message -----
From: SealAlert-SA
To: natparks@africaonline.co.zw ; mostmahm@lycos.com ; research@kws.org ; abdelhamidkarem@yahoo.fr
Cc: willem.wijnstekers@cites.org ; jim.armstrong@cites.org ; john.sellar@cites.org ; marie-france.barreto@cites.org ; marceil.yeater@cites.org
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:09 PM
Subject: Namibia Sealing Industry - Missing Scientific Data

Dear CITES Animals Committee and the Secretariat,
 
     I refer to the article by Eleanor Momberg published in the national Sunday Independent (below) and the article published in the Windhoek Observer by Donna Collins (see attached - below note aap). Please see below as well as further relevant details and charts.

unknown    
I refer to the Sealing Industry of Namibia in regard to Arctocephalus pusillus (Cape fur Seals).
Could you please review the Table #1 by Seal Alert-SA.
 
     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".
    Since Namibia's independence in 1990 - its Sealing Industry has consisted of a Pup and a Bull Quota - No adult Cows are harvested.
As an Appendix II species - An export permit may be issued only if the specimen was legally obtained and if the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species.
Minister Abraham Iyambo of the Namibian Fisheries and Marine Resources has stated Seals are harvested in Namibia in accordance with Article 95 (1) of our Constitution which requires the State to adopt policies aimed at "the utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians"
     Dr B.J van Zyl of the Ministry of Fisheries has stated the following;
"The Challenge of the new regulations - .... regarding the use of the whole carcass was met and new products, markets and techniques were developed".
"Population surveys are carried out in the period 18-24 December each year when the oldest pups are less than 6 weeks of age".
"Since 1987 the Marine Mammal Section of the Directorate of Resource Management has had the task of advising the Ministry on management of the seal population, and of recommending harvest levels annually for the different colonies".
"Recommended pup harvests may be as high as 30% of pups born".
"Scientific recommendations are submitted in confidentiality to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries during June each year. After review, recommendations are then forwarded to the Minister of Fisheries for consideration and amendment before submission to Cabinet".
The two largest breeding aggregations, Cape Cross, and Wolf/Atlas Bay colonies are responsible for 75% of the Namibian pup production".
Could you therefore please review the below Table #1 - Could CITES please therefore ensure that all vacant blocks and its data is accumulated and filled in.

unknown

SEAL ALERT-SA NAMIBIAN SEALING INDUSTRY AVAILABLE DATA
Pup Production - the pup population on the sealing colonies of Cape Cross and Wolf/Atlas Bay revealed in their annual surveys during the 18-24 December.
Natural Mortality - Based on the natural mortality experienced by pups since birth and by July 1.
Mass Die-Off Starvation - The total number of pups that died in these sealing colonies, for each year, between 1990 - 2006, excluding the natural mortality of 25-32% (the mass die-off incidents reported of starvation).
Pups alive July 1 - The total number of "sealing" pups still alive in these sealing colonies on July 1.
Pup Quota - The Namibian TAC pup quota for each year.
Exported Skins - The total number of exported pup skins for each year.
CITES Exports - CITES approved exports of these pup skins for each year.
Exported Carcasses - The total bodies, gall bladders, live, meat, oil, skin pieces, skulls and trophies exported each year. 
Bull Quota - The total bull quota for these sealing colonies per year.
Exported Penises - The total number of penises exported per year.
I refer to your Table enclosed in your report of the CITES Animals Committee Meetings in 2004.
unknown 
     Minister Iyambo has stated prior to the commencement of the sealing seasons in 2000 and 2006 when he increased the sealing quotas;
Pup production in 2000 - was 10% below pre-1993 levels.
Pup production in 2006 - was 27% below pre-1993 levels.
    Clearly from these two statements the Namibian seal population has since 1993 - not been able to support a "utilization of a living resource on a sustainable basis" under its Constitution and under the regulations of the United Nations of CITES for Appendix II species, "An export permit may be issued only if the specimen was legally obtained and if the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species".
 
Could you please reply to my emails dated 24th July and the 4th August 2006, in similar connection thereto.
 
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
 
 
 - - - - - - -
From: "SealAlert-SA" <<a href="mailto:sasealion@wam.co.za" rel="self">sasealion@wam.co.za>
Date: August 3, 2006 8:09:12 PM GMT+01:00
To: <<a href="mailto:Johannesburg.Radio@ard.de" rel="self">Johannesburg.Radio@ard.de>, "Elma Robberts" <<a href="mailto:paper01@iway.na" rel="self">paper01@iway.na>, <<a href="mailto:news@namibian.com.na" rel="self">news@namibian.com.na>, "donnanews" <<a href="mailto:donnanews@africaonline.com.na" rel="self">donnanews@africaonline.com.na>, "Eleanor Momberg" <<a href="mailto:eleanor.momberg@inl.co.za" rel="self">eleanor.momberg@inl.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:sara@capetalk.co.za" rel="self">sara@capetalk.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:penny@carteblanche.co.za" rel="self">penny@carteblanche.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:truth@sabc.co.za" rel="self">truth@sabc.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:fionam@mg.co.za" rel="self">fionam@mg.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:suntimes@sundaytimes.co.za" rel="self">suntimes@sundaytimes.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:jurgensa@sundaytimes.co.za" rel="self">jurgensa@sundaytimes.co.za>, "Nellie Brand" <<a href="mailto:NBrand@dieburger.com" rel="self">NBrand@dieburger.com>, <<a href="mailto:tmenges@kaapseson.com" rel="self">tmenges@kaapseson.com>, "Elise Tempelhoff" <<a href="mailto:eliset@beeld.com" rel="self">eliset@beeld.com>, "Bienne Huisman" <<a href="mailto:HuismanB@sundaytimes.co.za" rel="self">HuismanB@sundaytimes.co.za>, "Melanie-Ann Feris" <<a href="mailto:MFeris@citypress.co.za" rel="self">MFeris@citypress.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:duncan@sapa.org.za" rel="self">duncan@sapa.org.za>, "christof" <<a href="mailto:christof@namibian.com.na" rel="self">christof@namibian.com.na>, "Zemburuka, I" <<a href="mailto:izemburuka@nbc.com.na" rel="self">izemburuka@nbc.com.na>, <<a href="mailto:newsroom@etv.co.za" rel="self">newsroom@etv.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:noseark@noseweek.co.za" rel="self">noseark@noseweek.co.za>, "Slager, Seije" <<a href="mailto:s.slager@trouw.nl" rel="self">s.slager@trouw.nl>, <<a href="mailto:joy@carteblanche.co.za" rel="self">joy@carteblanche.co.za>, <<a href="mailto:daley@nytimes.com" rel="self">daley@nytimes.com>
Cc: <<a href="mailto:willem.wijnstekers@cites.org" rel="self">willem.wijnstekers@cites.org>, <<a href="mailto:jim.armstrong@cites.org" rel="self">jim.armstrong@cites.org>, <<a href="mailto:john.sellar@cites.org" rel="self">john.sellar@cites.org>, <<a href="mailto:marie-france.barreto@cites.org" rel="self">marie-france.barreto@cites.org>, <<a href="mailto:marceil.yeater@cites.org" rel="self">marceil.yeater@cites.org>

Subject: Seal Extermination Program - Namibia Style

Dear All Seal Supporters,
 
     Attached (see below note aap) is the article by Donna Collins of the Windhoek Observer in Namibia. 
 
     It is distributed and therefore read on Namibian's inter - national airlines, amongst other places - if it persuades or re-directs potential tourists to take their hard earned holidays in another country more akin to protecting than exterminating their wildlife - then Namibia's Sealing Industry is a liability and not a benefit. If it convinces just 200 potential tourists annually to stay away from Namibia - Sealing becomes a major liability.
 
Seal Extermination Program - Namibian Style
 
   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
 
*.*.*

Seal clubbing gets
Flack from world
Animal groups

Donna Collins


In a major effort to end the last baby seal hunt on earth, which is currently taking place in Namibia, Seal Alert-SA and animal activist supporters will be holding a legal protest this Friday outside the Namibian High Commission in Pretoria to demonstrate and call a halt to this mass killing.
" I have urged the Namibian Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Mr Abraham Iyambo to use this opportunity to come in line with international standards and norms and like South Africa did in 1990 - and announce the end to sealing," said Francois Hugo (Seal Alert SA).
To date an estimated 20 000 nursing pups have been clubbed to death since the official start of the Namibian 2006 Seal harvest season granted by the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources on 1 July.
And with approximately 630 baby seals and bulls clubbed, stabbed and shot to death daily in what has been dubbed the biggest and cruelest hunting the world. International animal rights groups are outraged and pushing for an end to the slaughter.
Seal Alert-SA is supported in this call to "End the Last Baby Seal
Hunt on Earth" by over 12 million supporters from organizations and
Individuals in over 140 countries around the world.
An anti-seal cull demonstration staged outside the Namibian Embassy in London, coupled by glaring headlines and images of sealers swinging their clubs against the heads of the innocent printed in international media, is marring Namibia's image.
The actual ‘official’ figures of the cull is unknown, according to Hugo who has been dubbed the "seal man" but he reckons that if the Ministry is to reach its quota of 85 000 by Nov 15, then they must kill at least 630 seals every day - and by this week the death toll on nursing pups will be at least 20 000.
Making mention to Albert Brink who runs the Cape Cross culling operation, Hugo called Brink a “killer” in one of his emotional outbursts, saying. “The man is a killer of nursing baby seals - that is not "sealing" and he should be ashamed of himself”.
Meanwhile Brink a Namibian seal concessionaire cancelled an interview with the Observer reporter at short notice who requested a tour of the factory and comment on the sealing.
He is the owner of a high tech Sea Lions factory at Henties Bay, which markets products
made from the thousands of seals killed each year at the coast. 
With the export of different parts, as well as an abbetoire and processing plant with laboratories for the bottling and manufacturing of oils, capsules, creams and cosmetics, a tannery, a shoe factory, a leatherwear factory, a canning factory, a research laboratory, he has a thriving business.
Brink was behind the increased sealing quota of 60 000 to 85 000 to meet the demands of the industry.
"We must look at the sustainability of the industry and view it as another type of farming," he said. "I mean what is the problem - we are killing sheep and cattle every day - so why not seals."
“I’ve been dealing with this for 20 years, and the whole thing is blown out of proportion by the media,” said Brink adding. “Just go to an abattoir and see how much blood there is - why just because it is a bunch of seals, is there such a commotion,” Brink told the reporter over the phone.
Hugo slammed this saying seals are wildlife and their plight of starvation and annual clubbing reflects a long sad tale of mismanagement, abuse and interference with nature's balance.
He said that Brink is making money out of the country’s natural resources and only thinks of his pocket, nothing else. “How can you compare the clubbing of thousands of seals to the cattle industry,” he stated.
“Firstly a sheep farmer buys his land and sheep, pays for their feed and medication, plus breeds them for this purpose and then kills them in a Controlled way (not even sheep breed for slaughter gets clubbed over the head - no farmer in his right mind kills his nursing baby calves) why -because he would go out of business.


"Seals are not bred
to be slaughtered
they are wildlife"

“Seals are protected marine mammals, who belong to everybody and are not there for just for Brinks financial greed," he slammed. "And seals are not bred to be slaughtered they are wildlife.
“If Brink, wants to slaughter seals, buy some land, fence it, buy seals, feed them, medicate them, be responsible for any disease out-breaks - keep them confined.
“If he can then run a profitable business on these terms alone - good for him.
“But till then seals belong to everybody and everyone will have a say in how they are protected and killed.
“I am only getting started, but I am going to put an end to Namibia’s seal culling for once and for all,” said Hugo. "Namibia is the only sealing country to still kill commercially baby nursing seal pups and we must end it now."
On July 1, Namibia started its annual harvest of 85 000 pups and 6000 bulls.
Minister Abraham Iyambo of the Namibian Fisheries and Marine Resources has stated that seals are harvested in Namibia in accordance with Article 95 (1) of the Constitution which requires the State to adopt policies aimed at "the utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians".
The Namibian 2006 seal pup production is according to Minister Iyambo is 27% below pre-1993 population levels and this year's TAC (Total Allowable Catch) pup quota is 68% higher than 1994 quota.
Since Namibia's independence in 1990 - the Cape fur seals in Namibia have experienced mass die-offs from starvation and or disease in 1994, 1995, 2000
and 2001, and in 2006 and claims are made that the population has still not recovered.
Meanwhile the Clubbing season which ends in November to make sure the quota for 2006 of 85 000 nursing pups and 7 000 bulls is filled is in full swing at Cape Cross as well as the restricted areas of Wolf and Atlas Bay.
The Observer reporter spoke to a Simon Pope from a large animal rights organisation presently visiting the country who previously visited Cape Cross during the culling season. Explaining in gruesome detail how it works. "It's not a pretty sight". And to quote him he said. "The animals are chased into a corridor by two groups of clubbers who bash away at these creatures heads - hopefully to cause instant death - but I doubt that always.
"You can imagine how accurate the blows must be after swinging that club for a couple of hours - their arms get pretty tired I am sure," he said cynically.
"This is still considered the cruelest method by world standards - and when they have finished their nasty business they cover the blood splattered beach sand with more sand so the tourists can walk in and view the lovely seal colony.
"I had the misfortune of stepping into one of these freshly covered area's and was up to my ankles in blood. Many people in Europe won't come to a place where the people are hammering their animals to death, so it must have an effect on the country's tourism I am sure."