Cape fur seal by Ger van de Geer - NL
for Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
--> BLOODY THURSDAY DEALS FIRST BLOW TO NAMIBIAN SEAL CULL <--
April 27, 2010
PLZ ASK IFAW, HSI, WSPA TO JOIN FORCES WITH FRANCOIS HUGO
The Shining World Compassion Award:
Savior of Seals - Francois Hugo,
Founder of Seal Alert South Africa, P1/2
WHY WE SHOULD NEVER KILL THEM -YOUTUBE
FINAL EU VOTE
- MEPs APPROVE SEAL IMPORT BAN
WATCH THE SEAL WHISPERER
FRANCOIS HUGO - youtube
Protect the cape fur seals
* . * . *
SEAL HARVEST HAS MANY BENEFITS by
SOUTHERN TIMES AFRICA Oct09
REACTION SEAL ALERT-SA FRANCOIS HUGO - 29 Oct 09;
Subject : REPLY SouthernTimes Article
Dear Editor/Southern Times
I refer to your article "Seal Harvest Has Many Benefits". Your article completely ignores the facts of the Namibian baby seal pup cull. Which is, the Namibian Animal Protection Act in 1962 has declared that it is a criminal offence to harass, disturb and beat an animal to death. The current method of killing 85 000 nursing baby Cape fur seals, which account for 90% of the cull quota. In 1972, the US banned all imports of Cape fur seals under their Marine Mammal Protection Act due to the fact that the Namibian seal cull killed baby seals still nursing at the time of slaughter and/or were less than 8 months of age.In 1977 the Cape fur seals was listed as a UN-CITES Endangered Appendix II species. The Minister of Fisheries had therefore no right to legalise this criminal activity by introducing a sealing regulation to kill these seal pups via clubbing them to death. In 1983 the EU banned imports of "nursing baby seals" due to the scientific opinion and findings of the supreme court that found "intolerable cruelty" in killing a nursing seal pup. In 1987, the world's remaining sealing countries, Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway banned the practice of killing nursing baby seals in their respective sealing regulations. In 2007, the Netherlands and Germany both introduced legislation which banned imports of Cape fur seals due to the cruelty involved in the clubbing cull. In 2008, after an exhaustive scientific study by the European Food Safety Authority EFSA, the 27-countries of the EU banned all imports of Cape fur seals and their products.
Undercover footage of the 2009 culling season has revealed that there is still widespread cruelty in the clubbing of 85 000 nursing baby Cape fur seals in Namibia. This opinion is supported by the Namibian SPCA after viewing footage and seeking legal opinion.
In a nutshell. The Namibian baby seal pup cull is a banned international practice, banned from import, is illegal even in Namibia and is without doubt intolerable cruel.
Most importantly as explained to the Prime Minister of Namibia directly, his govt is in violation of Namibia's own Constitution. Under the Constitution the Namibian govt has firstly an obligation to protect and promote the conservation of Cape fur seals, and it can only legally "harvest" seals as you call it, when this itself contradicts your last quoted paragraph, "If Seal Alert SA has a better option of culling, the ministry is willing to modify its method.", in that, the Minister may only "harvest' seals if it is done on a sustainable basis.
So what is sustainable? Namibian scientists have stated 30% of the pups born. In 1990, when Namibia became independent the seal pup cull was 9000. The pup cull has since increased over 800% to 85 000 from 2006 onwards. Since 1994, the Cape fur seals in Namibia have experienced several major mass die-off's from starvation from overfishing. The last such event in 2006, saw over 300 000 seals starve to death. The largest recorded mass die-off of marine mammals ever recorded. In 2006, the Ministry claimed Namibia's largest seal colony, Cape Cross, produced 65 000 pups, to which must be subtracted 44% prior to the start of the annual pup cull, as these pups will die from natural causes and jackal predation which unnaturally take 1 in 4 pups on the mainland. This would leave at best 36 000 surviving 7-month old nursing seal pups in the colony. The Minister has awarded since 2006, and until 2016, an annual pup cull quota of 50 000 pups for the Cape Cross seal colony. Exceeding the number of pups by over 14 000. I flew over the Cape Cross seal colony in August 2007 and recorded not a single seal, pup, bull or cow left alive in the largest seal colony in Namibia.
So no matter what way you try and paint this picture. This cruel clubbing cull. Kills all the surviving nursing endangered seal pups in the colony, in violation of UN, EU, US and Namibia's own laws.
The best option of culling, is to simply leave the Cape fur seals alone, and allow they to return to their extinct offshore islands, as South Africa has proven in its management of its seal population, after ending its cull policy in 1990.
Most importantly after a hundred years of protection legislation the Cape fur seals are still extinct on 98% of their endemic breeding habitat, the 11 offshore seal islands off Namibia
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
"Seal harvest has many benefits" by SOUTHERN TIMES AFRICA Oct09
Reaction by Action Against Poisoning :
As I see no reference to animal welfare in this story, I understand that the "seal harvest benefits" are based on singular human interest. Consequently man can kill anything as long it will provide work and profit, protect our food supply and can be sold as sustainable.
Regarding the fact that around the Cape the seals are deliberately removed from their natural habitat one can hardly speak of a sustainable seal population to survive anyway.
I disagree with the use of euphemisms and depreciating terms to justify the killing of seals, defined by Namibian belief as "nothing but part of what Namibians can harvest".
You don't have to be a bunny-hugger to get unwell from the use of the word "harvest" for killing living creatures, as it degrades human feelings about killing to the level of cutting grass.
Regarding the consumption of fish it is good to know that seals eat exactly what they need and have no alternative food supply. People have alternative food supplies and waste most of their catch anyway. Given these natural facts it might be more "responsible" to remove men than seals from the fish food chain.
Tourists visit Namibia for its nature and you can expect them to be 100% for sustainable nature protection and 100% against seal culls. So if you treisure tourism it is wise to focus on nature and forget the culling. And don't ask seals or Seal Alert SA to provide alternative jobs or methods of culling. It is not in their power and nature to give you the answer.
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 16 August 2009
Accuses Seal Alert
According to the German newspaper in Namibia,
Allgemeine Zeitung, on 11th August 2009,
Ministry Permanent Secretary Alfred Mbanga of the Ministry is quoted as saying, 'Ministry warns against espionage', "such a project constitutes a hostile and provocative act, which will not be taken lightly", adding further, "Namibia has for this case appropriate laws and institutions, and will restore law and order".
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA is somewhat confused by these statements from the Ministry. Is photographers and tourists taking pictures of seal colonies an 'Act of War'?
Is taking pictures of Namibia's endangered wildlife or sealing factories and "act of espionage"?
Did the Ministry not release Seal Alert-SA's photographer, Neil Hermann on the 12th August 2009, after several hours of questioning him without any formal charges being laid. So where is Seal Alert-SA actions to end the illegal brutal clubbing of endangered baby seal pups, unlawful or an act of war?
What is the 'state secret' Namibia is so desperate to hide ?
This is not the first time Seal Alert has been accused by the Ministry of espionage. In 2007, the Ministry accused Seal Alert of "economic sabotage", which later lead to 27-countries in the EU banning all Namibian Cape fur seal products.
This must be the first time in history where a government has accused an individual over living natural resources of war. Governments declare war, not individuals.
Is Namibia equally accusing the EU of war, for its ban on seal products ?
According to Reporters Without Borders, Namibia ranks 23rd in the 2008 Press Freedom Index, making it the highest ranked country in Africa. These recent arrests and detentions may have a big effect on this year's rankings.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA is even more confused, when in his discussion with the Prime Minister of Namibia Nahas Angula in July 2007, the PM stated, "that if the harvesting of seals is destablising or bringing an imbalance in the political direction of Namibia. If you can do that, then the government will not want to be sealing under the Namibian Constitution".
Surely then, instead of accusing Seal Alert of espionage and war. Namibia should just uphold its own laws, charge the sealers for animal cruelty under the act, and publicly announce an end to the cruel practice of beating to death defenseless baby seal pups.
The Ministry should be forewarned that with any war, tourism is the first to collapse.
Instead of war, Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA asks the permanent secretary Mr Mbanga, to rather accept its "fact finding mission to the seal colonies" as offered in its letter dated 10th August 2009. To which it has not received a reply.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 5 August 2009,
Sealers Abduct SA Photographer on a Public
tourists photographing the seals at Cape Cross seal reserve in Namibia
At 9am on Tuesday
4th August, on a public street in Henties Bay, near the
popular tourist attraction of Cape Cross Seal colony in
Namibia, a SA photographer's vehicle was forced off
the road by another vehicle with 4 men who claimed to be
working for sealing concession holder Albert Brink. The men
threatened, intimidated and attempted to force the
photographer to get out of his vehicle. They claimed he had
filmed a truck entering a sealing factory. The photographer
fearing for his life attempted to drive off to the nearest
police station for help. The four men once again forced his
rental vehicle off the road.
The Namibian police from Henties Bay arrived and then abducted the photographer and took him to the police station. The photographer was forced to strip, remove all his clothing, his belt and shoes, and all his equipment was thoroughly searched. No charges were laid and he was not arrested. Some hours later he was taken still in custody to the Namibian Sea Fisheries facilities, where he was again questioned, and was forced to reveal the reason behind every photograph he had taken since entering Namibia on a tourist visa on Sunday.
Sea Fisheries official informed the photographer that he was facing a range of charges for taking pictures in a Seal Reserve. Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA received the following SMS at 3pm, "get me help".
Seal Alert immediately contacted its attorney Peter Dawson. At 5pm the photographer contacted Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA informing that he had just been released and was not charged with anything.
What is going on in Namibia, asks Francois Hugo? Is no tourist safe ? Can any tourist who takes a single picture of Namibia's largest tourist attraction, its Cape fur seal population on the remote desert coastline, can expect to be forced off public roads 120km from any seal colony, abducted and taken into police custody searched and questioned ? Their privacy, rights and personal belonging gone through, whilst they are forced to explain the reason behind why each photograph was taken whilst on holiday.
What is the Namibian sealing industry and the department of Fisheries and Marine Resources afraid tourists will discover photographing Cape fur seals ?
Why did the Ministry of Fisheries refuse to allow the Namibian Newspaper, access to the seal colony to objectively witness the "world's last baby seal pup cull on earth"?
The photographer was repeatedly asked do you know Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA?
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA as part of his ongoing conservation work for Cape fur seals, asked a photographer Neil Herman to volunteer his time to go to Namibia and film the seal colonies in Namibia.
Neil has flown with Francois Hugo on numerous occasions documenting the seal populations on numerous colonies over the past several years, both in South Africa and Namibia.
The Minister of Fisheries and the Prime Minister have both seen and discussed photographs taken by Neil, during my various meeting with govt.
My reasoning for asking Neil to go, was to ascertain if possible the number of less than one year old seal pups in the colonies. As recent footage for Cape Cross seal colony, has showed less than a 1000 seal pups facing a sealing quota of 50 000. The Statement by filmmaker Bart Smithers who was arrested at Cape Cross two weeks previously for filming the seal cull, confirms that he saw less than 2000 seals of all age groups. This needed to be verified and documented.
Sustainable sealing pup quotas as per Director of Resources BJ van Zyl should not exceed 30% of the pups born. In order therefore for the Ministry of Fisheries to award 50 000 pup quota, for the Cape Cross seal colony, there should be 150 000 pups present at Cape Cross.
Hotel staff where Neil was staying informed him there were 500 000 seals at Cape Cross.
If there is not, then the sealing pup quota is not sustainable, and would then be in violation of the constitution of Namibia.
I had asked Neil to also legally film the sealing factories and equipment to ascertain the true value of the assets offered by the Sealing industry to myself in their 14,2 million US dollar buyout offer, a few weeks earlier.
Two weeks ago, a journalist and filmmaker were both arrested for filming the seal cull at Cape Cross. I have since appointed an attorney to obtain a legal opinion on the sealing industry, violations of sealing regulations and offences documented under the Animal Protection Act.
His legal opinion is that the sealers are both in violation and offences of the Marine Resources Regulations and the Animal Protection Act which prevents cruelty. In addition legal opinion is that the Minister's sealing rights for the Cape Cross Seal reserve is invalid as this colony is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
Seal Alert has asked the Namibian SPCA to arrest and charge the sealers under the offences committed under the Animal Protection Act, which dates back to 1962. The executive committee of the Windhoek SPCA have indicated that there is cruelty in the seal cull (in a written received email), but are both scared and afraid to send their only female inspector to arrest the sealers. For fear she will be beaten up by the sealers. The SPCA has instead sort legal opinion, and have asked Seal Alert to provide funding for the instruction of an attorney and consul.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert 27-21-790 8774
Neil Hermann on 082 891 4000
Seal Alert-SA's Attorney Peter Dawson 27-21-462 4340
SPCA's Attorney Lee-Anne Agnew 00264-61-233171
Windhoek SPCA executive committee, Dr Debbie Gibson on 00264-61-264 685
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
- - - - - - - - - -
BONT VOOR DIEREN/ECOSTORM FILMED THE SLAUGHTER ETC < - -
www.bontvoordieren.nl/ <- -
Written by Donna Collins :
SPCA to step in on seal cruelty issue Wednesday 29 july 2009
Seal arrests spark negative reports Thursday, 23 July 2009
* . * . *
Seal Alert-SA, Media
Release 31 July 2009:
High Court Action to STOP the SEAL CULL
Namibian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
as Appointed by the Animal Protection Act of Namibia since 1962
"We Will Stop the Seal Cull on the Grounds of Cruelty under the Act"
few hundred endangered nursing baby seal pups separated
from their mothers
and beaten repeatedly until dead
Please look carefully at the pics above. After 2 days of the 2009, 139 day sealing season in Namibia. What you see - is what there is. There does not appear to be more than 1000 seal pups in the colony (the largest seal colony for this species), facing a govt sealing pup quota of 50 000, for this Cape Cross seal colony alone.
After 40 days into the 2007 sealing season, I flew over this colony, and filmed not a single seal left anywhere in this seal colony.
That fact alone - should disturb all who reads this. Something is very wrong with govt's population assessment.
Sealers are exterminating the Cape fur seal species, like they did previously on all the offshore islands, causing their permanent extinction of these colonies.
Since 1962, the Namibian sealing industry has cruelly slaughtered and beaten to death 2,129, 940 endangered nursing seal pups. Each death an Act of Cruelty under the law, each offence punishable.
The Namibian newspaper applied for a permit to view the seal culling objectively was denied.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA acceptance of the 14,2 million US dollar to buy out the Namibian sealing industry, did what no other govt or organization or individual has ever succeeded in doing. It stopped the seal cull for two weeks. (The culling began "about a week ago," after a two-week delay, Yavuz added -
Since the 15th, it is estimated that a further 15 000 seals pups were needlessly slaughtered and beaten to death, because seal supporters found a price of $14 a seal to save 1 million seal pups over the next 10 years, a too high price to pay.
HSI's false reporting to its 11 million members on the 17th www.hsus.org/hsi/condemns_nmibian_seal_slaughter_and_attack_on_observers_071709.html and again on the 22nd, www.hsicanada.ca/seals/namibianbuyout.html, deleting all references to Seal Alert-SA and other false claims, illustrates one intention, not to support the buy-out.
Seal Alert-SA's media release on the 23rd, demanding that World Society for the Protection of Animals instruct its member society in Namibia to charge the Sealers under the Animal Protection Act of 1962, hours later received the following response. sealalertsa.wordpress.com/
On the 24 July 2008, Seal Alert-SA receives the following email from Dr Debbie Gobson, "We (Namibia (Windhoek) SPCA Ex. Committee) are going to do what we can to stop the seal cull – at least until it can be done in a humane manner – on grounds of cruelty".
On the 28 July 2008, Dr Debbie Gibson sends Seal Alert-SA another email, "As I told you on the phone, I had a meeting with the lawyer which I felt was really very positive. We are going to try 3 fundamental approaches:
1. We get the authority from the Henties’ Bay magistrate to stop the culling on grounds of cruelty. It is not guaranteed that we will get the authority.
2. We get the concession holder’s licence revoked, take him/her to court and hopefully get them a huge fine
3. We lobby the Minister & PS to change the laws so that the cull will, ultimately, be stopped."
Seal Alert-SA appoints its own attorney, for a legal opinion (see below).
On the 29 July 2009, Seal Alert-SA receives the following
We act on behalf of the Windhoek SPCA, and will be
providing legal advice to the SPCA on this
Section 8 of the Animals Protection Act provides as follows:
“If authorised thereto by writing under the hand of the magistrate of a district,
any officer or any society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may in that district – …”
(a) without warrant and at any time with the consent of the owner or occupier, or failing such consent on obtaining an order from a magistrate, enter any premises where any animal is kept, for the purpose of examining the conditions under which it is so kept;
(b) without warrant arrest any person who is suspected on reasonable grounds of having committed an offence under this Act, if there is reason to believe that the ends of justice would be defeated by the delay in obtaining a warrant;
(c) on the arrest of any person on a charge of an offence under this Act, seize any animal or thing in the possession or custody of that person at the time of the arrest and take it forthwith before a magistrate;
(d) exercise in respect of any animal the powers conferred by subsection (1) of section five upon a police officer and in respect of such exercise of those powers, the provisions of the said section shall mutatis mutandis apply.
On the 31st, Seal Alert-SA receives the following email from SPCA's attorney is Namibia, "Francois, We cannot act without the further instructions of the SPCA. (Please bear in mind that our firm acts on the SPCA’s instructions, and our formal mandate comes from them.) We have sought counsel’s opinion on both the APA and “arresting” the cullers as suggested by you, as well as the possibility of an urgent application on the basis of the culling being contrary to the provisions of the Marine regulations.
We will revert back to you, once we have consulted with the client. A consultation was held between Adv Corbett and myself yesterday morning and we decided it was not necessary to put together a written brief before he commenced looking at the matter. He has all the relevant information, as well as all correspondence forwarded by you and other interested parties.
Can we confirm that your organisation will only provide the SPCA with funding if your approach of “arresting” the cullers is followed?
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA, who has no locus standi in Namibia as I am not a Namibian citizen or authorised to act under the Animal Protection Act. Is therefore required to work with the Namibian SPCA to bring about an end to the seal cull through the legal method of court action. Besides he costs of obtaining a magistrate's warrant of arrest, and an urgent application to review the culling, a high court review of the entire seal culling/conservation issue might need to be addressed urgently.
The Namibian SPCA and its attorney's are asking me to fund this. Which I have undertaken to do within reason. An amount in excess of 500 000 is needed for high court and legal expenses.
If any supporter reading this, is interested in being part of this ground breaking attempt to legally end this "last baby seal cull on earth", and can assist with legal funding, to please contact Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA at firstname.lastname@example.org, urgently.
Money is what will stop it now. I ask all those that made pledges for the buyout to please reconsider the above, and get in contact with me for the necessary banking details.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * .
Ecologist Film Unit
journalist beaten by seal hunters
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 26th July 2009
Seal Alert demands Namibia SPCA charge the sealers with cruelty and place seal colony into their custody
Instructs Namibia SPCA to immediately Arrest Sealers and
take Seal Colony into "Custody"
Dear Executive Committee of the
Windhoek SPCA in Namibia,
I refer to your email dated 24 July 2009. As the SPCA executive committee has already confirmed cruelty at Cape Cross, and as such advised Seal Alert-SA in writing of such decision, they are therefore obligated under the Animal Protection Act to immediately proceed to the Cape Cross seal colony, arrest and charge the sealers with cruelty and take the seal colony into custody as per the Act.
It should have already taken place. I request that this is done by no later than Monday, 27th July 2009.
The request by the Executive Committee of the SPCA to WSPA, NSPCA and Seal Alert to "Would you be able to help us with funds if we have to pay for legal assistance? Advice would also be gratefully accepted" is accepted. However this is a side issue, and should not prevent the immediate action of preventing further cruelty nor the failure to arrest the sealers for said cruelty which took place on the 16th July 2009.
On the 16th day, after the seal harvest season opened on 1 July 2009, with a sealing pup quota of 50 000 for Cape Cross seal colony for the 2009 sealing season in Namibia. A journalist from the UK and an award winning film-maker from South Africa, witnessed and video recorded, repeated acts of cruelty to the seals at Cape Cross. The two were subsequently arrested for trespassing in a marine restricted area, to which they pleaded guilty and were fined. Some of the video evidence was confiscated by state authorities and some of the video evidence was not, and is now publicly available on websites and the internet. www.bontvoordieren.nl .
See newspaper quotes, www.google.com//article/ and ww.informante.web.na.
The SPCA is required to seek authority of a magistrate to obtain this confiscated video evidence of seal cruelty seized by the Minister of Fisheries or state. As this evidence contains animal cruelty.
The eye witness and video evidence taken out of Namibia and seen by the SPCA, WSPA and NSPCA clearly shows the following, 1) The seal rights holder's seal-clubbers were clearly operating and conducting the cruelty outside of their permitted jurisdiction (which is well beyond the high water mark). 2) The sealers were clearly in violation of State sealing regulations in the following instances a) no sticking of the seal in the heart immediately after clubbing was evident as required by the regulations after multiple clubbing of various seals during a period of at least 10-20 minutes were filmed. b) Numerous seals were clubbed repeatedly on various part of the body, inflicting pain, stress and cruelty, which is in violations of the regulation which requires one club to the head to achieve instantaneous death and the immediate piercing of the heart to ensure a humane death, free from suffering. c) Sea Fisheries inspector, identified as Claudius shutte ikeberg failed in his duty as per the regulations which require him to ascertain that a seal pup that has been clubbed is dead.
See official reply, by the Ministry of Fisheries to the deposition by Seal Alert-SA against the seal cull in Namibia on the 14 September 2006, it reads, "The so-called conservation groups asked why female seals are not harvested. The reproductive cycle of the Cape fur seal extends over a 12 month period. Consequently, all adult females are either nursing a new-born pup or are pregnant during the seal harvesting season. Therefore harvesting of female seals would endanger the life of new born and the unborn pups. Seal Alert-SA has called an end to what they claim to be "cruel way of slaughtering" seal pups. The method of clubbing pups have been found to be the most humane method worldwide. The best method to slaughter any animal must always be used and improved. Namibia is a land of good morals where the life of creatures (seals) enjoys a high level of respect and protection. We use methods intended to result in instantaneous death of pups. Perhaps the so-called conservation groups are confusing our method with those practiced in the north Atlantic. Be assured that such practices is non-existent in Namibia".
The video evidence clearly proves numerous cases of cruelty where seal pups had been clubbed which did not result in instantaneous death, even after repeated illegal clubbing or beating.
The Marine Resources Act of 2001, define a seal pup as a seal less than one year of age. The Namibian Minister of Fisheries has granted two seal rights holders rights and a quota for 2009 to harvest 85 000 seal pups at Cape Cross Seal Colony and at Wolf/Atlas Bay Seal Colonies. Sealing season runs from 1 July - November 15. Sealing started two weeks late this year, and as such sealers have 105 days remaining to fill their quota. Due to production facilities at the processing plant at Henties Bay sealers will be required to club to death over 800 seal pups, every day for the next 105 days. In light of this mass cruelty to be inflicted daily.
The SPCA in Namibia is legally bound under the Animal Protection Act of 1962, as an officer of a society, with the society defined as the SPCA, as authorised by the Minister of Justice, to immediately with any animal or wild animal (seals) where there are reasonable grounds to believe that an animal needs immediate care or if it is reasonably necessary to prevent cruelty to or suffering of such an animal, seize such animal and take it into the custody of the society. The officer of the society (SPCA) requires the authority in writing under the hand of the magistrate of the district.
In this regard. The Animal Protection Act is very clear. Offences in respect of Animals, "any person who; ill-treats, neglects, infuriates, tortures or maims or cruelly beats, kicks, goads or terrifies any animal is guilty of a criminal offence, and must be brought before a police charge office and charged under the Act. Including the "owner" or sealing rights holders.
Is is therefore the lawful duty of the SPCA under the Animal Protection Act, who have already as at 11.06am on the 24th July 2009,indicated their official assessment of animal cruelty, as stated, "We (Namibia (Windhoek) SPCA Ex. Committee) are going to do what we can to stop the seal cull – at least until it can be done in a humane manner – on grounds of cruelty". Are therefore duty bound to arrest the sealers and seal rights holder for the Cape Cross seal colony and take them to the police station and officially charge them under the act, and in addition, immediately request a magistrate to grant the SPCA the authority to immediately place the Cape Cross seal colony into "custody", as per the act, to prevent future cruelty, which in all likelihood would involve a written notice to be posted on the gate the sealers use to access the seal colony at Cape Cross.
As the sealing regulations and methods are the same for the Wolf/Atlas Bay seal colony, such a written notice/authority must be included for this seal colony, and the seal colony taken into SPCA "custody" via a written notice.
Aspects of the cruelty, will be discussed later once, the sealers have been arrested and charged and the seal colonies are taken into "custody" via written authority of a magistrate as per the Act and Minister of Justice.
As Seal Alert-SA has been informed of this cruelty, as agreed by the Namibian SPCA on the 24th July 2009 (see above). The SPCA is required to immediately proceed to the Cape Cross Seal colony on or before 7am on the 27th July 2009, and effect its arrest of the sealers and their being charged at a police station.
I await written confirmation of these arrests by the Executive Committee of the SPCA Windhoek/Namibia and the written authority of the magistrate ordering the SPCA to place the Cape Cross and Wolf/Atlas Bay seal colony into SPCA's "custody" as prescribed by the Act.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
See below for supporting info related to these cruelty cases (naturally I can forward all necessary copies upon request)
Under common english law, the Cape fur seals, as wildlife,
are rus nullius. Res
nullius (lit: nobody's
is a Latin term derived from
Roman law whereby res
(objects in the
legal sense, anything that can be owned, even slaves,
but not subjects in law such as citizens) are not yet
the object of rights of any specific subject. Such items
are considered ownerless property and are usually free
to be owned. Examples of res
nullius in the socio-economic sphere
are wild animals or abandoned property. Finding can also
be a means of occupation (i.e. vesting ownership), since
a thing completely lost or abandoned is res nullius, and
therefore belonged to the first taker. In English
common law, for example,
forest laws and game laws have specified which animals
nullius and when they become
someone's property. Wild animals are regarded as
nullius, and as not being the
subject of private property until reduced into
possession by being killed or captured.
"the Act" means the Animals Protection Act, 1962 (Act 71 of 1962);
To consolidate and amend the laws relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals.
1. DEFINITIONS In this Act, unless the content otherwise indicates:
"Minister" means the Minister of Justice.
"animals" means any equine, bovine, sheep, goat, pig, fowl, ostrich, dog, cat, or other domestic animal or bird, or any wild animal, wild animal, wild bird or reptile which is in captivity or under control of any person.
"owner" in relation to an animal, includes any person having the possession, charge, custody or control of that animal.
"officer" means an officer of a society;
"society" means a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals as intended in section 8(1) of the Act.
2. (1) If authorised thereto in writing under the hand of the magistrate of a district, any officer of any society may in that district if it appears that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an animal found in that district needs immediate care or if it is reasonably necessary to prevent cruelty to or suffering of such an animal, seize such animal and take it into the custody of the society.
. OFFENCES IN RESPECT OF ANIMALS - (1) Any person who:
(a )overloads, overdrives, overrides, ill-treats, neglects, infuriates, tortures or maims or cruelly beats, kicks, goads or terrifies any animal; or
(q) causes, procures or assists in the commission or omission of any of the aforesaid acts or, being the owner of any animal, permits the commission or omission of any such act; or
(r) by wantonly or unreasonably or negligently doing or omitting to do any act or causing or procuring the commission or omission of any act, causes any unnecessary suffering to any animal; or
|| Article 100 -
Sovereign Ownership of Natural Resources
Land, water and natural resources below and above the surface of the land and in the continental shelf and within the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Namibia shall belong to the State if they are not otherwise lawfully owned.
On the 14 September 2006, High Commission of Namibia sent an official reply to Seal Alert from the Ministry. The Ministry claims."Chapter 11, Article 95 of the Namibian Constitution, harvesting seals is thus a constitutional mandate".
South Africa has a similar constitution, and a similar sustainable use mandate. Public Protector Advocate ML Mushwana on 15 November 2005, tabled the following report in Parliament. Report 51"on an investigation into allegations of improper conduct of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in connection with the conservation and protection of the Cape fur seal". His findings were, "The department has a constitutional obligation to protect and promote the conservation of South Africa's seal resource".
New Era (state owned newspaper in Namibia) published an article on 12 July 2006, "in defence of the seal harvest", and quoted Minister of Fisheries Abraham Iyambo. "People complain about the methods, but we have not received suggestions on better methods" and, "There is no other appropriate method. We have tried shooting pups and it's not a good method".
On the 14 September 2006, High Commission of Namibia sent an official reply to Seal Alert from the Ministry.
"Harvesting operations of seals is governed by the regulations of Marine Resources Act of 2001".
A symposium on sustainable use of wildlife resources in China in November 1999, saw Namibian Ministry of Fisheries resource director BJ Van Zyl. Present a paper titled, "Culling of seals in Namibia : A Conservation Necessity".
Since independence in 1990. Sealing methods were regulated through the South African Sea Birds and Seals Protection Act no.46 of 1973 and the sealing regulations 1976. This legislation was still in force in Namibia, until seals and seabirds were incorporated into the Marine Resources Act of 2001.
This Act states, "To provide for control over certain islands and rocks (note the mainland is not mentioned); for the protection, and the control of the capture and killing of seabirds and seals". "islands" means any islands or rocks specified in schedule 1 (Again there is no reference or jurisdiction to mainland seal colonies). Powers of the Minister in connection with islands, seabirds and seals and products of seabirds and seals. Prohibitions/Permit/Jurisdiction - "upon any island or within territorial waters or along the coast between the low water mark as defined in section 1 of the Sea-shore Act, 1935, and the high water mark as so defined, pursue or shoot at or wilfully disturb, kill or capture any sea bird or seal, exempt with a permit".
It is therefore clear the Minister of Fisheries powers and jurisdiction ends at the high tide water mark
in the Marine Resources Act regulations in 2001, under "protected species", it reconfirms this limiting jurisdiction
section (c) above clearly states "on the shore seaward of the high water mark".
Although Section 2 (2) of the Marine Regulations 2001, states "A holder of a right, which must be driven away from sea", does not in fact state this relates to the mainland or that it permits the sealers to drive the seals beyond the jurisdiction.
It is therefore clear that the sealers in order to harvest the seals on the mainland, are themselves violating the permit conditions.
In addition the sign-board at the Cape Cross Seal colony implies this Seal Reserve is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, as displayed on state sign-board
- - - - - - -
Written by Donna
Collins - Thursday, 23 July 2009
ABOUT 120 international media organisations have released a wave of negative reports on Namibia following the story about the arrest of two journalists filming seal clubbing at the Cape Cross Seal Colony in Walvis Bay last week.
Some of the reports imply that thousands of tourists who visit and film seals at the Cape Cross especially from July to November every year are at risk of arrest.
“Then every tourist who visits and films seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve or any of the other 14 more remote seal colonies in Namibia, is guilty of the same offence, and can expect to be assaulted, punched in the face, locked up have their camera’s stolen and charged with a jail sentence,” one of the reports said.
Seal Alert’s Francois Hugo told Informanté from the Cape that the seal cull doesn’t benefit the fisheries, because nursing seals are being clubbed.
He said the whole barbaric practice must be stopped.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA the driving force for the past three years behind the anti-seal hunt campaign. Wants it ended. Hatem Yavuz the Australian fur buyer representative of the Namibian sealing industry wants to sell out....
Helping Animals Worldwide - http://helpinganimalsworldwide.blogspot.com/
|Helping Animals Worldwide: Namibian seal update.Video!|
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 23 July 2009
'Asks' Namibian Govt,
What do you 'Want' to end Seal Cull ?
Protected Marine Species in Namibia
Hatem Yavuz, a leading buyer of wildlife skins has stated he would love to acquire African penguin skins. As the skins make the best fur jackets. Although Namibian govt lists the African penguin as a marine resource and is a consumer of commercial fish. Shares the same UN-CITES appendix II endangered species rating as the Cape fur seal. The Namibian govt has declared Penguins, most seabirds, 36 species of marine mammals (seals, dolphins and whales) and great white sharks - protected species.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA asks the Namibian govt what it needs to declare the Cape fur seals a protected species and to stop harvesting or culling ?
Over the past month over 400 media publications around the world have published negative reports on Namibia's seal cull. Many more on websites, blogs, chat rooms and twitter. This cannot be good in times of a global recession or for Namibia's tourism. The world wants the Namibian seal cull to end. Seal product imports banned in the US since 1972, South Africa since 1990 and now in the EU in 2009. Listed by UN-CITES in 1977 and 1990 by Namibia as an Appendix II endangered species. news.google.co.za/news-namibia-seal .
A video of the seal pup clubbing has been smuggled out of Namibia.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA the driving force for the past three years behind the anti-seal hunt campaign. Wants it ended. Hatem Yavuz the Australian fur buyer representative of the Namibian sealing industry wants to sell out.
Seal Alert-SA's asks the Namibian govt. What does govt need to officially end Namibia's seal cull and protect the species ?
If you are considering HSI or IFAW or WSPA's proposal. To independently monitor the seal pup clubbing cruelty. The Namibian govt will be making a grave mistake. It will simply exploit the situation. To appeal for more funding to end seal hunts. Exposing Namibia to international negative images and boycotts for decades to come.
If govt wants the seal-clubbers retrained, reskilled or re-employed. Give me your requirements.
If govt feels the seal cull is necessary to protect commercial fishing. Would you consider a moratorium to assess whether nature, jackals, sea-birds, drownings, starvation and collapsed fisheries - more than adequately 'manages' the seal population, and prevents high growth ?
Does the govt need funding for further conservation research?
Would govt accept a buy-out of the industry, and if accepted would govt then officially end the seal cull ?
Does govt need evidence of sealing irregularities in order to cancel or withdraw sealing rights ?
Does govt need the annual seal quota levies paid of N$2 a pup or N$6 a bull ?
Would govt accept re-populating seals to extinct former seal islands, and funding, to assess whether this would naturally manage the seal population ?
I await your response. Please give me the opportunity to meet your requirements to end the seal cull in Namibia.
Seal Alert-SA is prepared to accept any written proposal received from the Namibian govt to end the Cape fur seal cull.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
- - - - - - -
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 19 July 2009
'Kodak Moment' Tourists In Namibia
Now Home Safely,
Forced Guilty Pleas 'Bogus' & Extortion
11.07am 20 August 2005 (middle of seal culling season) 12.06am 10 August 2007
The 'Kangaroo Court' and assault and theft of film
equipment on two foreign tourist film-makers who
entered Namibia to view and film the seals at
Namibia's biggest tourist attraction which earns Namibian
govt N$9 million annually. Was a PR nightmare for Namibia's
Over 120 media organizations around the world released negative news reporting the next day, such as, "Namibia seal hunters 'clubbed journalists', seized footage",
With a govt Fisheries Official present whilst Australian Hatem Yavuz's Sealer's assaulted the tourists in Namibia. Demands immediate official investigation.
The assault and theft of the tourists occurred less than 250 metres from the newly constructed tourist walk-away. Constructed recently with govt funding to prevent exactly this type of incident. With tourists wondering into the seal colony and disturbing the breeding seals. As noted by the following govt funded website, "Consequently, this encourages tourists to climb into the seal enclosure for a better view and at the same time causing massive disturbance to the seal colony."
Over 50 percent of the 100 000 tourists visiting and filming the seal colony at Cape Cross annually are during seal culling season between July and November 15, each year - now at risk.
The Namibian govt's failure to arrest and charge the sealing assailants with a Fisheries official present must also be fully investigated.
The incident whereby the two tourists/journalists/filmmaker who were in police custody with a Fisheries Inspector official present. Who were then punched in the face by a man travelling in another vehicle, and who was not arrested or charged, needs a full investigation.
Govt's charging of the tourists under the Marine Resources Act of 2000. "Trespassing in a marine reserve", which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail or a N$500 000 fine, is bogus. Even the lesser charge that the two tourists/filmmakers were forced to plead guilty to, "entering a restricted area without permission" and were then fined, 12 months in jail or N$10 000 each, with half suspended, is equally bogus.
The guilty plea was simply out of fear for their lives and desire to leave Namibia.
The Marine Resources Act jurisdiction ends at the high-tide water mark. Seal clubbing activity actually drives the seal herd's illegally outside of their permitted jurisdiction. Inland into the Ministry of Environmental and Tourism jurisdiction. The original wording of this Act, came from the former Seal Protection Act legislated in 1973 and still enforced until 2000 in Namibia. This "Act" was written and applied to sealing activities on seal herd's living offshore on islands, and as such none of these new mainland seal colonies that have developed due to sealing disturbance on the islands, was protected under this act. The Ministry of Fisheries had therefore no legal right to charge the tourists.
This Cape Cross Seal Reserve is actually under the Minister of Environment & Tourism, who charges the tourists a fee to enter the seal colony to view and film seals. It was his mandate to decide whether or not the tourists contravened any regulations.
The seal colony is open to tourists all year round. The Minister of Environment and Tourism has remained silent.
As reported in the Namibian, www.namibian.com.na/news/full-story/archive/2009/july/article/foreign-journalists-arrested-for-filming-seal-cull/ .Chief Crime Investigation Co-ordinator, Chief Inspector Charles Sibolile, arrest of the tourists under the Namibian Marine Resources Act. Stating, “The Cape Cross area is closed during the culling season and any entry is prohibited unless the Minister of Fisheries gives permission" is equally bogus.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has a 'ticket' permit costing N$80 to view the seal colony, as this seal colony is open to paying tourists all-year round (see pics above of tourists standing in seal colony at Cape Cross and filming).
Sibolile further remarks to The Namibian. The two foreign journalists might however also face charges for not applying for permission to film at the Namibia Film Commission and for allegedly entering Namibia with a tourism visa and for having failed to apply for accreditation at the Ministry of Information. “These people did not approach the Namibian Film Commission for permission to film and unless they obtained temporary work permits through another source, they have been illegally filming or working in the country,” Wilma Deetlefs, Director in the Ministry told The Namibian. “These people will now have to answer to charges against them and it appears as if the Namibia Film Commission will also lay a charge that they were filming in the country without permission.”. Is also complete nonsense and bogus, as these two filmmakers entered Namibia as tourists on a tourist visa.
The above comments are also nonsensical, Particular as reported by AFP last year on July 6, 2007, in which "Moses Maurihungirire, director of resources management in the fisheries and marine resources ministry, would not comment on whether there was an official ban on reporters in the hunting region, but reporters often have been chased away from the remote and well-guarded sites.". www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn.html .
It is therefore clear that the Namibian govt would not grant permission to film the clubbing of endangered seal pups whose exported products have been banned in the US and EU.
If these claims is true. Then every tourist who visits and films seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve or any of the other 14 more remote seal colonies in Namibia, is guilty of the same offence, and can expect to be assaulted and have their camera's stolen and charged with 20 year jail sentences.,Particularly those professional filmmakers or journalists taking a holiday to Namibia.
The only explanation why govt and the Namibian sealing industry firmly put their 'stinky seal clubbing feet in their mouth' and caused an international PR nightmare that will cost the tourism industry in Namibia millions, is because of the excellent lawful anti-seal hunt campaign Seal Alert-SA has been waging against the industry for years.
The Namibian sealing and travel industry must realize that Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA is simply not going to go away, until the Cape fur seal hunt has been officially stopped. I have at least the next 20 years ahead of me to shut this banned seal clubbing industry down.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
Latest info The sunday Independent 19 July 09
- - - - - - -
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release,
17 July 2009
Genesis & Bridget Bardot
'Green' Award Winning Film-maker
Sits in Namibian Jail Charged for filming the US, EU & SA Banned Namibian Seal Pup Cull
Bart Smithers of South Africa
According to AFP in Windhoek, Journalists Bart Smithers and
Jim Wickens are being held in police cells at Henties Bay,
following their arrest at 7am for filming a seal colony,
and will appear in court on Friday. news.namibiaenvironmentarrestseals
France's Le Monde newspaper also ran the story,
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA is concerned that the charges are bogus, as according to AFP, Namibia police spokesperson Angula Amulungu, "they had allegedly contravened the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act".
Contravened what ? Approaching to close to a seal colony being clubbed to death ?
Although the Minister of Fisheries grants sealers the right to club seal pups. The Minister's jurisdiction ends at the high-tide water mark. The seal-clubbers practice of driving seal herd's inland away from the seashore to club them. Is what in fact contravenes the Fisheries jurisdiction. The Minister of Fisheries has no legal basis to charge the two journalists, as this land upon which the Cape Cross seal colony sits, is managed by the Minister of the Environment and Tourism. The Cape Cross Colony is open to tourists all year round. The arrest and charge is therefore unlawful, as is the assault and damage to very expensive camera equipment by the sealers.
Is any tourist safe in Namibia now ? Should foreign embassy's not issue warnings advising their citizens to avoid visiting any of the remote seal colonies in Namibia. For fear of being falsely assaulted and beaten for mistakenly being journalists.
On what basis were these two journalists, who until their arrest, could have been any foreign tourists who just happen to approach too close to a seal colony with their camera's. On what basis, did the Namibian sealers chase after these "tourist/journalist's" and attempt to run them over, assault and beat them and damage valuable private property. Particular as reported by AFP last year on July 6, 2007, in which "Moses Maurihungirire, director of resources management in the fisheries and marine resources ministry, would not comment on whether there was an official ban on reporters in the hunting region". www.washingtonpost.com_pf.html .
Bart Smithers received no payment for undertaking this dangerous assignment. He did it because he is deeply concerned for the future survival of the Cape fur seal in Namibia.
Bart Smithers a long time friend and film-maker of Francois Hugo's efforts to end the Namibian seal cull, sent the following two SMS's today, "Don't call, big shit, being arrested, they wanted to kill us ... clubbers went crazy. managed to hide my phone, will contact soon, the embassies know. B"
and later in the day Bart phoned and said the police are taking away his phone, and hurriedly sent another text message, "clubbing was hectic, they randomly club seals in large herd, no knives etc. What's more the chap that was the most hectic is from the ministry of fisheries name is claudius shutte ikeberg".
Bart Smithers a film-maker and producer of many 50/50 SABC 2 wildlife programs, including three on the Cape fur seals, and who during one program, was present at the historic meeting between Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA and the Prime Minister Nahas Angula in 2007.
A few months earlier,in Hollywood, US. Independent filmmaker Bart Smithers walked away with the Brigitte Bardot award for best film or television production in the international category of the Genesis awards for environmental awareness journalism and media creation. The award-winning film “Hunters Become Hunted”, which was flighted on SABC 2’s 50/50, documents the attempts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to halt the Japanese whaling fleet from fishing illegally in the Antarctic during its 2005/6 campaign. Bart was introduced to Paul Watson and Seashepherd International by Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA. www.bizcommunity.com/InBrief .
The Genesis Award is run by HSUS Hollywood office. Every year, the Genesis Awards pays tribute to the major news and entertainment media for producing outstanding works such as these, which raise public understanding of animal issues. As much as film, television, print and the arts reflect societal attitudes, they also help shape and change those attitudes. The mass media have the power to spotlight animal issues to vast audiences—literally at the speed of light. So it is within the major media—with its influential voices and its huge audience—that the Hollywood office of The HSUS concentrates its efforts. The Genesis Awards recognizes that the media hold an important key to a more enlightened and civilized society.
A member of HSUS Hollywood.org, sent Seal Alert-SA the following pledge on July 1, "Dear Francois, I would like to pledge $30 to help end the slaughter of seals in Namibia. I hope you are able to raise all $14 million US dollars to stop it.
It remains to be seen whether HSUS or Seashepherd will come to the assistance of Bart Smither's and Jim Wickens in jail in Namibia, to which Bart has contributed massively to their respective causes in the past. The websites of HSUS and Seashepherd make no mention of the Namibian seal cull or of Bart's arrest.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA asks the Bridget Bardot Foundation who honoured Bart with its award to seek French intervention, and assist in seeking the two journalist's release. I am naturally concerned for their safety under police arrest.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA also received the following email today from Hatem Yavuz, it reads,
To: Seal alert Francios hugo .
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: S-Day for Namibian Seals Begun.
Hello Francios, Thanks for your email.
You may put it on record if you wish. I rcvd ur offer for halting anys seal harvest........yet it is much more expensive than you think according to your calculation and may jeopardize my business and my relations with the fisheries.
I have understood two issues here: You as seal alert-Francios Hugo is and seems to be the most legitimate activist I personally encountered, yet unfortunatley you have been left alone In your venture Which has receeded your influence worldwide.
I personally have newly understood, the morale issues by the main activists are based on making NOISE for DONATIONS, rather than the real cause.
This has shown YOU and WE, are alone on this planet since both sides of the extremes are not of value interms of ethics.........those who see and believe sailing on flashy boats and ships are basically enjoying the tripple digit income and million dollar offices for the sake WE and companies like Yavuz to do what we do, for the sake of Seal Shephard, animal australia and what's very ironic HSI.
We will do what we have to, you will proceed naturally( which the activists of naturellly would not know the meaning of ).Good luck, just remember that 'no one is the real winner on any side of this battle except the battle itself'. " Churchill".....to have peace, you must be ready for war. "Ataturk" Peace at home, is peace in the world.
Don't forget, The TUrkish nation is adopting this rule by enforcing energy pipe lines( nabucco, btc, and others) through its territory to avoid future wars, we are also in this process and we don't want to confront a wise persone like yoursself, yet you as an individual must understand States have an agenda, like it or not. We also have to deal with our situation and obligation(s).
Regards Hatem YAVUZ YAVUZ Group.
What remains now to be seen, is whether HSUS, IFAW and WSPA will come to the immediate aid of these two journalists or ignore these two, like they have to date done with Seal Alert-SA's attempt to buyout the sealing industry two weeks ago, which effectively ignored the plight of the Cape fur seals.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA's also received the following email from Claire Bass of World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) at 11.05am,
"Francois,I am very disappointed to see that – less than 48 hours after we spoke and I agreed to speak to my HSI colleagues and our legal people about your plans – you have reverted back to back-stabbing NGOs, including HSI and WSPA. Having spoken to Mark Glover we agreed that we would contact you to arrange a call but I’m afraid your latest outburst has destroyed any foundation we may have had to talk professionally or civilly about this.
I especially resent your assertion that HSI (Rebecca Aldworth) runs a ‘PR’ anti-sealing campaign – having witnessed first hand HSI’s incredible and successful campaign to secure a ban in the EU this really could not be further from the truth.
I cannot imagine how you think you can ask us to work alongside and support you and then just hours later launch a bitter (and unfounded) organisational and personal attack.
Furthermore, in addition to several legal problems which have been identified with your $14million plan, your volatile and unreasonable behaviour would prevent us from collaborating with you on this.
Please be advised that we are developing our own plans to address this horribly cruel and unnecessary hunt and will keep you informed as they progress. I’m sorry you have created this unpleasant situation.
I would urge you in future to try to stop your passion and fury from making enemies with people who are on the same side as you.Claire".
Naturally Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA remains deeply concerned with this arrest.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
- - - - - - -
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 16th July 2009:
Breaking News : Namibian Sealers turn Clubs on Undercover Film-Makers
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 16 July 2009
Sealers turn Clubs on undercover
are sketchy. In Namibia near or around Cape Cross Seal
Colony today at 7am, Namibian seal pup clubbers, were
filmed killing seal pups. For which they have no permit to
harvest. Namibian seal clubbers then assaulted the
film-crew. A South African well known film-maker Bart
Smithers and a Jim Wickens of Eco-storm, a British citizen.
They were beaten up by the sealers, and then arrested and
put in police custody in a vehicle. It has been
further reported sealers then club into the Police
vehicle and further beat up the film-makers. Both are
now being held at the Police Station in Henties Bay.
The British High Commission in Namibia has been contacted. The release of the men has been called for.
A British investigative journalist and his South African fixer have today been violently assaulted by seal hunters and arrested by police whilst documenting the controversial Namibian seal cull.
Jim Wickens, a reporter with the Brighton-based Ecostorm agency, and Bart Smithers, a freelance cameraman and fixer, were this morning attacked by a group of seal hunters armed with clubs before having their video camera equipment stolen in the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Western Namibia.
The team, working with Dutch NGO Bontvoordieren, are understood to have been filming the killing of seals for some twenty minutes before a group of hunters approached and assaulted them - reportedly punching them to the ground and hitting them with clubs.
Their cameras and video footage were also seized in the incident, which happened about 7am this morning.
Police subsequently arrived before arresting the pair on suspicion of trespass and obstruction.
According to Jim Wickens, a seal hunter again attacked them whilst they were being held in a police vehicle.
They pair are currently being held at a local police station.
Andrew Wasley, co-director of Ecostorm, said: "We are at present working with the British High Commission in Namibia to establish the full picture and secure the release of our team. Clearly this was a violent and unwarranted attack on two journalists doing their job - gathering information and pictures of the highly secretive Namibian seal hunt."
He continued: "As well as calling for the immediate release of Jim Wickens and Bart Smithers we want the Namibian authorities to investigate the assaults and theft of equipment"
Bontvoordieren - and a growing number of international campaigners - are calling for the immediate release of the pair from police custody.
PLEASE CONTACT :
Andrew Wasley (Ecostorm) +44 (0)7977 239406 email@example.com
Claudia Linssen (Bontvoordieren) +31 206766600 firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
Write your own letter to
, , ,
Letter Maria capefursealsupporter:
We hear that Jim Wickens, of Brighton's Ecostorm Agency and Bart Smithers, freelance cameraman, both witnesses of illegal seal clubbing, were severely attacked by the seal killers.
Instead of arresting the violent attackers, your police took Messrs. Wickens en Smithers into custody!
We ask you to release them immediately and to give them back their full equipment.
At the same time, we would ask you to put finally an end to the eco-terrorism the Namibian seal clubbers are committing.
Thanking you in advance ,
Seal Pup Clubbing Begun - S-Day for Namibian Seals Begun
Article in 1993 where Namibian govt offered IFAW to buy them out – IFAW refused, sealing industry invested and the seal killing increased
S-Day for Namibia’s seals began on Monday 13th July 2009. Slaughter day, Sealing day, Seal day or Sick day, call it what you will.
Instead of an invasion by seal supporters pledging $14 to buyout the industry – the endangered Cape fur seals breeding colonies were invaded by men with clubs earning $100 a month.
A 5-ton truck off-loaded 200-300 slaughtered and clubbed to death seal pups at the Henties Bay Sealing factory, belonging to seal concession holder for Cape Cross, Albert Brink. Who according to a media report in 1993 was a former nature conservation official for the Namibian government.
Since that govt offer to IFAW to buyout the industry in 1993. Where the sealing quota was half of what it is today. 28 sealing workers were each paid $100 a month. Namibia’s sealing industry has slaughtered and clubbed to death 1 million seal pups, invested $4,5 million in seal processing factories, secured long term sealing rights for another 1 million seal pups by 2019 and now employ 97 seal clubbing workers.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA’s appeal for the Humane Society International’s 9 million members or International Fund for Animal Welfare’s 3 million members or Seashepherd International or the World Society for the Protection of Animal’s members to come on-board – received either no comment or total refusal.
A fine world the 21st Century is turning out to be.
Especially for the endangered Cape fur seal pups at the tip of Africa.
Frans Tsheehama of the Namibian fisheries and marine resources ministry faxed official statement to the media on 6 July 2009. Informing the media that the sealing season had started on July 1. As reported by over 100 media publications around the world, with headlines reading, “Namibian Seal Hunt to Go On, 90,000 to be Clubbed”, http://www.usnews.com/articles/science/2009/07/06/namibian-seal-hunt-to-go-on-90000-to-be-clubbed.html Turned out by Day 12 of the 139 day sealing season, to be one big fat govt-lie.
Held to ransom by one individual’s acceptance of the $14 million dollar sealing industry buyout offer. With one deal-breaker pre-condition. Not a single seal pup to be clubbed or killed. Whilst he tries to raise pledges from around the world.
The Namibian govt’s big fat lie goes further. “The cull is needed to protect fisheries”. Yet, did and said nothing when Australian Hatem Yavuz Namibian Sealing industry only killed and bought 23 000 pup skins on an 85 000 pup quota to “protect fisheries”. Losing govt levies on each 62 000 ‘non -fish eating’ seal pups not harvested.
In fact costing the commercial fishing industry billions of dollars, who equally said nothing. When non-culled baby seal pups that remained continued to allegedly eat 73 percent of the 900 000 tons govt claims the cull prevents baby seals from eating. When, “The government has said seals consume 900,000 tons of fish each year, more than a third of the fishing industry’s catch, and that the cull is needed to protect fisheries”.
Govt’s big fat lie gets even worse. When it allowed Hatem Yavuz to accept a late order for 10 000 Cape fur seal pup skins from a Canadian seal fur skin buyer. After sealing season had closed in November 2008. Which required the sealers to go out and club these pups at Wolf/Atlas bay seal colony for 2 months during the 2009 seal pup breeding season in December. Which is in violation of the sealing regulations. The reason for this. Hatem Yavuz did not want to sell this buyer any of 23 000 skins he had harvested and clubbed to death at the Cape Cross seal colony. As these pup skins were fatter. To supply this Canadian fur buyer, who already had 20 000 unused Harp seal pup skins from the Canadian seal hunt in March. Hatem decided to sell him 10 000 seal pup skins of inferior quality, from the weaker, thinner seal pups at the colony at Wolf/Atlas Bay area in the south. This deal apparently back-fired when the Canadian fur buyer, soon after receiving the 10 000 inferior and thin Cape fur seal pup skins. Fur business collapsed, and asked Hatem to buy back all 10 000 Cape fur seal pup skins, and the unsold 20 000 Harps seal skins he had acquired earlier from the Canadian sealers.
And what did Govt do ? Absolutely nothing.
In this clearly collapsed seal skin buyers market. Clearly a time for investors in seal futures to buy. What did IFAW or HSI do – Absolutely nothing. No offer, no discussion with anyone. No Buyout.
Did it withdraw Hatem’s sealing rights or reduce the pup quota for 2009. You guessed it – NO ?
Govt Lies, Seal Pups Clubbed and Big ‘Anti-Seal Hunt Ngo’s’ Stingy
Whilst Animal Planet’s blog
reports that “The Humane Society International supports banning seal products and preventing seal clubbing as does Sea Shepherd International”. With Animal Planet airing to millions of viewers around the world, Seashepherd’s Whale Wars 2 season, with a third season to follow. Attracting millions of potential supporters to Sea Shepherd International membership. Its founder and president Paul Watson has said, “The Namibians are not going to get their $14 million. They are not going to get a dime”.
Humane Society International, CEO’s with their million dollar salary packages, apparently support this view as well. Even though if their 11 million members each donated $1. HSI could accept the $14 million dollar offer and buy out the Namibian sealing industry without blinking an eye.
A video interview with Rebecca Aldworth of HSI in October 2006, stated the following, “Francois Hugo is an activist who is working in South Africa to put an end to the Namibian seal Cull and he has done some fantastic things in terms of getting the word out about this hunt that most people were unaware was going on”. “The Namibian seal hunt is particularly cruel, its an absolutely unsustainable hunt. It cannot continue for the survival of that seal population and it can’t continue because of the cruelty involved”. HSI believes in a License Retirement Program. “Its been implemented in many other fisheries around the world, it’s a system whereby govt buys back the licenses of the hunters and HSI has already suggested this program in Canada – we would be very anxious to sit down at the table of anyone who would be willing to talk to us in Namibia about doing the same thing. The good news is the Namibian government has already talked about a buyout, that means there’s political will there to do exactly that”. “Yes we do have some funds, but I think – in addition to that we have a membership of over 9 million, all of whom contribute to programs like this”. “We have a lot of individual donors, some of whom are quite wealthy, and are anxious to do away with seal hunting around the world”. “So there are stakeholders that will contribute, there are corporations that will contribute to this kind of a program”. “We are stakeholders in this, we are here to stop seal hunting around the world”.
Clearly these were just PR words. The Namibian sealers buyout offer in 2009. Which in order to sell their rights requires govt approval and consent. At $14 a seal. It obviously considered to high a price for HSI. As they have made no contact with Francois Hugo, Namibian sealing industry or govt.
Equally. International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) anti-seal hunt and stop-the-seal-hunt campaigns which has seen 1,5 billion US dollars flow into their bank accounts since the 1970s via its 3 million annual supporter membership base. Could simply send out an appeal to its 3 million membership, asking each, to donate, once $5.
So immoral, greedy and cruel has Hatem Yavuz become. That he is undecided whether to accept Francois Hugo’s offer to buy up the sealing quota for the 2009 sealing season for the seal pups at Wolf/Atlas Bay. An offer which pays Hatem the same amount he would pay for the seal skins to not buy them, and leave the seal pups alone this season.
Perhaps the world is not ready, for the world’s largest seal pup hunt to end. It is too financially lucrative ‘talking’ about it ending.
Club On ! and keep talking seal supporters and give us all your moooooney. Appears to be the moral of the story !
13.7 billion year’s interview with Francois Hugo and be read here at http://www.13point7billion.org/2009/07/137-billion-years-exclusive-interview.html
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
From: Seal Alert-SA
Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 1:08 AM
Subject: Namibia : Seal Cull NOT Started, Hang-in There Baby Seals, Help Coming
Invitation to HSI and WSPA to approach Namibian govt - Francois.
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 7th July 2009
Seal Cull NOT Started,
Hang-in There Baby Seals,
Live or Die, Business Will Decide
ago, News24 reports amongst 70 other media
publications, that the, "Namibian seal hunt will go
The National newspaper reported more in depth, "$14 million deal to end seal cull",
It is the end of 6th Day in Africa, and still the seal cull has not started. No seal pups have been killed.
Namibian govt officials can tell the media what they like, but govt does not do the baby seal pup clubbing, business does, and the business of ending the seal cull, has not been concluded yet. Business will decide whether the seal cull starts or ends, not govt fisheries officials.
The Seal 'business' in Namibia is dead. World economic slump, bans in the US and EU, poor demand for luxury fur fashion goods, no fur buyers, surplus of unsold seal skins, a declining seal population - and a sealing industry that wants to sell-out for $14 million. Something the Namibian govt must now come to terms with, and now look at alternative economic solutions.
Clubbing cruelly these seal pups is senseless and idiotic, as Namibia's last fur buyer, still has 20 000 skins from the 23 000 he bought in 2008, and cannot even sell these, and has placed no orders for 2009.
Whilst Seal Alert-SA bangs on the back-door to end the cull and continues its efforts to publicly raise $14 million US dollars to buyout the industry, it has now asked the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Humane Society International (HSI) to politely knock on the front-door of the Namibian Govt, and make it an offer nobody can refuse.
Since Namibia became independent in 1990, and revived the seal culling industry, issuing the rights and quotas to two sealing concession holders to club 930 000 seal pups cruelly to death. The sealing industry has cost govt lost revenue. Killing only 610 000 seal pups of their quota. Seal harvesting have only managed to fill 60 percent of their annual quota since 1990, causing govt to loose the 40 percent revenue it gets from each pup killed.
In 2008, govt lost even more, with seal harvesting yielding only 23 000 pups on an 85 000 pup quota.
Seal Alert-SA asks WSPA and HSI whom was at my meeting with the Prime Minister and Ministry of Fisheries in 2007, to come forward and immediately offer the Namibian government a deal, that it cannot legally refuse.
The front-door deal is. Offer to take over the sealing rights and annual quotas for this seal resource until rights end in 2019. Paying govt upfront for the full levies on each seal in the quota that govt derives its revenue from. Legislated at N$2 Namibian dollars (.25 US cents) a seal pup and N$6 Namibian dollars (.75 US cents) per bull for the full quota.
This would amount to N$170 000 Namibian dollars for the 85 000 pups and N$36 000 Namibian dollars for the 6000 bulls each season. These annual quota levies which amounts to $25 000 USD dollars per year, to be guaranteed until Sealing Rights end in 2019. In addition, as govt has repeatedly stated, that the cull is a necessity under the constitution as it creates jobs for the unskilled and unemployed 97 workers in the industry. To offer to re-train, re-skill and offer these seal-clubbers full time employment in their new position, year round as "Seal Protectors and Seal Colony Monitors", whose jobs would be to protect the seal colonies from disturbance from the sealing industry and increasing tourism. Whose jobs costing N$ 2 million Namibian dollars ($230 000 US dollars) a year, to be equally guarantied for ten years, until 2019.
Seal Alert-SA suggests WSPA offers the govt to put $2 million US dollars in a trust to guarantee govt levies on quota and the cover workers salaries for 10 years, until 2019, and match any and all benefits that the sealing industry offers its workers, if any. Seal Alert then through its supporters will assist WSPA and HSI to fund the annual levies and 'seal protectors' salaries, totaling $230 000 US dollars through online pledges and donations.
Its a $260 000 US dollars a year deal until 2019, which a surety of $2 million dollars sitting in a Namibian npo trust.
Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula shoved the Namibian Constitution Booklet repeatedly in my face, which he co-wrote, stating I must find a solution within the constitution. Well, PM this is it, "the constitution of Namibia allows for the sustainable utilization of the living natural resources (seals), slide 2, confirms your policy of either consumptive (culling) or non-consumptive". The offer from either the back-door or front-door is in line with the constitution's non-consumptive approach to seals. Nowhere does the constitution state govt must harvest or kill seals.
govt presentation to Seal Alert in 2007
Can govt legally accept the 'front-door' offer ? Marine Resource Act of 2000, states, "The Minister whenever he is of the opinion that it is in the interest of the promotion, protection or utilization on a sustainable basis of a particular resource, at any time, suspend, cancel or ..... of such rights, quota or license".
Can Seal Alert-SA succeeded with the 'back-door' offer ? Marine Resources Act of 2000, states, "No right may be transferred to another person except with the approval of the Minister, but such approval may only be granted if the quota connected with the right is also transferred to the same person".
If the Namibian Sealing Industry cannot deliver on their offer of $14 million buyout to end sealing with the Minister's consent, I will have to look at extortion and attempted fraud charges.
Namibian sealing industry has sealing rights until 2019 to kill a million seal pups, their offer to Seal Alert is 14 Million US dollars in a buyout..
This would be in line with the policy of the department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism sign-board at the entrance to the Cape Cross Sealing colony, where it urges, "people to help protect the seal colony".
Fisheries officials comments that clubbing nursing seal pups is a necessity to manage the seal population to protect fisheries is non-nonsensical and once again idiotic. As the cull exempts breeding cows and all ages of fish eating seals, as no market exists for its skins or products. Equally, South Africa has proven nature more than effectively manages the seal population, which has seen no increase in its seal population after stopping its commercial cull in 1990.
Pups washing off rocks and drowning, jackals predation on mainland colonies, and shark predation at sea and around island seal colonies, together with several mass die-off incidents since 1994, is all nature's way of controlling the population without the need for human intervention.
As an already UN listed endangered species since 1977, with 23 former island colonies extinct. Govt should take the offer to protect and not club.
The non-consumptive solution.
Seal Alert urges all supporters to keep sending in pledges, and no donations please, this fight is a long way from being over.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release 25 June 2009
Seal Alert-SA in Talks to Buy-out Namibian Sealing Industry,
end the Seal Cull and Save Cape fur seal Species
Namibian sealers getting ready to club seal pups on 1 July 2009
Days before the world's largest seal cull is about to begin on 1 July. Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA receives offer from Namibia's last seal skin buyer, Hatem Yavuz to purchase Namibia's sealing industry lock, stock and barrel.
Talks are underway, and Seal Alert-SA plans to after ending the seal cull in Namibia, turn the sealing factories into Seal Museum's for tourists, any revenue obtained to go towards scientific research on Cape fur seals to assist Namibian government further its protection of this species. I have asked for the seal cull to be halted whilst discussions and agreements are being finalized.
Thereafter I will turn my attention to returning seals to extinct former seal islands and assist Namibia where ever possible to protect this species.
Seal Alert-SA also publicly appealing for any financial partners to come forward to help to make this a reality.
Its right for Namibia, the Namibian Sealers, the fur buyer and the Cape fur seals - and the world will be pleased.
South Africa stopped its seal cull in 1990, and with this development the commercial culling of this species will be for the history books, ending 500 years of cruelty.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
Subject: Re: Seal Alert-SA - Why Namibia's Seal Pup Cull is the Cruellest, and must be Stopped
Date: June 23, 2009
Thanks Antifursociety and all for this tremendous help, including Phil Wollen for his initial support on this - Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
We are now joining Seal Alert in South Africa
against the brutal killing of baby seals in Namibia
SEND AN EMAIL TO STOP NAMIBIA BABY SEAL SLAUGHTER:
If this link is not working, please send the letter mannually.
Dear Hatem Yavuz of Australia,
As a Namibian Cape fur seal buyer you have recently hit the press, but not in a way you ought to be proud of as you have now become the primary supporter of one of the most cruel and violent trade: Namibia's Cape Fur Seal skins. Since the Canada lost its seal trade in Europe because of the EU's seal trade ban, Namibia has now become the largest seal hunter in the world, claiming notoriety as the world seal pups killer. Whether you like it or not, you as the primary buyer is directly responsible for the continuation of the brutal killings of seal pups. If there is any doubt in your mind as to the exact cruelty involved in the killing of these infant animals, A report was compiled after extensive research done by the European Food Safety Authority and outlines welfare issues surrounding the killing of seal which concluded that the killings are unnecessarily cruel and unacceptable.
The skins are sold to you at very low prices, and the seal clubbers receive derisive wages, and are even forced to live in cardboards. You not only are being responsible for the cruel killings of seal pups, but are also contributing with labor exploitation. If you do not care for the welfare of the animals, you could at least consider the workers welfare. These seasonal workers are poor - not immune to emotions, and certainly the brutal killings will affect them psychologically. All the while those who profit from their trauma sit in luxury getting their hands dirty only by the immoral background of their income.
Footage of these dwellings is available here http://www.ecoeye.org/ecoeye/Film%20database/CF593352-3B8E-49EB-9029-C9D60D2A3A6A.html
Apart from the inhumane aspects of the brutal killings, the annual seal cull lasts for 139 days in Namibia, and it immensely disturbs the seal breeding behaviour in the colonies, causing them to collapse. This in turn destroys the seal viewing ecotourism. If the toursim industry is given a chance to grow, the then former seal-clubbers will be absorbed with permanent touristic jobs. You are currently receiving a lot of bad publicity, and it will not go away until you have reconsidered and pulled yourself out of such a bloody and cruel business. You are a very intelligent and ingenious man, and certainly can find other sources to continue acquiring wealth without getting yourself inside of such a despicable world: The bloody fur trade.
PLEASE HELP STOP THE BLOODY SEAL PUP SKIN TRADE!
----- Original Message -----
From: Seal Alert-SA
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3:41 PM
Subject: Seal Alert-SA - Why Namibia's Seal Pup Cull is the Cruellest, and must be Stopped
Seal Alert-SA Media Release, 24 June 2009
Why Namibia's Seal Pup Cull is the Cruellest, and must be
Namibia's seal cull a threat to the survival of the species
Like the US and
EU Seal product import bans have stated, clubbing to
death of any wild seal species in the wild is cruel and
inhumane. Many equally feel the larger the number of seals
clubbed to death the greater the obvious
The recent EU all seal species import product ban looked primarily at the point of killing. Had the EU examined each species more deeply, it would have found Namibia's seal pup cull the cruellest on earth.
There is a distinct difference between the Canadian Seal Hunt and the Namibian Seal Cull. A cull by definition seeks to destroy a seal population by reducing it. A hunt on the otherhand is more selective and driven by commercial exploitation. A cull therefore effects the species, whereas a hunt, the individual animal.
The Cape fur seals are listed as an endangered species by the United Nations - Convention in Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to which 173 countries are signatory to, whereas the harp seals are not considered endangered.
Namibia's seal cull starts on 1 July 2009, and involves 85 000 pups and 6000 bulls.
Approximately 5,5 million Harp seals, a true seal species, which spends most of its life at sea, like a fish, are found living in the arctic waters. In March, 1,4 million harp seal cows migrate south to the recently formed ice floes, to give birth. The ice floes off Canada then become a seal pup nursery and not a year round breeding seal colony . Where 1,4 million cows give birth to 1,4 million pups. Canadian DFO then awards a sealing quota of 320 000. Approximately 23 percent of the pups born. Sealers then have to wait, until most of the pups have been weaned and there is about a 3 percent mortality within this period. Weaning takes place after the seal pup is born, it suckles on its mother, for 21 days trebling its weight to 40kg, and is then abandoned by the cow and left to complete its moult, living off its own fat reserves and learning to leave the ice to hunt before migrating north. It is at this point, that sealers are then permitted to go out and hunt the seal pups. As these seal pups are spread out over a vast distance on shifting ice floes, sealers use boats to reach the pups. If the pup is disturbed by the sealing activity and escapes it can survive, as it does not need to return to the ice floe and is weaned. According to DFO, sealers can club or shoot the pups. 10 percent of the pups are clubbed and the remaining 90 percent is shot, as it appears, the seal pups are killed easier via shooting each pup on an ice floe, from a distance. The hunt or the quota is divided into two sections or two different hunts. The first hunt is normally over within three weeks, occurs in the Gulf of St Lawrence and involves mostly pups. After this, the balance of the quota, which can be substantial is applied to harp seals of all age groups, and the hunt takes place further north in the Front, as it is by then, that all the seal pups have left the ice floes and migrated north. The hunt therefore effects the 1,4 million pups for 3 weeks after weaning, and not the 5,5 million harp seals as a species.
The sealing countries of Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway agreed that killing the nursing seal pups until weaned, to be cruel, and banned the practice in their sealing regulations in 1987.
The Cape fur seals of Namibia, are an entirely different seal species. Fur seals, are less evolved than true seals like the Harp seal. What this means is that Cape fur seals require a permanent seal colony on land, all year round, to give birth, to mate, to rest, to moult and to raise their pups over the next 12 months. And, from which they can go out and hunt each day, before returning to the colony. Their preferred breeding colonies are therefore the 11 offshore islands in Namibia, but due to intense sealing in the past, seals were forced to flee and migrate away from these island colonies. It is this very fact, which makes the Namibian seal cull so cruel, as sealing effects the entire seal population in the colony via massive disturbance for 139 days of each year. The result of this annual disturbance, forces the seal population to continually flee their established seal colonies to find new safer, undisturbed seal colonies. In 2006, 97 percent of the seals former colonies on islands remained extinct, and instead seals had colonized 26 breeding colonies along Namibia's 1650km desert coastline, and on three of these colonies, 60 percent of the seal pups were born. The three mainland colonies of Wolf, Atlas and Cape Cross produced 120 000 seal pups collectively born in December.
Unlike the Harp seal pups who get weaned after 21 days, the Cape fur seal pups will suckle from their mothers for the next 12 months, before weaning. Bonding between cow and her pup is therefore intense. Cows nurse their pups for 2 days, and then leave the vulnerable unattended pup for 5 days to hunt continuing this cycle throughout the year. The 120 000 seal pups are then subjected to unnatural predation from jackals, where 1 in 4 pups are killed and torn to pieces by Jackals living on the mainland. According to Namibian scientists, 44% of the pups born, will during the course of the next several months, before sealing starts on 1 July, die from either jackal predation, starvation or abandonment. The 67 000 surviving seal pups, who weigh less than 15 kg, of the original 120 000, all still nursing, unable to hunt or eat solids, still reliant upon nursing, together with the cows, and the whole seal colony of all age groups, are then subjected to Namibia's annual sealing quota of 85 000 pups and 6000 bulls.
Unlike the Canadian seal hunt where 23% of the pups are effected. Namibia's seal pup quota of 85 000, actually exceeds by 18 000, the number of pups still alive by 1 July and therefore kills all surviving seal pups in the colony.
For the next 139 days, sealers will invade the entire seal colony, and forcibly round up and herd together pups and cows. Disturbing the entire seal colony each day. A seal colony, which primarily uses the night-time to forage and the day-light to warm up, regain strength and rest. Most seals, particularly cows are returning from hunting, when sealers arrive. Whilst the entire colony is forced to flee the sealers each morning between 5am and 9am, escaping towards the sea. Giving many returning seals from a hunt, no rest. The cows and their pups, will be forced away from the safety of the seal colony, and prevented from escaping into the sea, by being driven in-land and held in terrified groups. Where numerous seal pups die in shock, or from heat or suffocation trapped under the terrified herd. Approximately 25 seal clubbers then attempt to club the seal pups with their escaping mothers, to reach their 85 000 seal pup quota.
Due to the massive disturbance to the whole seal colony, sealers are only able to kill 500 - 1000 seal pups, before the entire seal colony has fled and escaped into the sea. At this moment many seals of all age groups permanently abandon the colony, and attempt to find a safer colony elsewhere. Cows abandon many of their pups, who even if they escaped have therefore lost their natal colony, are unable to return, or to hunt or catch their own fish, slowly over the coming weeks move along the coastline dying from starvation. The beaches become littered with dead pups.
The next day, the sealers arrive, and the whole process is repeated. It continues in this way, until either the 85 000 pup quota is reached or the entire colony has permanently fled or collapsed.
So regardless of the cruelty associated in the "kill zone", the very presence of sealers in the breeding seal colony for 139 days causes immense side-effects to the health and conservation of the colony, and has numerous by-product cruelty related issues. As the quota involves 60 percent of the breeding population, the species as well.
Unlike the northern hemisphere sealing countries, which ban killing a nursing seal pup and allows seal pups after weaning to be shot. Namibian sealing regulations require that sealers may only club the seal pups. No shooting of pups is allowed.
So whereas Canada's 320 000 sealing quota, will involve 10 percent or 32 000 pups being clubbed, Namibia will club all the surviving 67 000 pups in an attempt to reach the 85 000 pup quota.
In addition, sealers are given a quota to shoot 6000 bulls for their genitals, and an unknown number of permits is given to trophy hunters to shoot bulls seal with rifles or bow & arrows, for sport or trophies. In addition, 100 000 tourists are permitted to visit these sealing colonies after the clubbing has ended each morning, when the seal colony is then opened to paying tourists at 10am.
It is for these reasons, that the Namibian seal hunt is the cruelest in the world, and on 1 July 2009, will become the world's largest, as Canadian sealers this year killed 60 000.
It is time international efforts are brought severely down on Namibia and its two sealing rights holders.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 17 June 2009,
13 days to go to the world's largest seal slaughter on earth
Namibian State Owned Govt Newspaper Hides US & EU Seal
Product Import Ban
& Australian Last Seal Skin Buyer Connection
& The Millions Seal Watching Has Generated For Namibian Govt
To Continue Largest Seal Slaughter On Earth
Tourist Fur Seal Viewing Revenue Generating Millions for Governments
To the best of my knowledge, not a single mainstream
newspaper or TV program in Namibia has reported on the EU
Seal Product Import ban vote in May 2009, although the EU
is Namibia's largest trading and tourism partner.
In the past week, state owned New Era newspaper, days before the world's largest seal cull of baby seal pups is to begin on Namibia's beaches, it publishes three misleading articles by the same reporter, this first claims, "Namibian Seal Products Feature in Turkey - by Desie Heita", claiming Namibian seal pup skins makes the best fur jackets and sales are booming, completely concealing that exports to the EU are being routed through Turkey who is not an EU member, to avoid the EU Seal import ban. Its second article, "Seal Fur An Investor’s Gold Mine - by Desie Heita", once again ignores US and EU Seal import bans, and purports to suggest huge profits can be made by investors in Seal fur, as Namibian seal skin fur jackets sells for 100 000 Euros and that by doing so it will help impoverished poor Namibians. Yet, foolishly ignores that even the prices quoted in Euros is banned. Citing an Australian fur trader sales claims, completely ignoring that this fur buyer, actually stopped buying Namibian seal skins in 2008, and has no plans to re-order as the market is dead or that he was the sole seal skin buyer in 2008.
What the Namibian government state owned newspaper is desperately trying to indirectly advertise is for a seal skin buyer to come forward, as Namibia has no buyers for its 2009 sealing season, the largest seal hunt in the world.
New Era newspaper's third article, "Animal Activists Threaten Anti-Seal Hunting Demos - by Desie Heit", http://www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=4967, even after requesting details from Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA in her email, and then given all the facts regarding the EU Seal import product ban, and that the Namibian seal clubbers are so poor they are living in cardboard shacks earning peanuts from sealing, or that the Australian fur buyer, Namibia's last buyer of seal skins, has stated he has stopped buying seal skins from Namibia, the reporter still continues to conceal to her Namibian readers, the citizens that voted the current government into power, about the EU Seal product import ban.
Is this how state run and owned newspapers in Namibia objectively inform their citizens, for I quote from their website, "As one of the leading national news and information institutions, New Era Publication Corporation, a wholly-owned publishing house of the Government of the Republic of Namibia, is committed to providing an objective and factual information service to various readership groups, within its authorising environment. The Corporation, established in terms of the New Era Publication Corporation Act, No1 of 1992, publishes a newspaper titled New Era, that contains well-researched and in-depth news and feature articles on political, socio-economic, cultural, governmental and developmental issues of national, regional and international significance".
As per the above, is this state owned newspaper upholding its own mission statement, the reading of it's vision statement is even worse in context, "We see all Namibians having access to the information they require to enable them to take individual and collective responsibility and decisions to be able to participate in an open democratic society at socio-political, cultural and economic levels".
So hiding a major EU developed that voted overwhelming 550 - 49, that specifically listed the Namibian Seal Hunt as the second largest in the world to ban all Namibian Cape fur seal product imports due to the cruelty involved in herding and clubbing these wild endangered seals, is an "open democratic society", according to the state owned New Era newspaper?
So deep and distorted is this Namibian government concealment of the true issues surrounding the world's largest seal cull, that and I quote, "In 2007, Hugo was accorded the opportunity to present his case before Prime Minister Nahas Angula as well as with the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources. Government has since asked for the animal movement to present an alternative method of culling seals, rather than clubbing", that it even goes right up to the highest office and directly to the Prime Minister of Namibia himself.
As per the chart above, the Prime Minister of Namibia was fully informed of the alternative to seal culling in my meeting with him in 2007, that being, the very lucrative, growing, sustainable job creation industry obtained by tourists paying to view fur seals. With over 1,3 million tourist paying to view fur seals in the southern hemisphere in the wild, Cape fur seal viewing comes out tops, with over 400 000 tourists. Generating directly for governments 12,5 million US dollars or in the case of Cape fur seals in Namibia and South Africa, 5,1 million US dollars or over 40 million Namibian dollars. Which is 8-times the revenue generated by Namibia's sealing industry, of which government only gets 206 000 Namibian dollars in revenue from the sealers.
The scientific comment in this publication states further, and I quote, "In this estimate of the value of this seal focused tourism industry in the southern hemisphere, we present only ticket payments to tour operators or governments. Commonly when estimating the value of a particular tourist enterprise, researchers incorporate a multiplier of 10 to 20 times gate takings, to account for additional purchases, food, transport and accommodation. We do not attempt this here, as we believe the standard figures will be the most useful in monitoring future trends".
So in fact, based on this scientific comment, Cape fur seals via eco-tourism generates in fact, 400 million to 800 million Namibian dollars for the governments of Namibia and South Africa - whereas the world's largest seal cull generates just 5 million Namibian dollars, and this is with a 150% increase by Namibia's last seal skin buyer, whilst the Namibian government only receives 206 000 Namibian dollars in revenue from the sealing industry itself..
How much of a threat is commercial seal culling to this 400 - 800 million dollar seal eco-tourism and job creating industry and this endangered species themselves. All seal colonies originated from offshore islands, where all sealing operations equally took place. Sealing exterminated these colonies, causing 98% of this seal habitat to go permanently extinct. Sealing no longer takes place on the islands, sealing has now moved to the mainland, to which the remaining seal herd's fled.
The largest offshore seal colony in South Africa, is an island known as Seal Island in False Bay, where 60 000 seals live. It is 2 ha in size, or 100 metres by 200 metres. In Namibia, there is also a small island called Seal Island in Luderitz Bay, its extinct, but at 44 ha, it is 22 times larger than the Seal Island in South Africa. Which means it historically could have accommodated 22 times the 60 000 seals living on the 2 ha island in South Africa. This would imply, that 1,3 million seals used to live on this one island, called Seal Island in Namibia.
Namibia's current seal population, its total seal population along a coastline stretching 1650 km, which according to the Namibian government numbers 850 000 seals, could all fit on this one single and very small island off the Namibian desert coast. The size of this former Seal Island, 500 metres by 800 metres.
Namibia on 1 July 2009, will commence the world's largest seal cull, of a seal population that has effectively been ecologically reduced to the size of just 500 metres by 800 metres.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release, 16 June 2009,
Australian 'Gold Mine' Connection To Namibia's 'Bogus'
Cardboard shacks of Namibia's 120 unemployed,
poor and destitute Baby Seal Clubbers
Over the years I have become accustomed to Namibian
Ministry of Fisheries officials at the highest level
officially supplying 'bogus' statements and data to prop up
and support this cruel baby seal bashing industry that
should have ended in 1972 when the US banned Cape fur seal
product imports from South Africa and Namibia. Instead,
millions of baby seal pups have continued to be slaughtered
in a clear extermination plan of this endangered seal
species. A seal species found nowhere else on earth and
effectively reduced to the size of 500 metres by 800
One of the most glaring, is the claim that Cape Cross seal colony in 2007, Namibia's largest seal colony and largest tourist attraction, which attracts 100 000 international visitors each year, earning for the Namibian government who sells the visitor's viewing permits, earning over 4 million Namibian dollars in ticket sales alone as opposed to the 206 000 Namibian dollars derived from the sealing industry, recorded its highest number of pups born, and could therefore support the largest seal pup culling quota on record of 85 000. To then become the largest seal cull in the world. For Seal Alert-SA to then discover after my meeting with the Namibian Prime Minister, that flying over the seal colony, just 40 days into the 139 day sealing season, the seal colony was completely deserted with tourists filmed standing where the seal colony once was.
Although the Namibia relies heavily on foreign aid and investment from the EU, its largest tourism partner. The recent 27 country EU, 550 - 49 parliamentary vote in May 2009 to ban all Namibian Cape fur seals product imports due to its cruelty, was ignored in general by Namibian media.
Days before Namibia, the least populated country on earth is about to start the largest Seal Cull in the world on 1 July 2009, whose seal products are banned in 31 countries, including the US and EU . The state owned New Era newspaper releases an article, "Namibian Seal Products Feature in Turkey - by Desie Heita"
claiming "Namibian seal products that are processed in Turkey and turned into the best and most pricey fur jackets". The article attempts to claim that one fur seal skin buyer, Hatem Yavuz whose business logo on his website reads, "skins are our business" is doing a roaring trade with Namibian sealers. Claiming further trade with Turkey over the past 6 years exceeds 1 billion Namibian dollars.
Clearly the purchases and exports to Turkey, who is not a member of the EU, is in fact an excuse to side-step the EU Seal Product import ban. Is this legal smuggling ?
Hatem Yavuz's email to Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA, the organization leading the international campaign to end Namibia's Seal Cull, reads differently, 10th June 2009, "I have already stopped the purchase of Namibian seals which were supplied by Norway and Canadian co since December 08, due to the economic fallout we have in general stopped furs, I don't understand why the fuss. I am not the one buying the raw skin". In another email dated 8th June 2009, it reads, "However we purchased for 3 years dressed seals that was offered to us from Canada,Norway,Greenland and Namibia itself. The current eco crisis has led us to halt buying many fur products". In another email dated 10th June 2009, "Do you have a contact number.....for a short talk". In this short 1 hour talk from Australia, Hatem Yavuz claimed to have started purchasing Namibian seal skins in 2006. CITES (Convention In Trade of Endangered Species) trade database confirms that Hatem Yavuz's purchased 48% of Namibia's seal skin exports in 2006, this rose to 60% in 2007, and then as per his telcomm conversation, he was the only Namibian seal skin buyer willing to purchase Namibian seal skins in 2008, and purchased 23 000 seal skins, as this is all the Namibian sealers had managed to harvest on a seal pup quota of 85 000. Confirming his email above, that he has stopped purchasing Namibian seal skins, as he still has some 20 000 skins in stock, although commenting that he has been contacted by both Namibian sealers and government and urged to place orders for 2009 season, which he has declined.
A week later, the same reporter and newspaper releases another article on 15th June 2009, "Seal Fur An Investor’s Gold Mine - by Desie Heita"
In this article a number of 'bogus' statements are made and Seal Alert-SA would therefore like to set the record straight.
Although the article was published on the 15th June 2009, and I quote, "Meanwhile, the recent publicity on the group has also attracted the attention of Seal Alert South Africa, an animal activist movement based in South Africa that seeks to end the hunting of seals in Namibia", Seal Alert-SA only received an email from this reporter after the article on the same day, it reads, "Dear Mr Hugo, My name is Desie Heita a reporter with New Era newspaper. If you could kindly respond to my questions below: -Is it true that Seal Alert SA has threatened massive boycotts and demonstrations against Yavuz Group to stop the buying of Namibian seal fur? -Could you elaborate on this? ". If this reporter knew I was involved, as the article reads, why did she not objectively seek comment prior to publication?
"Puppy seals pose the cutest animals in pictures, and it is no wonder animal activists often prefer to use puppy seal pictures in anti-fur campaigns. They strike some sort of endearing pose that ignites human compassion similar to that of pets". The simple fact, is Namibia's sealing quota of 91 000 seals, consists of a baby seal pup quota that accounts for 85 000 or 90% of the quota. This method of clubbing baby seals has been banned throughout the world, except Namibia. Seal Alert-SA has never used "cute puppy pictures in the media", all our front page footage shows a baby seal pup vomiting up white mother's milk in shock when beaten to death.
"Established in 1975 the Yavuz Group of companies has been dealing in raw skins, wool and furs since its establishment in 1975. It is based in Australia and has establishments in Turkey, Russia and South Africa." Hatem Yavuz's own telcomm contradicts this somewhat, in which he claims he only started purchasing Namibian seal skins in 2006.
"For Namibian seal harvesters, dead seals earn them attractive foreign earnings. The Yavuz Group, which imports sealskins from Namibia, cites foreign earnings as one of the benefits of its engagement in the Namibian seal harvesting industry." The articles goes on to say, "Up until our involvement, Namibian seal harvesters received scanty payments for their products. We increased the prices of Namibian seal skins by 150 percent, because of the quality of skins,” says the group director Hatem Yavuz." Is the "quality of the skins" referred to, due to the fact, that sealing regulations require all sealers to club to death all the seal pups as the only method allowed, to ensure the quality of the skin ? It has already been established that Hatem Yavuz only started buying in 2006, during my meeting with the Ministry of Fisheries in 2007, it was stated that Namibian sealers revenue on the 91 000 sealing quota, where it was further claimed, 83 071 seals were harvested, was 5 million Namibian dollars (450 000 Euros). If we then subtract Hatem Yavuz's 150 percent, prior to 2006, Namibian sealers were earning 24 Namibian dollars for each dead seal prior to Yavuz's involvement or just 2 Euros.
Hatem Yavuz's then 150 percent claimed increase due to the quality of the skins, in reality, turns a dead endangered seal pup skin, into a 5 euro skin over the last 3 years, hardly a massive improvement, considering harp seal skins in Canada fell from USD $100 to just $14, but as Namibia's sole seal skin buyer, one has to wonder how long he will continue to offer this now that he has the world market control over Namibian fur seal skins. Already he has confirmed he is no longer buying Namibian seal skins.
The article goes on to say, "Prices for the fur jacket range from 5,000 Euro and depending on the quality and the make, the jacket could carry double-digit price figures of just below the 100,000 Euro mark". Namibian Ministry of Fisheries, official Seals Press Release in 2007, refute these claims, and I quote, "Seal harvesting is an economic activity and can not be done away with. Sealing industry in Namibia sustain about 140 direct jobs of the unemployed, poor and destitute. It is our obligation to ensure that they have a future. Seal Alert-SA is encouraged to meet them and witness how the sealing industry has added value to their lives".
This is further contradicted, in the article. on 13th May 2009, in which, "Namibia to Continue Culling Seals, Says EU Decision ‘Emotional’" with the Minister of Fisheries stating, The EU is not a market of note for us,” Iyambo said in Windhoek, the country’s capital. “It was just an emotional decision". One has to therefore question why New Era's article quotes the prices for Namibian fur seal skin jackets selling for between 5000 and 100 000, in Euros. When knowingly the 27 countries of the EU, has in fact banned the import of all Namibian seal products, including skins, meat and oil ?
Additionally, Seal Alert-SA did in fact meet with the sealers in 2007. It found the Namibian seal clubbers living in cardboard shacks in the desert, no roads, running water, sanitary or electricity (see pic above and video tape on
So who benefits from the 100 000 Euros each Namibian fur seal jacket earns, Hatem Yavuz living in Australia or Namibian sealers ? By Namibian Ministry of Fisheries own words, after 17 years of seal harvesting, the "140 sealers remain unemployed, poor and destitute", and only employed part-time. How much of the 5 Euros for each beaten to death clubbed seal pup, do the Namibian sealers in Namibia actually receive or does the bulk of the 5 million Namibian dollars the sealing industry earned from beating to death 91 000 endangered seals go straight into the pockets of two white controlling sealing rights holders, that have other business interests.
The article continues, "We are now receiving calls from interested investors asking all sorts of questions regarding investment opportunities. For us it has given us leverage to enter into other businesses in Namibia. We are looking at entering food processing and production as well as mining in Namibia. These would be set up in the country,” says Yavuz".
Seal Alert-SA draws a word of caution. Naturally from such lucrative 5 euro investments, exploitive profit investors would be asking questions, but is that task of the Prime Minister of Namibia to exploit his country's living endangered seals, by making them dead fur jackets for peanuts, but also his fellow Namibian citizens, who elected him to office, so that one individual living in Australia can profit huge sums for his personal private gain. I thought independence meant freeing Namibian's from this type of exploitation, it is just a pity, the Namibian seal clubbers do not get or read their own local newspapers, and see how their work earns 100 000 Euros, whilst they live in cardboard shacks in the desert and earn peanuts.
Its no wonder Namibia remains a third world banana republic of independence. Whilst Cape fur seals annually generate sustainable, proper work and income, that sees, over 500 000 visitors paying 50 million Namibian dollars for the simply pleasure of viewing this natural wildlife species found nowhere else on earth get exterminated from the earth.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
Seal Alert-SA, Media Release 15 June 2009.
15 days to go to the largest Seal Hunt in the World, now taking place in Namibia.
Following EU Seal Product Import Ban,
Buyer's of Fur Skins from the World's Largest Seal Hunt, can't be Found
85 000 endangered mother's milk drinking baby Cape fur seals
clubbed and stabbed to death on Namibia's coastline, starting 1 July
Hatem Yavuz Group, "Skins are our business" Namibia's last seal skin buyer
: On 1 July
2009, the least populated country on earth along the oldest
desert in the world, who maintains it's constitution allows
it conduct the largest cull of wildlife on the African
continent - will become the world's largest seal hunt in
the world and yet had only one buyer for skins in 2008, and
cannot find a buyer for the 2009 season.
So small has Namibia's seal population been reduced to ecologically by commercial sealing, its entire seal population could fit on one small 44 ha island (an area measuring 500 m x 800m), along a coastline of over 1600 km, already 98% of seals former colonies on islands have been exterminated and today remain extinct. In comparison, South Africa's largest offshore seal colonies sits on only 2 ha, and has 60 000 seals on it.
Namibia's total seal population which could fit in an area measuring 500 metres by 800 metres, is considered such a threat to Namibia's industrial fisheries, that all it's seal babies born each year must be exterminated in an annual cull.
Namibian scientists in 2007, confirmed the seal pups in Namibia have suffered an average natural mortality since 1990 of 44% each year, prior to start of sealing season on 1 July, subtracting this from the seal pups born on the sealing colonies, Namibia's seal pup quota exceeds the number of pups alive.
An Australian Company is behind the World's largest and Cruelest Seal cull. Seal Alert-SA has launched an international campaign to expose and pressure Namibia's only remaining seal skin buyer - Hatem Yavuz Group (43 A Ethel St, Seaforth N.S.W, Sydney - AUSTRALIA. Tel +61 (02) 9948 5366, Fax +61 (02) 9948 5377. Owner Hatem Yavuz, email email@example.com, with offices in Turkey, Russia and South Africa, whose head office is in Australia, but does his purchases through Turkey to possibly avoid the EU seal import ban, as Turkey is not a member of the EU. To accept world opinion and that of his own government in Australia, and that of the US and the EU, that has banned Namibian commercial seal culls and their product imports due to the cruelty involved.
Hatem Yavuz's sole purchaser of Namibia's Cape fur seal skins in 2008, makes this Australian company the sole reason for the continued financial viability of Namibia's two sealing company's and their part-time 120 baby seal clubbers conducting the cruelest baby seal cull on earth. Interestingly the Australian fur seals which have not been commercially harvested since 1975, are a sub-species of Cape fur seals.
Hatem Yavuz is the man, effectively behind the last baby seal cull on earth, which is also now the world's largest seal cull and cruelest.
Seal Alert-SA's 2009 campaign "Hate' em Stop Buying Namibian Seal Skins" is asking Hatem Yavuz and his company the Hatem Yavuz Group to issue a public statement accepting the cruelty involved in Namibia's seal cull (As stated by the US and EU governments) and ethically undertaking never to purchase Namibian Cape fur seal skins again, as already seal culling has seen 98% of seal's former colonies on islands, collapse and become extinct, and is currently driving the remaining seal herd's towards extinction on the mainland.
The world market for seal skins, particularly Namibian Cape fur seal skins is dead, but Namibia refuses to announce an end to its cruel seal clubbing policies.
Although Canada used to have the previous distinction, with a sealing quota of 320 000 on a population DFO believes is over 5 million harp seals, Canadian sealers in March this year, slaughtered 60 000 due to pending EU Seal product import ban, collapsed market and a decline in seal skin prices.
On 1 July, Namibia's total seal population on 26 seal colonies, which could all fit on just one island off Namibian desert coastline of just 44 ha in size (which still lies extinct), and whose population is five-times smaller than the Canadian harp seal population, will be subjected to a sealing quota of 85 000 pups and 6000 bulls. The 91 000 Cape fur seals to be slaughtered within a few weeks, mostly baby seal pups, will give Namibia the distinction of, the largest seal hunt on earth.
Although terrestrial wildlife have over 100 million ha of land protected for them in southern Africa, Namibia's seal population as a species, has effectively been reduced to just 500 m by 800m.
Ignoring the United States import ban on Cape fur seals in 1972, due to the cruelty involved in Namibia's current sealing methods or that the world's remaining sealing countries of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia banned the practice in their own sealing regulations in 1987, citing clubbing a nursing seal pup in a breeding colony to be cruel. Namibia prides itself that 90% of its sealing quota is nursing seal pup based, with regulations requiring sealers to beat less than one year old seal pups to death, as the only sealing method, and may not shoot them.
With the Fisheries Minister Abraham Iyambo ignoring his own constitution which prevents a cull of its wildlife, as reducing a wild seal population is unconstitutional and who ignores his country's own Animal Protection Act, which states beating an animal to death is a criminal offence. Equally disregarding that he has increased the seal cull quota, of over 800% from 9000 in 1990, to 85 000 seal pups. When in fact between 1994-2006, overfishing by the same Minister, saw the largest seal die-off from starvation ever recorded over several breeding seasons, effectively reducing Namibia's seal population by half.
Ignoring Russia's President's public statement, "that the seal clubbing is a bloody business, that should have ended long ago", when he announced the end of Russia's Seal Hunting policies or the EU's recent vote of 550-49, in May 2009, for an all seal species, all seal product import ban for all 27 countries of the EU, which specifically listed Cape fur seal hunt in Namibia, as the world's second largest.
Namibian Minister of Fisheries Abraham Iyambo's reaction to the EU Seal Import Ban thereafter was, "Namibia to Continue Culling Seals, Says EU Decision ‘Emotional’", and went on to say, “The EU is not a market of note for us,”.
As Cape fur seals, are listed as an Appendix II endangered species in 1977, by the United Nations - Convention In Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), all exports/imports by the 173 countries, which includes Namibia, which are signatory to the CITES convention, are required to submits permits. These permits of exports/imports can be tracked on CITES database.
In 2000, Namibia doubled its seal pup quota from 30 000 to 60 000, and yet sealers could harvest only 35 000. In 2006, the Minister increased the seal pup quota further by 30%, to 85 000 seal pups, and then acknowledging the seals were suffering the largest mass die-off from starvation every recorded in the world for any marine species, effectively reducing the seal population by half. Namibian sealers found only three buyers, and exported 13 550 skins to Greece, 15 177 to Norway and 17 813 Turkey. In 2007, Namibian sealers could only find buyers in just two countries, Greece 10 056 and Turkey 15 028. Between 2006 and 2007, Namibian seal skin exports declined from 46 540 to 25 084. In 2008, Namibian sealers could only find one buyer in one country, and exported 23 000 seal skins to Hatem Yavuz in Turkey.
One has to question how the Minister of Fisheries can claim sustainable utilization of the seals and issue a sealing pup quota of 85 - 80 000. When the sealers were only able to fill between 52 % - 31% of the quota?
In June this year, just weeks before Namibia's annual seal cull, starting on 1 July, Namibian state owned newspaper NewEra released an article, "Namibian Seal Products Feature in Turkey - by Desie Heita", and claim Namibian sealers were doing a roaring trade with Turkey and the Yavuz group.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA, the organization leading the international campaign to end Namibia's cruel baby seal pup slaughter, after having met with Namibia's Prime Minister in 2007, managed to secure a full 27-country EU seal import ban on all seal products from Namibian sealers within just 2 years, and has now been in email and telcomm communication with Namibia's last Cape fur seal buyer, Hatem Yavuz of the Yavuz group. Hatem Yavuz's hour long phone call from his Head Office in Australia, tells a different story, as does his email dated, 10 June 2009, reads, "I have already stopped the purchase of Namibian seals which were supplied by Norway and Canadian co since December 08, due to the economic fallout we have in general stopped furs, ......... I am not the one buying the raw skins". In his telcomm communication, he confirmed that he last purchased 23 000 Namibian seal skins in December 2008, as this is all the Namibian's sealers were able to harvest, and he was the only buyer prepared to purchase Namibian fur seal skins. He further confirmed Namibian sealers and government have been pushing him to order seal skins for the 2009 season, but as he still has some 20 000 skins left, he is not interested in purchasing skins this year.
In further communication, it appears as if the two sealing company's owners, are not too keen to pursue further seal culling either, as the market is dead, seal numbers are low and they both have other business interests. Sealing is just a side-line business, and are involved only because they have had sealing rights for a long time.
With the recent EU seal import ban in May 2009, due to the cruelty involved, one has to question why Namibia does not announce an end to its sealing policy, as South Africa did on the same endangered seal species in 1990.
Information received, its that Namibia is hell bent on exterminating the seal population in Namibian waters, with the belief, that commercial fisheries will benefit from such extermination. Could somebody please tell Namibia and its Minister of Fisheries, as I have tried, that 90% of it's seal cull which is based on clubbing nursing baby seals, who do not eat solids or fish, but drink mother's milk at the time of culling, and who vomit up white milk in shock, will have no benefit for fisheries - as seal pups do not eat or catch fish. Namibia's seal culling policy actually exempts all "fish eating seals" as no market exists for their coarse seal skins.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA\
* . * . *
On July 1, 2009 - Namibia, will become the largest seal hunt in the world with the slaughter of 91 000 endangered and protected baby Cape fur seals (Larger than Canada, who this past year killed 60 000 seals, even though the quota was 280 000 on a seal population 5-times larger). 90% of Namibia's sealing quota will involve the clubbing to death of baby seals, all still suckling mother's milk.
Seal Alert-SA, media release 7 June 2009
* . * . *
Seal Alert-SA Releases "Touching Seals" DVD to Save Cape Fur Seals in Southern Africa
Dear Cape Fur Seal Supporters,
It has been some time since my last update to you. I wish to thank you for all your support in various campaigns, petitions and funding. In a way to thank you, I have produced a DVD that details the life of the Cape fur seal as a specie, along 3000km of coastline, spanning two oceans and covers my rescue work and campaigns over the past ten years.
Since my meeting with the Prime Minister of Namibia to attempt to persuade him to stop the seal culling in 2007, I have secured Namibia's two largest incoming tourist countries, Netherlands and Germany to introduce a ban on Cape fur seal product imports, and later the whole of the EU. This resulted in not only Cape fur seals, but all 30 species of seals, including the 15 species hunted worldwide involving over 15 million seals, to be included in the EU Seal import ban. An achievement I am most proud of. In addition, I have expanded my existing private seal rescue facilities at Hout Bay harbour and this past season rescued over 60 baby seals pups which required the purchase of over 40 tons of fish to undertake their year long rehabilitation.
Seal Alert-SA Releases "Touching Seals" DVD to Save Cape Fur Seals in Southern Africa
Pic on the DVD cover shows Francois Hugo with just
25 of the more than 60 seal baby pups rescued
July 1, 2009 - Namibia, will become the largest seal
hunt in the world with the slaughter of 91 000
endangered and protected baby Cape fur seals (Larger than
Canada, who this past year killed 60 000 seals, even though
the quota was 280 000 on a seal population 5-times larger).
90% of Namibia's sealing quota will involve the
clubbing to death of baby seals, all still suckling
A process, even stopped by the world's remaining sealing countries of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia in 1987, that found killing a nursing baby seal to be cruel..
This is after the US banned Cape fur seals product imports in 1972 due to it's cruelty factor, and after being listed by the United Nations - Convention in Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) as an appendix II protected species in 1977, to which 173 countries are signatory to, including Namibia, and after South Africa stopped all commercial culling on the same species without any further population increases, adverse ecological impacts or increased commercial fisheries competition in 1990, and after several mass die-off's from starvation of the seals have occurred between 1994 - 2006, and after Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA sat down with the Prime Minister of Namibia in 2007 and 34 stakeholders two weeks later in Namibia, and after sealers completely destroyed and exterminated Namibia's largest seal colony at Cape Cross in 2007, which is also their largest tourist attraction earning over N$4 million, and after, Namibia's two largest incoming tourists countries, the Netherlands and Germany, both introduced a ban on Cape fur seal product imports, later that same year, and finally, after the EU recently voted overwhelmingly 550 - 49 to introduce a ban on all seal products imports in May 2009.
The pup sealing quota, does not take into effect the natural mortality of pups (unnatural predation by Jackals and from starvation), pegged by Namibia's own scientists at 44%, prior to the start of the sealing season. Therefore the sealing quota awarded to two sealing companies exceeds the number of seal pups left alive on seal colonies. Each year, Namibia exterminates the total pups born each year.
Namibian Minister of Fisheries, Abraham Iyambo reply is, "Namibia to Continue Culling Seals, Says EU Decision 'Emotional' " on the 13 May 2009.
Even though Namibia's own constitution prevents it from commercially culling wildlife, as by definition a seal cull, reduces a seal population, and its Animal Protection Act, finds beating an animal to death a criminal offence.
So what do you do with a country, that is the least populated country on earth, ignores world opinion, scientific or governmental, who exports all it's seal products, as Namibian's have no use for fur skins in a desert, which only creates employment for 120 part-time seal clubbers, which is guilty of cruelly carrying out the largest slaughter of baby fur seals along the oldest desert in the world, becoming in the process, the largest slaughter of wildlife on the African continent. Whilst it ignores the plea's of it's biggest employer, the De Beers Diamond corporation to cease seal culling ?
A country, that has already through its seal culling policy, caused the extermination and permanent extinction of 98% of seals original habitat on offshore islands and is hell bent on driving the entire species 2000km north into extinction, by forcing fur seals to live in climates equal to the tropical Seychelles, in now very warm Angola.
A country who intentionally bans seals from their natural habitat islands, to force them to breed on the mainland in order to club and cull them to death.
You produce a DVD that graphically shows what mankind has and is doing to a seal species found nowhere else on earth, and the only seal species breeding on the African continent, and you show what the life of a Cape fur seal is, colony by seal colony, along 3000 km of coastline spanning two oceans, whilst one individual, Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA, tries equally to save and rescue the species, and at the same time the lives of over 5000 seals over the past 10 years, to prevent this ecological species extermination.
Namibia claims its motive for culling seals is based on the consumption of fish seals eat, yet 90% of the sealing quota, is baby seal pup based, where the regulations require sealers to only club to death < 1 year old seal pups. These baby seals, all of which are too young to consume solids or eat fish, and who all vomit up mother's milk in shock when clubbed. In fact, all the fish eating seals of all other age groups are exempt from the clubbing. It is therefore illogical Namibia's claim it is culling seals to protect fish stocks, particularly as Namibia exports 99% of its commercial fisheries to Europe.
The aim of the DVD is to educate and inform each potential tourist considering visiting Namibia, South Africa or Angola, to make an informed decision before visiting, about it's protection of its natural living wildlife, and in particular Cape fur seals.
Recently I appeared alongside US president Barrack Obama in a leading Japanese environmental magazine, in which it was claimed, Francois Hugo and Obama to be amongst the world's emerging leading top 20 environmentalists making changes, among the list is Kevin Rudd Minister Environment of Australia.
You can order the DVD directly from Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA via email firstname.lastname@example.org, the first edition is in English, and later editions will be translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, German, Chinese and Japanese. The retail price which includes postage will be SA Rand 200 or USD $ 25 or Euro 20. Each DVD is separately numbered and personally signed autographed by my wife, Nelda and myself.
Seal Alert-SA Postal Address. SEAL ALERT-SA, BOX 221, POSTNET, HOUT BAY, 7872, SOUTH AFRICA
HEREWITH IS FURTHER DETAILS FOR BANK TRANSFERS:
ZAR is South AfricanRand
More information to be able to send the money via internet:
SEAL ALERT-SA ACC : 911 2201 321
BRANCH CODE : 632 005 (for Europe use this number as the IBAN or BIC code - 632 005)
SWIFT CODE : ABSAZAJJ
BANK : ABSA
SA NAT.CLEARING CODE
BIC: (SWIFT-CODE) ABSAZAJJ
Bank name : ABSA
Address : DELPHI ARCH OFFICE PARK, RAATS DRIVE, TABLE VIEW
City/code : TABLE VIEW, 7439
Country : South Africa
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
* . * . *
Seal Alert-SA Press Release 5 May 2009
FINAL EU VOTE
- MEPs APPROVE SEAL IMPORT BAN
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA with a rescued Cape fur seal pup
Today European Parliament released the following
press release :
On Monday 550 MEPs in the EU, voted in favour of a total import ban on commercial hunting/clubbing of seals of all age groups worldwide and their products. With just 49 MEPs voting against.
The ban will come into effect in 2010.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA writes, "I am particular pleased, no overjoyed at the EU MEPs decision, for although Namibia's cull of baby seals is the only country in world doing so, the EU ban in 1983 of baby harp and hooded seals, which lead to South Africa stopping its seal cull in 1990, did unfortunately, not include a ban on the more endangered CITES Appendix II listed Cape fur seals. The latest legislative process to seek a new ban was initiated by UK MEP Carole Lucas in 2006. Her written declaration for a ban on harp and hooded seal species only, sadly once again did not include Cape fur seals or any of the other 13 species of seal commercially hunted involving over 15 million seals".
Today, all that has changed, Cape fur seals and 30 species of seal, with 15 species hunted, involving over 18 million seals worldwide are now officially banned from import in the 27-country EU, or their products.
In effect, I am please to say, I have single-handedly protected and saved 30 species of seals (all seals) involving over 18 million seals from cruel commercial seal hunts or clubbing.
My only hope, is that the Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula, accepts the cruelty of his country's sealing industry, and announces publicly an end it, and replaces it with the far more lucrative eco-tourism seal-watching. Where already marine scientists have confirmed 400 000 tourists view Cape fur seals, a world leader, and with whom over USD $5 million is generated in ticket sales. 10-times the income generated by Namibia's sealing industry.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
- - - - - - -
Alert-SA, Media Release 2 March 2009
Seal Killing Completely on 1 March,
and EU Parliament Votes
in Favour of a Full Seal Import Ban
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA with his over 70 baby rescued Cape fur seals
Russia has announced that it will completely ban all seal
killing by 1 March 2009. Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin called seal hunting a "bloody industry".
clear that it should have been banned a long time
ago," said Putin at a meeting with
the Minister of Natural Resources. ( en.rian.ru/russia/20090227/120337294.html).
This now makes, Namibia and it's annual clubbing to death of 85 000 nursing baby Cape fur seals (the second largest seal killing hunt in the world) and the shooting of 6000 bulls for their genitals, as the only baby seal clubbing country, left on earth.
How the Fisheries Minister of Namibia, Abraham Iyambo has defied all Animal Protection Laws, dating back to 1962, which clearly state to beat an animal to death is cruel and criminal, and who then de-criminalized these horrific and cruel acts by introducing regulations to commercialize its seal killing industry, forcing its sealers, which impose that they must "club a baby seal under 1 year of age to death", is beyond all logic ?
Why the Namibian criminal prosecution authorities or the Attorney-General's office of Namibia has not stepped in, and has turned a blind eye to these criminal commercial activities since independence, equally is beyond understanding ?
It now remains to be seen whether Namibia's Prime Minister Nahas Angula, with whom I had a meeting with in 2007, to stop the clubbing of seals, will come out as strongly as Russia's Prime Minister and stop this bloody seal killing industry, before it starts again on 1 July.
On 2 March 2009, the EU Parliament voted 25-7, for a full Seal Import Ban of all Seal Products(www.theparliament.com/latestnews/news-article/newsarticle/eu-parliament-backs-seal-products-ban/).
In doing so, they also rejected a proposal of a labeling system.
Namibia's recent announcement on 5 February 2009, that the government of Namibia has taken a bold step to conserve some of the southern Africa nation’s unique natural heritage by establishing the Sperrgebiet National Park. At 2.6 million hectares (more than 10,000 square miles), the new protected area is the largest single protected region proclaimed in Africa in two decades. While this may be all good and true, other attractions in this park are the 80 terrestrial and 38 marine mammal species, including the 600 000 Cape fur seals, representing 50 percent of the world’s seal population. One has to question, how culling and clubbing to death of 91 000 protected and endangered Cape fur seals in this park, fits into this conservation equation ? (www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=2277).
With Namibia as the last baby seal clubbing country on earth, and the second largest seal hunt - the eyes of the world, particularly the EU are fixed firmly on Namibian government, as the least populated country on earth, it may try to hide away, and hope this will all go away, but its policies of protecting endangered wildlife is firmly on the agenda in the EU.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA