Namibia's largest seal pup cull draws to a close,
as the 7th mass die-off becomes evident.


Seal alert-Sa sasealion@wam.co.za
Date: October 8, 2006

Dear All Cape fur Seal Supporters,

sealrunover
starving Cape fur seal comes ashore only to be run-over

 
      After months of campaigning to end Namibia's largest cull of  85 000 nursing baby seals in nursing and birthing grounds. The species continues to collapse. Since July 1, the sealers have clubbed their way through every living nursing baby seal pup in their desire to fill their export orders for the EU. Sealers are now concentrating their killing spree on shooting 6000 young and old bulls for the far east genitalia trade. Whilst the 2006 sealing season draws to a close on November 15. Seal Alert-SA is once again receiving reports, that a 7th mass die-off has once again taken place since 1988.
 
     Prior to the start of this year's sealing season. The seal population was at 1982 levels. After 91 000 has been slaughter, (with 100% of the new-born pups), one can only imagine what the Namibian seal population has further declined to, with these further reported mass die-off's. The lowest official population figures we have are in 1972. How long before the seal population will declined off the chart, and yet Namibia still claims its seal population is healthy and sealing is sustainable.
 
    Here are just a few of the extracts, Seal Alert-SA has received in recent days.
 
    "My name is Yolanda, we are currently visiting Swakopmunt in Namibia – We went to the beach (Mile 4 –Mile 8) this morning and were shocked by the number of dead seals on the beach, we only drove on part of the beach but counted a total of 97, this was terrible especially for my kids we even saw a couple of baby seals also dead, do you know what is going on???  This is shocking, first of all the decaying bodies and second of all the sadness of why this is happening.  We live in South Africa – Pretoria and we came to Swakopmunt to look at this beautiful place and now we get a slaughter field.  I took photos and I really want to email this to people in South Africa that are not informed of this cruelty. Please let me know how I can help, we will be here until Saturday and hopefully we will be able to show our kids some seals that are alive not this!!! Some of the body’s heads was bashed in and a lot of the skeletons left had the same injuries. All of the bodies seemed as they were just killed and left".
 
   "I heard through a friend of mine who is CEO of Save the Rhino Trust and came out of the bush today with talk of a new concession that has been opened up in a conservation area to culling MORE seals. I am not sure of the details, but will look into it. Also seals are coming up from the ocean and dying like flies on the beach (starving most of them)- some are even getting close to the road and being run over as pictured here. The situation is horrific. Please give me some feedback".
   "Phoned Fisheries today and spoke to a Heidi who put the phone down on me. She's dealing with the seals and is a senior biologist.  I got up her nostrils because I demanded an explanation regarding the status of the seals thus far - culling and starving to death. I also got hold of an Advocate Mbako at Fisheries H/Q in Windhoek who is going to issue me with a press release on my concern regarding the seals dying along our coastline.She phoned me back this evening (surprise) and said the matter has been looked into and they will have an answer by Monday for me. I'll let you know further. But I intend stirring the pot some more, because the seals are dying like flies and the beaches are littered with corpses. I would like to know roughly how many seals do you think have been culled to-date, as well as what sort of figures are we looking at regarding the seals starving to death - is the same as last year which I think was a recorded figure of is it 200 000 or 500 000 - that is an awful lot? let me know please"
 
    In the last three days, Seal Alert-SA without any funding (except from one loyal supporter in the Netherlands) has rescued one juvenile, two sub-adults and one weanling pup. All severe starvation cases. Sadly the juvenile after a courageous fight died.
 
    All the large international seal campaigning organizations, with many millions of supporters and many millions of dollars more in funding, all posted recent opposition press releases on their websites, denouncing Namibia as the 'Cruellest baby seal hunt on earth'. I have to wonder why none has reported these latest mass die-off's or offered Namibia to send in rescue teams to offer to save some of these seals. I know one organization has recently started an international seal awareness campaign called 'making waves for seals', in which over 2 million school children (and their parents) will be reached. In which, if 10% respond, over 50 million will be raised. I wonder how much of this will go towards saving the seals currently dying in Namibia right now?
 
    Although 50% of these seals were slaughtered and are now dying on the diamond restricted land, De Beers likewise has remained silent.
 
   No word as yet either, from Green Party Dr Caroline Lucas or the Commissioners in Europe or CITES Secretariat, so it's safe to assume once again all these slaughtered baby seal pup pelts will be welcomed into the EU.
 
   Are we currently witnessing the way in which a seal species becomes extinct, with everybody horrified at the pictures, but not horrified enough to do or help in anyway. Yet, have no problem in exploiting the situation to raise maximum funding for themselves, with not a cent going to the actual saving of these loving and beautiful marine creatures?
 
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA