From: SealAlert-SA email@example.com
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 07:13:17 +0200
Scroll down for transcript of the Republikein.
The Republikein newspaper in Namibia reported on its front-page yesterday republikein.com.na that according to seal concession holder Gys Cilliers of Seal Products at Cape Cross. The largest nursing pup quota in Namibia's sealing history had ended. "There are simply not any more pups", he remarked.
Since Namibia's independence in 1990, sealers have once again been unable to fill the increasing year on year, "sustainable seal pup" quotas set by government, averaging less than 66% of their annual quota.
Prior to the start of this years sealing season in July, Seal Alert-SA made a desperate public appeal to the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources to stop the hunt, as it noted that the 85 000 pup quota awarded for 2006. Will see a total seal pup genocide cull by the three sealing concessionaires on the two sealing mainland seal colonies.
Knowing that the seal population in 2006 had declined to levels last seen in 1982, after suffering mass die-off's in 1988, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2001. Knowing that the seal population had declined over 50% in the last decade. The cull of seals continued. Knowing that the growth of pups since December had declined from its average of 30 grams/day to 2 grams/day. Knowing that, "This indicates that the majority of pups will not be surviving beyond the post weaning period".
The Minister of Fisheries Abraham Iyambo falsely stated in a media release in July, that "Namibia uses the best scientific advice to sustainably and humanely harvest seals" and that, "The latest scientific information indicates that the seal stock in Namibia is currently in a healthy condition".
According to sealer Gys Cilliers, four months into the seal pup clubbing season is there no more pups to slaughter. Acknowledging, " When we started the harvesting season in July, the seals were already skinny." and that, "Those that were harvested, were small. Sealing season had to be stopped for three days, to allow for the burial of pups, after his sealers found 900 seals dead on the sealing colony of Cape Cross in three days. No sooner had they covered-up the mass death of the pups, "I do believe there are just as many dead seals on the beach again today," said Mr. Cilliers.
Knowing all this, since the 15th July, Sealers, the Minister and the Scientific community continued to allow sealers to go into the two sealing colonies (restricted to the public and where filming is banned) and club their way daily through 600 nursing, starving dying baby seals.
A practice that has been banned throughout the world, including the remaining sealing countries since 1987.
In what must be the most sickest, sadistic and cruellest display of wildlife management in the world.
As Mr Cilliers further confirms sealing activity until November 15, now concentrates on shooting of 6000 bulls for their genitalia. Whilst he confirms, "The bulls are so weak they just lie on the beach", according to Mr. Cilliers. "They are too weak to get up."
Francois Hugo founder of Seal Alert-SA, who is leading the campaign to end the seal hunt, as repeatedly called for the Minister to resign, he is now calling as well for the scientific researchers who advised the Minister to equally resign.
Even the Permanent Secretary Ms Mbako should resign, as she attempted to falsely claim, Namibia's 7th mass die-off from starvation of its endangered seal population since 1988, is as a result of the seal population being over-populated. When she falsely attempted to claim, "Recent scientific research as shown an increase (380 000 pups) of the seal population by more than 73% in the Namibian waters as compared to the 1993 estimates". This statement and fabrication is in direct contradiction of her own Minister's statement in July, which claimed there was only 185 000 pups.
So dishonest have these fisheries officials become, that they have continually laid claim to an over-populated seal population. When historical over 11 million seals were known to exist and the 2006 seal population at "total number of adult seals is estimated at 700 000", is but 6% of their once pristine population levels.
By 1900, sealers had already driven seals to near extinct and 99% of their former breeding habitat still remains extinct. Will the Namibian sealers succeed again?
In the eyes of the Namibian Minister of Fisheries, is any seal population higher than extinction, a seal population deemed "scientifically" over-populated?
See below for transcript of the Republikein.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
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Disaster Rolls Against Seals
Nine hundred seals have been found dead by employees of Seal Products, on the beach between Hentiesbay and Cape Cross, all within three days. Four dead sea turtles as well as one whale have also been found.
Mr. Gys Cilliers of Seal Products confirmed that seal mortality matched that of the 1994 disaster year.
According to him, the harvesting season for pups has ended, but the deaths continue. The dead seals were all emaciated and Mr. Cilliers contributes the mass
deaths to the scarcity of food.
The harvesting season of Seal Products had to be suspended for three days in order for the beaches to be cleaned and for the dead seals to be buried. "I do believe there are just as many seals on the beach again today," said Mr. Cilliers. He again confirmed that the season for pup culling was over.
"There simply are not any more pups. Usually, the pups go out to sea at the end of September. How can these pups survive in the ocean without food?"
Mr. Cilliers also conceded that Seal Products could not meet their quota of 30 000 pups for 2006. Those that were harvested, were small. Even so,
their fur was of a good quality. " When we started the harvesting season in July, the seals were already skinny."
The harvesting of the bulls will continue as a quota of 2 300 were granted to Seal Products. The bulls are so weak they just lie on the beach, according to Mr.
Cilliers. "They are too weak to get up." The end of the Stock-fish season did not bring any change in the condition of the seals he said.
Seal Products investigated the situation north of Cape Cross at Torrabay. The seals of the Torrabay colony are fatter and Cilliers attributes this to more fish in the region. His information states that the seal colony at Pelican Point near Walvisbay has increased in numbers, but that the seals are scant in the Lüderitz area.
Mr. Cilliers said he knows of a comprehensive study that will be done in regards to the seal problem, in December. This is welcomed by Seal Products.