Dear All Cape Fur Seal Supporters,
Starving male and female adult Cape fur seals dying en-mass
Starving dying endangered Cape fur seals need our
international help. Please pass this email on. See The
Namibian Newspaper article, http://www.namibian.com.na/2006/October/national/065188367E.html.
Founder of Seal Alert-SA, Francois Hugo makes a desperate international plea to help save these seals.
Supporters of the two largest conservation organizations have received the following, when asking for these organizations to help.
From International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW-SA) Thank you for your inquiry. IFAW does actively oppose the Namibian Seal Cull. See the following link for more information: http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw/general/default.aspx?oid=173596 .If you have any further questions, please contact us. Sincerely, Laurie Wilson Supporter Relations Manager International Fund for Animal Welfare.
From WWF-SA, Thank you for writing back and following through on your concern. I know that similar events in Norway and Canada have not affected fur seal populations. So, for these 2 countries, we usually suggest the animal cruelty organisations as they really are much better at this type of campaigning and significantly more focussed on these sorts of issues.However, I don't have specific information about the fur seals off the South African coast. So, if you really feel that the numbers are being affected please don't hesitate to write to our staff in the local National offices as they will be most informed about the reality of the situation. It is also the national offices who monitor these types of concerns and make priority decisions about their areas. http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/africa/solutions_by_region/sout
hern_africa/index.cfm .I really hope that this helps but if you are unable to make contact please write back and I will try and help you further. Jackie Janosi
WWF International Online Team.
The Namibian Ministry has been using its Sealing Industry to cover-up is 7th mass die-off of its indigenous and endangered Cape fur seals. Since its independence in 1990, its been increasing its seal cull quota, to hide the evidence of mass seal starvation, in 1990, the sealing quota was 3000. In 2006, the sealing quota is 85 000 (the largest on record).
Faced with either admitting its seals are starving, and with it the evidence, it prefers to adopt a policy of seal culling (clubbing weak and dying nursing pups in birthing grounds) to conceal instead, the dead and dying. To which the European Union has been eager to acquire these baby nursing pelts, since the remaining sealing countries of Canada, Norway, Greenland and Russia banned the practice of slaughter nursing baby seals in 1987.
The Cape fur seal population has declined over 50% in the last decade (and still no international alarm bells ring).
Scientists, government officials and leading conservation organizations on both sides of the border (South Africa and Namibia), are attempting to downplay this 7th mass die-ff as a species over-populated and that is correcting itself every four years.
Seal Alert-SA believes this is an international conservation fraud of the highest criminality. The current seal population is down to its 1982 levels in 2006. Based on average pup densities on existing colonies, the Cape fur seal population in pristine pre-exploited periods, would have numbered in excess of 11 million seals. The highest peak of this population of 324 000 pups or 1.3 million seals in 1993, is a far cry, from being near over-populated. Since this peak, the seals have endured mass die-offs from starvation, in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001 and now in 2006. Where between one half and one third died in each incident.
With over 1000 ha protected for seals on offshore islands, extinction on 99%, clearly points to a seal population in severe trouble.
Although listed as an endangered Appendix II CITES species, CITES continually allows the international trade, even when the Namibian sealers export 117 000 skins on a 60 000 quota in 2000 (another year of mass starvation).
Either we save them, or we lose them. The abuse and cruelty, and inhumanness displayed by all is a travesty. Not even non-endangered, non-indigenous domesticated dogs, would be allowed to starve in their hundreds of thousands, but here in Africa - protected seals can.
Is this what wildlife conservation has become, fraud, cover-ups and blame the weather - shameful. When a species of marine mammal is dying right before our eyes, and instead of offering to help, we further condemn them as over-populated.
Namibia end your sealing policy, now. You have been exposed, for the 7th time.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA