----- Original Message -----
From: Sealalert
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2008 11:35 AM

Subject:
Nothing Survives at Elands Bay Seal Colony, Seal Alert-SA Thanks the SPCA,

Seal Alert-SA Press Release, 8 January 2008

Nothing Survives at Elands Bay Seal Colony, Seal Alert-SA Thanks the SPCA,
for Assisting in Preventing Extinction of this Seal Colony
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from an endangered seal breeding colony to extinction within three months at South Africa's only public accessible un-protected land-based seal colony
 

     Seal Alert-SA refers to the article published in the Cape Times today (see below). Allan Perrins CEO of Cape of Good Hope SPCA and Linda Bredenkamp are to be commended for their constructive public appeal and pro-active stance which calls for this cultural significant breeding seal colony, and the only public accessible colony in South Africa, to receive immediate protection via fencing, sign-boards, security and a properly controlled tourist viewing platform. We do so for the penguins, its high time the state, looks after its seal population properly.

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     For the past eight years, Seal Alert-SA has had to bear witness to man-kind's encroachment on our natural marine environment at the seal colony at Elands Bay. A seal colony that is the oldest known, dating back some 100 000 years. It has witnessed first-hand how a small colony of seals has tried to survive, only to suffer terrible abuse, harassment, shooting, clubbing and forced abandonment of its new-born. We have over the years brought this to MCM's attention and nationally via programs on SABC.
 
    We have also successful rescued a few baby seal pups over the years, but this is not the answer.

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     Each seal breeding season (November - December). This seal colony, each year tries to survive. By each March, three months later, either the entire colony has died, been killed or fled. From constant abuse and harassment from the public. On a breeding colony, seal activity is year round, with new-born babies taking months to learn to swim, suckling constantly until weaned over the next 12 months. They are dependent upon their colony during the entire year. Nothing survives at Elands Bay, after March. Its extinction, is repeated, year after year.

Marine and Coastal Management Derelict,
and guilty of concealing true cause of seal Deaths

   Seal Alert-SA would like to set the record straight. We in no way believe that the SPCA is involved in any conspiracy to conceal the true nature of the seal deaths. We make this very clear. We do believe MCM is guilty of an attempt to conceal the true nature of these seal deaths. Our proof, is that a member of public, previously recovered bullet shell casings next to shot seals, and made a sworn affidavit with police, an inspector from MCM was caught on camera "removing the evidence" of the strangled seal baby. Another inspector has admitted that he knows people come to Elands Bay to shoot and kill seals. Over the years, MCM has not conducted any investigation or clean-up, leaving these seals to rot in the rocks. I have seen and filmed numerous seals shot and seen baby seal skulls crushed in. Clearly indicating they were clubbed or stoned to death. Our evidence relates to 8 years of witnessing this criminal activity.
 
     At any of our other seal colonies, it is prohibited from going onto the seal colony or island. In fact, under the Sea Birds and Seals Protection Act dating back to 1973, it is a criminal offence to disturb, harass, capture or kill a seal. Yet, at Elands Bay there is nothing. Therefore MCM is derelict in its appointed responsibility.
 
     A few kilometres further up the west coast, MCM has a policy which involves employing sharp-shooters to kill seals and beating seals with whips to drive them off a colony at Lambert's Bay. This is publicly well known and promoted by Cape Nature Conservation. This does not send a positive message, and clearly sets a precedent, that others can do similar, and get away with it. Thousands of fishermen shot and kill seals, and none are prosecuted.
 
     Seal Alert-SA therefore demands that Theressa Frantz at Marine and Coastal Management under whom the responsibility of seal management forms, act immediately to address the protection of this seal colony. Placing additional MCM inspectors in the area over November/December is not the answer, as the colony is active year round due to the nature of the nursing of seal pups.
 
    Fully enclosed fencing, with information sign-boards, a properly controlled public-viewing platform is the absolute minimum protection required for this unique seal colony site.
 
    For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
27-21-790 8774