Seal Alert-SA calls for an immediate end to Namibia's Seal Cull policy, and immediate reduction of 50% in Namibia's fisheries, and calls on the international community to respond.

Subjects Press release Seal Alert-SA Francois Hugo

Scroll down for press release

July 1 - 5 - 6 - 8 - 10 - 12
June 25 - 28 - 30

12 July Namibian Baby Seal Clubbers Win - Endangered Seals Lose

10 July OPEN LETTER FRANCOIS HUGO
Namibian Sealing Industry Fails Constitutions of South Africa and Namibia.

8 July:
Kill 'Them' All - Namibia Orders Sealers, As Environmental Conditions Worsen

6 July:
So the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries,Finally Admits 'Seal-Clubbers' are Un-skilled and Unemployed

5 July:
Seal Alert-SA Releases Short Movie Clip of Namibia Seal Cull 2007


1 July :
Declining Seal Populations, Ravaged by Starvation,
Blamed for Namibia's Doubled Fishery Capacity


25 June
5 days to go to the start of Namibia's Annual Baby Seal Cull, the largest cull of Endangered Wildlife and the second largest Seal Harvest in the World. SEE BELOW : Why Namibia Must Stop This Cull.

28 June
Ignoring Namibia mass death of seals, Namibia increases quota for three years

30 june

Namibia Doubles Fishery Catch and Culls Endangered Seals to Increase Fishing




From:
Seal Alert-SA

Date 12 July, 2007
Namibian Baby Seal Clubbers Win - Endangered Seals Lose

Dear All Cape Fur Seal Supporters,
 
       We do not have an option
not to set-up this legal fund and start immediate legal proceedings to halt the 2007 seal hunt in Namibia. If we don't, Seal Alert-SA will be forced to release the below press release. Seal Alert-SA's Open Letter to the Minister's remain unanswered or published. Please direct all enquires to Jason Bell jbell@ifaw.org hereafter. Please ensure all wildlife organizations are forwarded a copy of this release.

Namibian Baby Seal Clubbers Win - Endangered Seals Lose
unknown

 
      It is now day 12 into the 2007 Namibian endangered baby seal slaughter. An estimated 7000 baby seal pups have already been clubbed to death. Its cruel, its sick - to this there is no question.
See video-clip
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOzp_uh-3ls. Namibian journalist Rodrick Mukumbira's Associated Press article July 6, "Larger Namibian Seal Hunt Prompts Outcry", received unprecedented worldwide media coverage. The photo above, voted by Yahoo as the "Most Recommend World Photo".
 
     It is indeed a sad day in Animal Rights and Endangered Seal Welfare, when Namibian Fishery Ministry announces a "sustainable" thirty percent increased pup quota of 85 000 pups for the 2006 sealing season, up from 65 000 pups the year before. Even sadder, when Seal Rights holder of Seal Products at Cape Cross Seal Reserve reports to the Namibian Republikein newspaper
www.republikein.com.na/content/nuus/2006/Oct/18_ramp.php , "There simply are not any more pups to kill".
 
    Although listed as an endangered seal species in 1977 with the United Nations Convention In Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), ratified by South Africa in 1975 and Namibia in 1991. Whereas Namibia now remains the only country in the world clubbing nursing baby seal pup,of which pups account for 90 per cent of the quota.
 
     Sadder still, when Namibian Ministry of Fisheries releases its research findings during the sealing season on October 9, 2006, (which runs from July to November) stating, "Current Seal Mortalities Along The Namibian Coast" (Seal Alert-SA has a copy).
 
    Pathetic. When the Namibian Minister states in his Annual Fishing Industry Address in 2006, that two of the three Sealing Rights holders (the industry) rights expire end of 2007.
 
    Ignoring all this. Namibian Fishery Ministry releases three days before the start of the 2007 sealing season, which starts on July 1 its annual sealing quota. Refusing to divulge the promised December 2006 population survey (which would have had to take into account the results of the mass die-off acknowledged in October 2006). Namibian Ministry claims the seal pup population in December 2005 was 205 500. Awards a reduced pup quota (6 per cent) of 80 000 pups for the 2007 sealing season, and announces this will be a three year rolling quota (using December 2005 and not December 2006 population figures for this quota).
 
    This is not the first time, the Ministry has acted so irresponsibly with endangered seal conservation, and got away with it. In 2000, it doubled the pup quota from 30 000 to 60 000 pups, and then reported that in 2000 sealing season the seals had suffered their second major mass die-off, since the 1994 incident, and reported that the 95 per cent of the pups died and half the adult seals from starvation in 1994, was in fact larger. An estimated 300 000 to 500 000 seals starved to death that year.
 
     Ignoring the most recent scientific research which states pup mortality from birth on the sealing colonies has doubled from 30 per cent to 62 per cent before the start of the annual sealing seasons (Seal Alert-SA has the research paper), Namibian Ministry goes ahead with its cull and annihilation of baby nursing seal pups.
 
     Shameful. Subtract 62 per cent mortality for the stated 205 500 (December 2005) pup population supplied by the Ministry, (noting that this excludes the promised December 2006 population results or takes into consideration the mass die-off in 2006). That would leave 78 090 pups alive on July 1. Namibia awards an 80 000 sustainable pup harvesting quota for the sake of 120 jobs for "unemployed, poor and destitute workers (As stated by Permanent Secretary Mbako in the Afriquenligne newspaper on July 4, 2007"
www.afriquenligne.fr/news/daily_news/namibia_strongly_defends_annual_seal_harvest_200707051638/ .
A pup quota what would kill every pup, and more.
 
    To Clearly state, 205 500 pups, subtract 62% mortality = 78 090 pups alive July 1. Sealing pup quota 2007 is 80 000. An Annihilation of the seals.
 
    Illegal. When Ministry claims it is mandated to harvest seals sustainable under the Constitution. In the process making a mockery of its own Constitution and the legal system.
 
    Disgraceful. Hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions has been collected by various large international Anti-Hunt Seal organizations from around the world, such as Humane Society, People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, collecting public funds and donations on the sole pretext to end these Seal Hunts, and when a legal opportunity stares them in the face - they ignore it, hide themselves or simply run away.
 
    Disgusting. When an international news agency states that they have over 1,5 million photo's of the Canadian Seal Hunt, but not a single photo in their archives of the Namibian Seal Hunt. A recent appeal by an international award winning film-maker, for travelling and accommodation funding, to document the hunt, who is willing to risk possible arrest and confiscation of his own personal valuable filming equipment, receives a $50 donation on a $4000 expense trip. 
 
    Immoral. When the United States banned these Cape fur seal products back in 1971, and even recently governments of Germany and the Netherlands. What is wrong with the Anti-Hunt Seal Movement?
 
    Whilst most conservation organizations support sustainable use of wildlife, this veil to hide behind no longer serves, as scientifically it has been stated in the 1990 Commission on Sealing (in which Seal Alert-SA has a copy). The sustainable harvest for seals is between 29% and a maximum 45%, this was when the natural mortality was assessed at 30%, and before the reported mass die-off's in 1994, 2000 and 2006.
 
    In 2006, the Namibian Ministry clearly stated the Seal Population has still not recovered from the 1994 die-off, and is still 27 per cent below 1993 population level.
 
    Natural Pup Mortality is now 62 per cent. The 300 per cent increase in Pup harvest quota since independence (1990) now ensures a harvest exceeding 100 per cent. This in anybody's language is not sustainable for this already endangered species.
 
    We need to act now, to truly save this species. International Fund for Animal Welfare, directered by Jason Bell and based in Cape Town, which is also close to Seal Alert-SA, is logistically the most appropriate organization to set-up the legal fund, administer it and begin immediate legal proceedings.
 
    As Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA is a small hands-on organization with the most knowledge, he should retain legal decision and be cited in court papers. It is both unfeasible and legally impossible for a single individual (Francois Hugo) to take the Namibian government to court.
 
    We need to start an immediate Court Application requesting the Namibian Courts for an Interdict to immediately halt the 2007 seal cull.
 
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA 
27-21-790 8774

 


* . * . *

Date July 10, 2007
 

Namibian Sealing Industry,
Fails (Highest Court in Land)

CONSTITUTIONS
South Africa and Namibia
 
OPEN LETTER
FISHERY MINISTERS OF NAMIBIA & SOUTH AFRICA
Namibian Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Abraham Iyambo and South Africa Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Martinus van Schalkwyk. Please respond publicly to this open letter.

      Dated. July 10, 2007
 
      Dear Ministers,
 
      
Urgent Request To Halt 2007 Seal Cull.
 
      Past decade natural mortality of pups exceeds those pups alive after July 1, and exceeds the annual set TAC sealing pup quota. Seal population is now significantly lower than in 1993.
 
      Canadian sealers harvest weaned pups at 30 per cent of pup production. Namibian sealers harvest nursing pups 100 per cent plus of surviving pup population.
 
      I draw your attentions this past weekend to the global public outcry in the international media regarding Namibia's decision to cull 80 000 nursing baby Cape fur seal pups (non-fish eaters) rolling for three years to protect fish stocks. Rodrick Mukumbrira Associated Press Writer's article has unprecedently been carried in newspapers in Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Africa, United States, South Africa, Namibia, Turkey and Canada to name just a few, and CNN and FOXNews.
Read full article on Federal Radio in US (
federalnewsradio.com/?nid=82&sid=1182550).
 
      1.  
Sustainability. Scientific research states, pups born in December suffer a 62 per cent(natural cull) mortality due to declining environmental conditions by the start of sealing season on July 1. 
 
      Subtract 62 per cent from the stated 2006 pup population of 185 000 = 70 000 pups alive July 1. To which an increased quota of 85 000 pups was awarded (2006). Subtract 62 per cent >from your stated 2007 pup population of 205 500 = 78 000 pups alive July 1. To which you award a rolling-three year, 80 000 pup quota per year.
 
      1a)
Sealing Pup Quota. Since independence sealers have failed to reach annual set TAC sealing pup quota, averaging 60 per cent. By implication quotas are unreachable and therefore unsustainable. Sealing Pup quotas have increased 300 per cent in the last decade.
 
      This is not sustainable. Sealing pup quota in 2006 attempts to harvest 15 000 more seal pups than alive. It is in fact genocide of all the seal pups.
 
      2.  
International Agreements. South Africa ratified itself in 1975, and nominated Cape fur seals in 1977 as an endangered species to the United Nations Convention In Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Namibia ratified in 1991. Cape fur seals Appendix II listing, states their survival is dependent upon conservation measures.
 
      1990 Commission on Sealing chaired by John Hanks of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) advisory committee recommended a unified seal management policy for this single species of seal (South Africa and Namibia). Signature to the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem in realization of the Reykjavik declaration on Responsible Fisheries in the Ecosystem. Public Protector of the Republic of South Africa findings are the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has a Constitutional obligation to protect and promote the conservation of the Cape fur seals (November 2005).
 
      Cape fur seal products are banned from import in United States of America since 1971, in Mexico, Croatia, Belgium, Italy, South Africa and most recently in Germany and Netherlands, your two largest incoming tourist country's. In violation of USA law, Namibian sealers in 2002 attempted to import 5000 seal skins into US which was seized. South Africa on two occasions in 2003,criminally convicted importer with skins exported from Namibian sealers.
 
       Namibia's seal pup quota sealing policy is in unlawful violation of international agreements, laws and Cites Convention.
 
       3.  
Constitution. Minister Iyambo claims he is mandated to harvest seal under the Constitution. Not true. Under the Constitution the Ministry is mandated to utilize the seal resource sustainable. Consumptively or Non-consumptively. He cannot replace the word utilize with harvest, and as an option not apply a non-consumptive policy. South Africa has a non-consumptive seal management policy.
 
       Namibian seal cull is in unlawful violation of the South African and Namibian Constitution with regard to sustainability.
 
       4.   
Sealing Rights. Having stated in your February 2006 Annual Address to the Fishing Industry that, "Biological data indicate no need for new rights. There is a general need to decreased effort on all established commercial fisheries". "Moratorium on new rights for at least next 5 years - unless a drastic change in resource". "Total of 33 rights of exploitation due to expire end 2007/early 2008, (of these) 2 sealing rights".
 
       Three sealing companies had sealing rights in 2006. You are duty bound to expire two of those Seal Rights in 2007.
 
      
On February 14, 1991. The South African Cabinet decided to temporarily suspend all commercial seal harvesting on the South African coast.
 
        Stating as its reasons;

                  5.      Cruelty. As seal clubbers are unemployed, poor and destitute, they are therefore untrained or unskilled. Resulting in cruelty. See video-clip evidence (www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOzp_uh-3ls). You state, (September 14, 2006), "All adult female seals are either nursing a newborn pup or are pregnant during the seal-harvesting season (July - November 15). Harvesting of females (which is exempt from cull) would endanger the life of new born and unborn pups".
           
                 Sealers are forced to club tens of thousands of pups frequently. During the initial stampede to freedom or attempts to reach the safety of the sea. After being dragged semi-conscious to collection site. After being stabbed in the heart. Seal pups after repeated clubbing to head and stabbing in the chest/heart, still breathing and require further clubbing. Time delays of up to an hour between initial blow to head and the final breath. Pups vomit in shock mothers milk after initially blow to head and whilst cutting open chest to reach the heart.
           
                 Culling, disturbing and rounding up 80 per cent of the seal population for 139 days is extremely cruel, stressful and is a threat to the species.
           
                 6.      
          Population. Most recent scientific information available reveal that the seal population had recovered to 73 per cent of 1993 level (Namibian Ministry, July 10, 2006). Therefore in 2006, the seal population is 27 per cent lower than in 1993. In 2000, a further mass die-off involving 95 per cent of the pups and half the adult seal population, took place after a similar die-off in 1994. A further similar mass die-off occurred after sealing quota 2006 was announced. Unchanged biological conditions indicate a further die-off in 2007.
           
                 Sealing country's of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia introduced a ban on harvesting nursing baby seal pups in their sealing regulations in 1987.
           
                 Namibia's annual seal cull is 90 per cent nursing seal pup based.
           
                 As a South African, I am duty bound under South African Constitution and within my legal rights to enforce the protection and conservation of the Cape fur seal species, to which you are annihilating.
           
                 For the above reasons, we respectfully request a public announcement halting the 2007 seal cull, with immediate effect.
           
          For the Seals
          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
           

          * . * . *


          From:
          SEALALERT SA
          Date: July 8, 2007

          VIDEO NAMIBIASEALCULL2007 no 2

          VIDEO NAMIBIASEALCULL2007 no 1

          Kill 'Them' All - Namibia Orders Sealers,
          As Environmental Conditions Worsen


          Seal Alert-SA, Press Release, July 8, 2007.
           
                As Namibian Ministry digs in its heels to kill endangered baby seals and protect the jobs of 120 unskilled, unemployed, poor and destitute part-time seal clubbers - Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA, digs in further and releases Seal Clubbing Clip Number 2 :
          www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOzp_uh-3ls and www.youtube.com/watch?v=onkt6VuAhnw,
          in an effort to end the hunt now, and protect 80 000 starving seal pups, 6000 bulls and the entire endangered seal species of Cape fur seals from being slaughtered.
           
                One week into Namibia's seal annual cull. Citizen Newspapers lists Seal Alert-SA as Quote of the Week, "Throughout the world it is accepted that the fishing industry is over subscribed. It is ludicrous to contend that seals can compete with commercial fishing" - Francois Hugo, Seal Alert-SA.
           
                Top stories on CNN
          www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/07/06/namibia.seals.ap/index.html and FOXNews www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288402,00.html.

          Kill 'Them' All - Namibia Orders Sealers,
          As Environmental Conditions Worsen

                 2006 Namibian Fisheries states seal pup population 185 000. Dr JP Le Roux, Head of Marine Mammal Section Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and two other scientists found that natural pup mortality has increased during the past decade in January it is 30%, and between February - July (start of seal culling season) a further 32% mortality. Subtracting this natural mortality of 62% (January - July) from 185 000 pups born in December (mortality up by 100% from previous decades). Would leave the sealers on July 1, 70 000 pups to club. Namibian Ministry awarded an 85 000 pup quota for 2006. 80 000 for 2007.
           
                 In addition, Namibian scientists report another major mass die-off from starvation year in 2006 (mortality as high as 95% of the pups and half the adults). With environmental conditions worsening, a further mass die-off is expected in 2007. Namibian sealers reported "no more seal pups to kill - all dead". 2007, Namibian Ministry reduces seal pup quota 6%, and orders sealers to kill them all, setting the quota at 80 000 pups and 6000 bulls.
           
                 Seal Alert-SA receives US NOAA request. I am a Special Agent with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States.  Several years ago, my office intercepted a shipment of Cape fur seal pelts being transshipped through the USA. This was a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (USA law). I see that the seal hunt is currently underway.  I am interested in tracking any shipments of whole or parts of seal harvested during this hunt, to ensure they are not brought into the USA in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  I wonder if your organization, or some other organization, maintains a list of company names  involved in the; harvest, processing, transporting, buying or selling whole or parts of seals harvested during this hunting period. 
           
                Please Read. Dummies Guide (make it easier to understand) Why Namibia Must End Its Seal Cull, at the end of this release.
          Pasted GraphicPasted Graphic 1
          Pasted Graphic 2Pasted Graphic 3 

           

                Building 'Berlin' walls around former seal island colonies. Banning entire seal colonies from small remote islands. Forced relocation on unlimited breeding desert mainlands. The mass death and clubbing of entire generations - Is this the Namibian answer, to endangered seal conservation?

           

                The four pictures above illustrate Seal Alert-SA sole responsibility for ending the Namibian seal cull. Throughout this campaign Seal Alert-SA has never appealed for public funding or donations. Invitations to the Ministry to meet go unanswered.
           
                Namibian Permanent Secretary Nangula Mbako of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources told the media, "There is nothing new, neither interesting ... the issues raised are unfortunately outdated and have become repetitive". Yet, GlobeandMail, Washington Post, Namibian Economist, Namibian Government owned New Era, Herald Tribune, News24, CNN, FOXNews, Mail&Guardian, German BILD, Ireland News, Houston Chronicle, The Guardian UK, Sunday Independent, The Namibian, Weekend Argus, Citizen, Mercury and the Cape Times, just to name a few, all ran stories.
           
               The largest cull of endangered marine mammals is NEWS, clearly the media and international public think so.
           
               Seal cull up 470 per cent since Namibian independence.
           
               1977 South Africa listed Cape fur seals as an Endangered CITES Appendix II species. 1989 the seal cull quota was 16000 (the seal population was larger then) of which only 6 285 pups were harvested. 2007 it is 80 000 (2006 it was 85 000)pups and 6000 bulls.
           
               Announcing the 2007 sealing quota, stated that 80 per cent of the seal population has now re-colonised the unlimited desert mainland and only 20 per cent is left on their original breeding habitat offshore islands. This should make one stop and think?
           
               Sealing originally took place only on the islands, involving 13 seal colonies. Since population surveys started in 1971, one original seal colony has increased in population size. 7 colonies have decreased. 5 original colonies are extinct, including the largest one. This is what Namibia does not want anyone to know.
           
               Dummies Guide To Overwhelming Evidence Why The Namibian Seal Cull Must End NOW!
           
               Fisheries. Since independence Namibia has doubled fishery catch, landings and quotas, from 300 000 tons to 600 000 tons per annum. When it should have reduced it by 50 per cent in 1990. Bank of Namibia annual report, the fishing industry's contribution to the country's GDP was 5 per cent in 2005. Sealing accounts for 0,01 per cent of fishery exports.
           
               Policies. 1990 South Africa stops its sealing policy on same species. Scientists state their is no biological distinction between Namibian and South African Cape fur seals - the seals are one population. Sealing Commission chaired by WWF recommends a single species management. South Africa stops, Namibia starts sealing.
           
               Number of pups alive on July 1. Excluding a mass die-off, less than 70 000 or lower. Sealing pup quota 80 000.
           
               Natural Pup Mortality/Environmental Cull. Double the fishery catch doubles the natural seal pup mortality. Up from 25% to now 62%. Excluding, recorded mass die-off years from starvation 1994, 2000 and 2006 (95% of pups died and half the adult seal population). Nature already kills 62% of the seal pups before sealers start their annual 139 day seal cull.
           
               Environmental. Global warming, loss of former habitat, reduced fisheries, massive culls, all will lead to this species extinction.
           
               Unnatural Pup Mortality. Double the fishery capacity, doubles the entanglement, interactions, illegal shootings and drownings of foraging seals at sea. Up from 30 000 to 60 000 seal mortalities for one sector of thirteen sector Namibian fishing industry. Its trawler fleets.
           
               Seal Quota. Decade ago (1996) Seal quota was 20 500. 2006 it was 91 000. 2007 it is 86 000. Not a single marine predator species (fish, seabirds, sharks, whales or dolphins) has increased, neither has seals. Pup Sealing quota increased 300 per cent over last decade.
           
               Cull. Is a term scientific conservationists use to reduce a wild population of animals in an enclosed area (game park). It should have no basis for an annual commercial sealing industry. It should be breeding female based. Namibia exempts all breeding female and cow seals.
           
               Tourism. Four of the largest international incoming tourist country's to Namibia. United States, South Africa, Germany and Netherlands have all specifically banned Cape fur seal product imports.
           
               Largest Contributor to GDP. De Beers Diamonds (the world's largest producer of gem diamonds) has publicly voiced horror at the methods used to cull baby seals and is opposed to the cull of seals within diamond restricted area of Namibia.
           
               Harvest. Constitutionally it must sustain the population and not reduce it. Namibia does neither.
           
               Seal Population. Lower in 2006 and 2007 than in 1993. Never recovered from 1994 mass die-off from starvation.
           
               Namibian Sealing Policy. Annual. 90 per cent baby seal pup based and 3000 - 6000 bull seal genital/penis harvest.
           
               Percentage of Population Harvested. 80% of the Seal Population for 139 days (July to November) each year.
           
               Media Banned From Cull. Previously photo-journalists arrested. Diamond Area, restricted. Cape Cross Nature Reserve patrolled by armed-guards. Staged Media day in 2000. Mnet Television production Carte Blanche produces evidence of random clubbing of all age groups of seals, secretly filmed.
           
               Morality Aspect. 1971 United States of America banned the harvesting or importing of products from nursing baby seals. European Union in 1983. World remaining sealing countries (Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway) in 1987. Interferes in the natural behaviour and breeding cycle. Threat to the survival of the species. Considered a Crime Against Nature, even by sealers.
           
               Protection of Fish Stocks. Latest scientific research (June 2006) reveals quantative consumption of commercial fisheries cannot be determined effectively, nor confirm whether competition exists. Up to 50 per cent of Cape fur seals diet is non-commercial fish species based. Namibia's seal cull, exempts all fish-eating seals, including breeding cows. Cull is 90 per cent based on nursing baby seals suckling mothers milk (non-fish eaters).
           
               Cruelty Aspect. Chasing and rounding up 80 per cent of the seal population for 139 days each year, to separate pup from nursing seal cow, is traumatic and cruel. Sealing regulations state seal pup must be clubbed with a 1-metre wooden stick (pick axe-handle) on the head and stabbed in the chest to facilitate death. Filmed images of the slaughter, show pups must be clubbed repeatedly, before and after being stabbed in the heart. Pups found breathing after being clubbed and stabbed. Pups vomit up freshly drunk white mothers milk in shock, before, during and after being clubbed and stabbed. Pups chest being cut open whilst still alive. Bulls shot for their genitals.
           
               Sealer Clubber Qualification. None. "Sealing Industry sustain jobs for the unemployed, poor and destitute" - (quote) Namibian Permanent Secretary Mbako (July 4, 2007). Unskilled part-time employment.
           
               Value Seal Product Exports. No figure available for recent years. 2000 a total of 41 753 harvested seals (pelts, oil and meat) earned (officially) Namibian $ 600 000. N$14 or USD $2 per seal. Although Sealers claim industry earns N$5 million.
           
               Sealing Industry. Three-man held concession. Two of which Rights to Seal end 2007. Namibian has imposed a 5-year moratorium on new fishing rights,.
           
               Seals Killed Per Day. 600 pups are clubbed and stabbed each day, for 139 days until quota is filled or season ends. 200 bulls seals per day are shot with rifles to reach the 6000 bull seal quota.  
           
               Protection Status. Listed as an Endangered seal species in 1977 by the United Nations Convention In Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II. Whose survival is dependent upon sound conservation measures.
           
               Distribution. Only species of seal breeding on African Continent.
           
               Range. South Africa, Namibia and Angola. Found nowhere else on earth.
           
               Original Habitat. Former breeding Islands 98 per cent extinct. Less than 20 per cent of the seal population still bred in their natural original habitat - islands.
           
               Sealing Colonies. Now all mainland based. 80 per cent of population. 2 mainland seal colonies. Wolf/Atlas Bay within the De Beers/Namibian Government Diamond Restricted Area. Operated by Namibian Venison & Marine Products with a 38 050 seal harvest quota. Cape Cross, a nature reserve on the mainland, operated by two sealing concessionaires, Seal Products 32 950 seals and Cape Cross Seals 20 000 seal harvest quota.
           
               What Can You Do. Boycott Everything Namibia. Cancel Tourism Plans to Namibia. Pressure South African Minister to get involved. Spread the word. Support Seal Alert-SA.
           
          For the Seals
          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
          +27-21-790 8774


          * . * . *


          July 6, 2007

          Seal Alert-SA, Press Release, July 6, 2007.
           
                 
          Namibian Ministry announce an end to the seal cull or Seal Alert-SA will be forced to release movie-clips on the worldwide web, showing the most graphic sadistic cruelty imaginable by your unskilled sealers. The first movie-clip of which can be seen on Google video, video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2431581037762214099 or youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtzZOwK9byE or www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiUxGwpf1bA.

          So the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries,
          Finally Admits 'Seal-Clubbers' are Un-skilled and Unemployed
          Lets Talk Facts !
          unknown
          unemployed, unskilled, destitute part-time workers club 80 000 endangered baby seals already starving (destitute)
           

                  In your strongly worded statement to the media on Wednesday, slamming Seal Alert-South Africa accusing it of rumour-mongering and falsifying information as reported by the government owned newspaper New Era, perhaps Permanent Secretary Mbako could send Seal Alert-SA an official copy. (see copy http://allafrica.com/stories/200707050873.html) To enable Seal Alert-SA to reply. In so doing, please list the alleged "distorting information and presenting falsified accounts of events".
           
                 I refer to your quote, "Seal harvesting is an economic activity and cannot be done away with .... sealing industry sustain about 140 direct jobs for the unemployed, poor and destitute. It is our obligation to ensure they have a future".
           
                So the Ministry finally admits the Namibian Sealing Industry is a three-man industry employing part-time 120 seal clubbers. Namibian sealers who are unskilled, part-time and unemployed. No doubt this is why Seal Alert-SA is in possession of extensive footage showing such sadistic cruelty to these seals.
           
                Seal pups vomiting up their mothers milk, clubbed pups needing to be re-clubbed repeatedly, seal pups wriggling after being clubbed and stabbed in the heart, pups clubbed and stabbed, still breathing in their own blood. Should I go on, 80 000 pups a year guarantees extensive footage?
           
                Child Slave Labour, Prostitution, Drug-dealing, Smuggling and Poaching are also economic activities, would your Ministry support these activities if it created employment for the unemployed, poor and destitute? How about Fishery-Poaching or Murder, Rape and Armed Robbery?
           
                One of your three sealing concessionaire rights holders Albert Brink (hardly destitute), as he claimed in the Namibian newspaper on June 26, 2007. That he and his two other rights holders which make up the Namibian sealing industry earn N$5 million per year. Furthermore he claims the industry only employs 120. Coincidentally did the US not also seize 5000 illegal seal skins in 2002 and did not South Africa criminal courts not convict an importer on two occasions in 2003, with skins exported >from Brink?
           
               Is this the future criminal activity, Namibia has an obligation to ensure, which it will not stop?
           
                Release the individual annual income these 120-140 "unemployed, poor and destitute" seal clubbers receive. So the world can understand why 120 unemployed people should hold the endangered Cape fur seal species, the only species of seal breeding on the African continent to ransom. Why it is so vital that 80 000 pups must be clubbed and stabbed to death and 6000 bulls shot for their genitals, whilst the seals themselves are dying from starvation in mass.
           
                Sustainable. Is it not true that this endangered seal population is lower today than it was in 1993? Has the natural mortality of this species not increased from 25% to 62%, since Namibia's independence and doubling of fishery quotas and landings? Is this not enough of a cull? Is it not true, that 95% of the pups and half the adult seal population died in 1994, and again in 2000, and again last year in 2006? Please re-read your own media release on October 9, 2006, "Current seal mortalities along the Namibian coast".
           
                Did the sealers fill the scientifically set quota, when it was increased from 30 000 to 60 000 in 2000? Did the sealers fill their quota in 2005, or when you increased it 30 per cent to 85 000 pups in 2006? Have they ever since independence filled the "sustainable and scientifically" allocated seal pup quota? 
           
                Did sealers not publicly report that sealing season ended early last year, as there where no more pups to kill, with less than 60 per cent of the quota reached? Is this what you refer to in your statement, "marginal reduction experienced in 2006 when
          most seals starved". 
           
                What part of killing all the endangered seal pups is sustainable?
           
          For the Seals
          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA


          * . * . *


          July 5, 2007

          Seal Alert-SA, Press Release, July 5, 2007
           
               It is now the 5th day into Namibia's baby seal cull. In an effort to halt the cull of 80 000 baby seals (
          right now), Seal Alert-SA releases a movie clip (Movie.wmv), Namibia Seal Cull 2007. My apologies for the long-download, we made the movie clip as short as possible (25 seconds), we know you need to see this! It will be loaded on our websites . . . , and www.sealalertsa.net and www.seashepherd.org . We ask others to distribute this movie clip freely, show the world, and for someone to please load it on youtube.
          Movie

          Pasted Graphic 1Pasted Graphic

               Innocence ! Baby Cape fur seals in Namibia desperately appeal for your help and protection - right Now ! Namibia has started clubbing and stabbing 80 000 baby seals on Sunday, July 1, 2007. Give them a chance in this new-life of theirs, they will love you, suckle your ear, entertain you, be your friend and forever thank you. Distribute this movie clip freely worldwide. Boycott Namibian Tourism and anything Namibian, until this stops. Write to everyone, including Namibian Embassies in your country. The power of one starts with you.
           
              STOP THE NAMIBIAN 2007 BABY SEAL SLAUGHTER - TODAY!
           
          For the Seals
          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA



          July 1, 2007
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Sealalert
          To: secretary@namibia.org.za ; namibia@un.int ; lmupetami@mweb.com.na ; aiyambo@mfmr.gov.na ; ambanga@mfmr.gov.na ; pyako @deat.gov.za ; Monde Mayekiso ; mwillemse@deat.gov.za ; Theressa Akkers ; Beryl Batties
          Cc:
          jbell@ifaw.org ; willem.wijnstekers@cites.org ; jim.armstrong@cites.org ; John.Sellar@cites.org ; marie-france.barreto@cites.org ; marceil.yeater@cites.org ; stoffelf@pprotect.org ; garyp@pprotect.org ; LawrenceM@pprotect.pwv.gov.za ; clenders@deat.gov.za ; verne@nelsonmandela.org ; akathrada@anc.org.za ; dnel@wwf.org.za ; augustyn@deat.gov.za ; oosthuiz@deat.gov.za
          Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2007 12:33 PM
          Subject: Declining Seal Populations, Ravaged by Starvation, Blamed for Namibia's Doubled Fishery Capacity

          Seal Alert-SA Press Release, July 1 2007
               Dear All Cape Fur Seal Supporters. So many have written in asking what can we do to stop it?
          The answer is simple. The stated seal population figures are false.
          We need to demand for the promised
          December 2006 pup population survey results (the one that includes the mass die-off last year) to be made public and independently verified.
          We do not want December 2005 figures for a 2007 seal cull season. 
          South Africa who has collaborated on all past population surveys with Namibia, must get involved and assist in verifying the December 2006 population results.
          Under the constitution the Minister of South Africa has a constitutional obligation.
          To avoid lengthy legal applications, we need instead the power of you.
          Write to Namibian Ministry and Minister van Schalkwyk to authorise scientists at MCM and UCT researchers to verify, contact the Public Protectors Office and ask them to facilitate.
          Remember if just a few react, nothing will transpire, unless it is literally thousands of people demanding action from Monday.
          Demand equally that the Cull is halted until population for 2006 is verified.
           
               In addition ask support from anybody in Germany and the Netherlands to appeal to their Parliament and Travel Agencies.
           
               Above is the email addresses I have for the relevant officials in Namibia and South Africa. You need to find their fax numbers and telephone numbers and phone them. I fear email letter will simply be trashed, so fax and phone, please make the effort.

          Declining Seal Populations, Ravaged by Starvation,
          Blamed for Namibia's Doubled Fishery Capacity 
          unknown
          Mass burial of a declining seal population that is being culled for its falsified over-population
           

              Contrary to the statements made by Information Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah on Wednesday just three days before awarding a rolling three year culling seal quota of 80 000 pups and 6000 bull seals, stating that "the sharp increase of the seal population is endangering the fishing industries current 600 000 tons fishery catch.
           
                The opposite is directly true. Since the mass die-off of seals in 1994, the fishing industries doubling of capacity from 300 000 tons to 600 000 tons of fish landings over the past decade and a half, has devastated seal populations, in sharp decline since its peak in 1993. Causing at least 6 major mass die-offs of the seal population, recorded in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001 and again just last year. Where over fifty per cent of the seals starved to death in each incident.
           
                South African Marine Scientists place the Namibian seal population at 163 141 pups in 2004, down from a high of 219 141 pups in 1993.
           
                It is simply ludicrous to claim, that even after the last mass die-off (2006), acknowledged by the Namibian Fisheries, that this endangered seal population, still in decline from its high in 1993 and recovering from the 1994 mass die-off, where last year over fifty per cent of the seals died. That the Namibian seal population assessed for December 2005, for the 2007 sealing quota has reached the highest population level on record of 205 500 pups, as falsely claimed.
           
                Where is the promised December 2006 population survey (the one that would take into account the mass die-off)? Why would the Ministry reduce the quota from 85 000 pups to 80 000 pups, if truthfully the seals population had increased from last years supplied population figures of 185 000 pups to 205 500 pups?
           
                Already listed as an endangered species in 1977, whose survival according to its Appendix II Convention In Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) listing requires that their survival is dependent upon sound conservation measures. Namibia has doubled fishery capacity and embarked on an annual cull of its seal population.
           
                 Illogically on many aspects this makes no sense. The United Nations and Greenpeace released reports stating,  since the 1990s enhanced sophistication of fishing technology have increased fishing capacity by 22%. Global fishing fleet capacity is double the sustainable supply. Calls are made for a 50 per cent reduction in fishing capacity. 34% of global fisheries is non-food use in domestic animal, livestock and aquaculture feeds. 70% of the world's fish stocks are fully or over exploited.
           
                 Ignoring this recommendation, which would have seen Namibia reduce its fishing capacity from 300 000 tons to 150 000 tons, to maintain sustainability of the environment for all, humans and seals, required under its own constitution. Namibia instead quadruples its fishing capacity for the next decade and a half and then when it collapses, blames declining seal populations, who themselves are ravaged by repeated starvation, threatening their survival.
           
                Even ignoring their own beliefs, Namibia seal culling policy, exempts fish eating seals of all age groups, including the breeding females, and instead embarks on an annual mass slaughter, via clubbing of its baby nursing seal pups, who by definition are non-fish eaters and are still drinking mothers milk, whose slaughter will have no positive impact of fisheries.
           
                To simply maintain this deceit, Namibian Ministry simply falsifies seal population data, which has never been independently verified, and continues to project an increasing seal population and therefore an increased sealing quota. All of which is pure fabrication.
           
                Seal Alert-SA appeals urgently for the 2007 seal cull to be halted, the December 2006 promised pup population survey results be released, and most importantly be independently verified by the South African scientists. Reminding our Minister van Schalkwyk of the findings of the Commission on Sealing in 1990 (which saw South Africa stop its culling policy), in which it was established that the Namibian and South African seals are one population, and that as per the Public Protector findings and recommendations, our Minister has a constitutional obligation to protect and promote the conservation of the Cape fur seal species. 
           
                After a quadrupled fishing capacity for the past decade, and now its collapse. It cannot be reasonable argued that the surviving seals already ravaged by starvation are consuming more fish than the modern sophistication of Namibia's doubled fishing fleet capacity.
           
               An urgent call is made, for the cull to stop and the December 2006 seal population independently verified.
           
          For the Seals
          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
          27-21-790 8774
           
          For further insight into past transgressions, see below.
                 Three days before the start of the Namibian baby seal cull, which started today on Sunday July 1, Information Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah whilst admitting that there was a major mass die-off of seals and pups from starvation due to overfishing during last years sealing season, announces just a 6% reduction in the baby seal cull quota. Awarding sealers the rights to club 80 000 pups and 6000 bulls, down from last year of 85 000 and 6000 bulls. In addition, awards sealers a three-year rolling seal cull quota for 2007, 2008 and 2009.
           
                 Ignoring the factual comments of one sealing rights holder who confirmed that the seal mortality in 2006 matched that of the 1994 disaster year (half the population starved to death) or that since Namibian independence in 1990, sealers have been unable to fill government set quotas averaging less than 66% of the quota. Most importantly, ignoring Fisheries Minister's announcement in 2006 imposing a 5 year moratorium on new fishing rights, of which two of the three sealing rights holders, rights expire end 2007. 
           
                Last year, when announcing that the seal cull quota was being increased from 65 000 pups (2005) to 85 000 (pups), a 30% increase. Acting Permanent Secretary Mr Amutse acknowledged (based on the most recent scientific information available) that the seal population in 2006 estimated at 185 000 pups and 700 000 adults, had only recovered to 73% compared to the 1993 level, 12 years after the mass die-off in 1994.
           
               Ignoring Permanent Secretary Nangula Mbako comment in October 2006 to execute an aerial survey for December 2006 to determine pup numbers. Information Minister Nandi-Ndaitwah supplies alleged seal population for December 2005, of 205 500 pups and 650 000 adults (before last years mass die-off in 2006). Claiming as the motive for Namibia's continued seal culling policy is the sharp increase of this endangered seal population who is endangering the fishing industry because seals kill 900 000 tons of fish each year.
           
              Namibia claims its Seal Harvesting is conducted in line with the principles of sustainable management. The Oxford English Dictionary defines, Sustainable - "able to be sustained - avoiding depletion of natural resources". Twelve years ago (1993) the Namibian seal population peaked at 219 141 pups. To which Namibia set a sealing quota of 50 850 seals. Sealers were only able to harvest 35 750 seals (70% of quota). The following year a mass die-off reduced the seal population by 50 per cent. Two years later (1995), only 83 230 pups were born (62% decline since the peak in 1993). Namibia awarded then a substantially reduced sealing quota of 17 450 pups.
           
              Ignoring the effects of decline these two mass die-offs (1994 and 2006) would scientifically have on the seal population (in fact there have been several publicly recorded mass die-offs, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001 and last year in 2006. Information Minister Nandi-Ndaitwah claims the Namibian seal population has reached its highest level ever at 205 500 pups.
           
              The absurdity of this claim (of the sharply increasing seal population) is further compounded when prior to Namibia's independence in 1990. The United Nations and Greenpeace released reports stating,  since the 1990s enhanced sophistication of fishing technology have increased fishing capacity by 22%. Global fishing fleet capacity is double the sustainable supply. Calls are made for a 50 per cent reduction in fishing capacity. 34% of global fisheries is non-food use in domestic animal, livestock and aquaculture feeds. 70% of the world's fish stocks are fully or over exploited.
           
           

            * . * . *


          Seal Alert-SA Press Release 30 June 2006
           

          Namibia Doubles Fishery Catch and Culls Endangered Seals
          to Increase Fishing

           

                 Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA responds to Namibia's 80 000 seal pup three-year rolling seal cull quota. Starting on July 1.
           
                Contrary to world fishing trends, the least populated country on earth, doubles fishing catch landings and culls endangered seals to increase fishing capacity.
           
                 According to Greenpeace and UN Food and Agricultural Organization reports. Since the 1990s enhanced sophistication of fishing technology have increased fishing capacity by 22%. Global fishing fleet capacity is double the sustainable supply. Calls are made for a 50 per cent reduction in fishing capacity. 34% of global fisheries is non-food use in domestic animal, livestock and aquaculture feeds. 70% of the world's fish stocks are fully or over exploited.
           
                 Namibia contends that 650 000 adult seals annual fish consumption is 900 000 tonnes. Whereas Namibian fishing industry landings are 600 000 tonnes. As the motive for their annual cull of seals. 
           
                 Distribution range of the Cape fur seals occurs between South Africa and Namibia.
           
                 South Africa with a population of 50 million humans, it has since the 1990s with a no cull seal policy, for the past decade landed 540 000 tonnes of fish on average annually. Since 2004, South Africa's fishing policy is legislated to ensure sufficient availability of food for seals and seabirds in the wild to sustain populations.
           
                 Namibia claims its annual cull of seals is in line with the principles of sustainable management as contained in the Namibian constitution which allows for the sustainable use of living natural resources.
           
                The Oxford English Dictionary states. Sustainable - "able to be sustained - avoiding depletion of natural resources".
           
                Cape fur seals are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Species on Appendix II are not threatened with extinction, but their survival is dependent on conservation measures.
           
                Last year, the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries acknowledged that the Namibian seal population in 2006, had still not recovered from the seal mortality 1994 disaster year. Where half the seal population starved to death. Proceeded to increase the sealing quota from 65 000 pups to 85 000. Two months into sealing season which runs from July to November, acknowledged that the 2006 seal mortality matched that of the 1994 disaster year from starvation.
           
                Sealers reported no more seals to kill, where forced to bury the dead seals, and as such sealing season ended early, without quotas being filled.
           
                Namibia, the least populated country on earth with less than 2 million humans, was prior to independence in 1990. Landing annual fish catches of 300 000 tonnes. Although international calls were made for a 50 per cent reduction in the fishing capacity. Namibia proceeded to double its annual fish catch to 600 000 tonnes. Landing more fish than South Africa with its 50 million human population.
           
               As a result, Cape fur seals in Namibia have suffered several mass seal mortalities via starvation reducing the seal population to levels last seen in the early 1980s. 
           
               Promises of a Namibian population survey for December 2006 to determine the pup mortality numbers prior to awarding a 2007 sealing quota, never materialised.  Instead the Seal Population in December 2005 was supplied (which is prior to last years mass seal pup mortality disaster year). A 80 000 seal pup and 6000 seal bull quota, rolling for three years, was then announced for the 2007 sealing-year.
           
              Namibia's claims of 900 000 tonnes of fish consumption by seals in a perfect world and sustainable fishing environment. But, as Namibia has doubled its fishing capacity during the last decade, and as a result over 50 per cent of the seal population is dying annually. The belief, that foraging seals can compete against the sophistication of fishing technology today is false.
           
              Moreover, Namibia's policy of a reduction of the seal population to increase fishery catch is absurd, considering that all age groups of foraging seals, including the breeding cow female seals, are all exempt from any cull, and instead nursing baby seals, suckling on mothers milk (non-fish eaters), account for 90% of the sealing cull quota.  
           
             Seal Alert-SA calls for an immediate end to Namibia's Seal Cull policy, and immediate reduction of 50% in Namibia's fisheries, and calls on the international community to respond.
           
          For the Seals
          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA


          * . * . *


          Date: June 28, 2007

          Ignoring Namibia mass death of seals, Namibia increases quota for three years

          Dear All Cape fur seal supporters,
           
              We all tried very hard, and failed badly. Clubbing of 80 000 nursing baby, suckling on mothers milk (non-fishing eating) seal pups will start on Sunday, July 1, and continue for the next 139 days, and this will apply for a three-year rolling quota. In addition, sealers will go after seals that have fled away from the two big sealing colonies.
           
               Unbelievable as it sounds, after Ministry researchers confirmed the seals experienced their 7th mass mortality from starvation (involving as much as half the seal population), sealers unable to fill last year's quota. Stopped sealing to bury 900 pups a day. The seal population grew from 185 000 pups to 205 500. Strangely although a factor of 3.7 - 4 is always used to multiply the pups to arrive at the total population. Namibia Ministry claims adult seal numbers declined from 700 000 to 650 000, but produced more pups.
           
               Even stranger, marine scientists in South Africa put Namibian seal population at 163 141 in 2004, down from 196 689 in 1990.
           
               Namibia wants us to believe, that after South Africa stopped seal culling 14-years ago, and the population has not increased. That with mass die-offs and the highest sealing quotas, the seal population only in Namibia, has increased from 163 141 pups in 2004 to 205 500 pups in December 2005. 
           
               Ignoring the US baby seal import ban since 1971, or Mexico, Croatia, Belgium, Italy and most recently Germany and Holland.
           
               Ignoring their our Minister's moratorium on new fishing rights, ignoring that two of the three sealers right end 2007.
           
               Namibia plans a total extinction of the Cape fur seals in Namibia. Clearly pointing out over and over again, that seals consume 900 000 tonnes of fish and the fishing industry only lands between 500 000 and 600 000 tonnes. Whilst the seals did not cause Namibia's fisheries to collapse >from highs of 1 500 000 tonnes (30 years ago), clearly Namibia now believes for fisheries to get back to harvesting 1,5 million tonnes, seals must go. Clearly every single fish a seal eats (even though half their diet is non-commercial fish species), is one fish to many for Namibia.
           
              Even stranger, the quota is 90% pup based (80 000), who as nursing pups still suckling on mothers milk, pose no threat to fish consumption. So whilst all other age groups of fish-eating seals are exempt, including all breeding females. Namibia and its sealers will continue to allow breeding cows to mate, raise their baby for 7-months, whilst consuming fish to then harvest them, to protect fish stocks.
           
              So when will Namibia stop. Never, because with this banana republic logic, seals will go the same way as Namibia's fisheries. Down, down, down.
           
          For the Seals
          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
           
          From the "Namibian":
          Thursday, June 28, 2007 - Web posted at 8:33:14 GMT

          Seal quota down for this season

          BRIGITTE WEIDLICH
          CABINET has approved an annual seal quota of 80 000 pups and 6 000 bulls for the new culling season, which starts on Sunday.
          The same quota will apply for 2008 and 2009.

          Last year's mass die-off of seal pups was an indication that the quota should be reduced from previous years, when the quota was higher, Information Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said yesterday.

          "The three-year rolling annual quota shall only be adjusted if there is a major improvement or reduction in the stock," she said.

          The seal harvesting season is from July 1 to November 15 each year.

          "Cabinet also advised the Ministry of Fisheries to consider granting exploratory rights as part of the total allowable catches (TAC) to harvest only pups on smaller existing nearby colonies," the Information Minister told reporters.

          The Marine Resources Advisory Council met on May 31 to set the seal quota.

          Cabinet further approved that no selective harvesting of pups would be allowed.

          According to a 2005 Government survey which is disputed by international animal rights groups, seals allegedly consume more fish per year than the entire fishing industry can catch.

          A seal population survey conducted in December 2005 indicated a total count of 205 500 pups and 650 000 adults.

          Harvested colonies at Cape Cross, Atlas Bay and Wolf Bay represent 60 per cent of the total pup population in Namibia, while non-harvested land-based and island colonies each represents 20 per cent.

          During 2006, the total annual fish consumption by seals was estimated to be up to 900 000 tonnes, according to the Government survey.

          The total annual landings of the Namibian fishing industry are between 500 000 and 600 000 tonnes per year.

          "This means that seals are consuming far more fish than what are caught by the commercial fleet.

          Furthermore, the major part of the biomass of Namibia's hake and pilchard stocks currently comprises small fish, which are of the size that are typically consumed by seals," Minister Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

          "Cabinet resolved that mitigating mechanisms be worked out by the Fisheries Ministry and the industry to reduce seal predation of hake and other species."


          * . * . *


          Date: June 25, 2007

          SealAlert-SA Press Release : June 25, 2007
          5 days to go to the start of Namibia's Annual Baby Seal Cull,
          the largest cull of Endangered Wildlife and the second largest Seal Harvest in the World.

          SEE BELOW : Why Namibia Must Stop This Cull.

          "The Sickest and Most Sadistic Use
          of Endangered Marine Wildlife,
          Yet Witnessed"

          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
          unknown unknown unknown
          Thousands of seal pups wash ashore starved to death,  seal corpses lie rotting and starving &  seals coming ashore
          are ridden over by passing vehicles

           

                Namibian beaches littered with tens of thousands of dead and rotting seal corpses last year, is clearly not good for Namibia's Tourism Industry or Namibia's Wildlife Conservation image. Instead of appealing for international assistance, Fisheries Minister Iyambo increases sealing quota, orders sealers to bury the dead, and kill the remaining baby seal pups struggling to survive.
           
                With these catastrophic environmental, collapsed fisheries and global warming factors effecting these Cape fur seals so badly, why is Namibia undertaking a cull of such massive portions on an already endangered wildlife species?
           
                Listed in 1977, as an endangered Appendix II species by the UN Environmental Protection Convention In Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), Namibian Minister of Fisheries Abraham Iyambo announced an increased culling pup quota from 60 000 to 85 000 nursing baby seal pups for 2006. The world's largest cull of endangered animals, and the second largest seal cull in the world.
           
                In response to Seal Alert-SA's public protests and letters of condemnation last year, the Ministry of Fisheries issued an official reply and press release, stating "Seal Culling is done in a responsible and sustainable manner. According to the latest biological information, the seal stock in Namibia is currently in a healthy condition. The Cape fur seal population is not in anyway endangered. The seal population has enjoyed an overall recovery rate to 27% below the 1993 level in 2006".
           
                What seal pup culling quota the Fisheries Minister will set, days away for July 1, remains a mystery for the 2007 seal culling season? Promises of a 2006 population survey have too, not materialised.
           
                 Half-way through last year's seal culling season (2006), and the second largest seal harvest in the world, the Republiken Newspaper in Namibia carried an interview with one of the three sealing concessionaires, Mr Gys Cilliers of Seal Products. "When we started the harvesting season in July, the seals were already skinny", "Confirming that the mass seal starvation mortality matched that of the 1994 disaster year" (in which one half of the seal population died and starved to death). "Harvesting season had to be suspended, in order for beaches to be cleaned and for the dead to be buried". "Bull seals are so weak they just lie on the beach, they are too weak to get up". "Culling season for baby pups had ended early, there simply are not any more pups to kill".
           
                Last year's mass starvation of the Cape fur seals, marks the 7th such incident recorded since 1988. Clearly overfishing, banned from islands and global environmental factors are having a disastrous effect on the future survival of this already endangered species. Yet, Namibia has maintained an annual seal population reduction cull since independence in 1990.
           
                An industry, so small that only three sealing concessionaires via for concessions for the largest cull of endangered animals and the second largest seal harvest in the world, where less than USD $2 is earned per skin and carcass, respectively. Where total Namibian Seal Exports earn less than USD $150 000.
           
                Ministry of Fisheries on 9 October 2006, issues a second press release - headed, "Current Seal Mortalities Along the Namibian Coast". "Namibian researchers has shown that seal adult males and females are depicting reduced weight and their condition is very poor. Sub adults seals have also been observed dead along the coast. These studies revealed that the 2006 winter pup growth rate has declined from a long-term average of 30g/day to 2g/day. It also found over 50% of the seal pups, who were not getting enough milk from their mothers, are below a threshold of post weaning survival of 11kg. Numerous pups are dying or the surviving ones body weight are very reduced. Researchers have also seen aborted pups along the shore, which is a consequence of lactating pregnant mothers not having enough food to support the born and unborn pups". 
           
                In an official response to Seal Alert-SA's question, if a seal cull is necessary (due to your claimed health and over-population of this endangered species), why then is the obvious choice for a cull, the breeding females always exempt. Namibian Ministry replied, "Female seals give birth to a single pup in December. All adult female seals are either nursing a newborn pup or are pregnant during the seal-harvesting season. Therefore harvesting of female seals would endanger the life of the new born and the unborn pups".
           

          "The Sickest and Most Sadistic Use of Endangered Marine Wildlife, Yet Witnessed" - Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
          unknown unknown
          Seals Buried in Mass Beach Graves and Still The Rounding-up and Clubbing Continued of Dying Baby Seals
           

              Can you just for a moment imagine (pity as Namibia has banned filming), whilst the seals were enduring their seventh mass mortality from starvation since 1988, beaches littered with dead and dying seal corpses, pups too weak to move or run away, bulls so weak that they could not stand. Faced the sealers onslaught for the next 139 days. In something that can only be considered the sickest act in marine wildlife harvesting, instead of sealers utilising the carcasses of the recently dead for their pelts, these were instead buried in mass beach graves, and still then sealers ran after, rounded up and clubbed to death those baby nursing seal pups barely still alive, in their maddening attempt to fill their largest quota set by government, that as they have admitted, had no chance of being filled.
           

          Namibian Minister of Fisheries Abraham Iyambo - "If Culling Seals Is A Problem - Namibians Should Develop A Taste for Eating Them"

           
              
          Why Namibia Must End Its Seal Culling Policy :

          • The Cape fur seal species, the only species of seal found breeding on the whole African continent, is endangered. The 173 member countries of the UN/Cites Convention disagree with Namibia's claim that this species of seal is not. Having listed Cape fur seals under their Appendix II listing of Endangered Species since 1977, since sealers previously caused the almost extinction by 1900 of this species, of which ninety-nine percent of their former habitat (islands) still remains extinct.
          • The Seal stock in Namibia, is clearly not healthy. Having endured several mass mortalities from starvation since 1988. Where in each incident one third to one half of the population starved to death, reducing the population by fifty percent each time. Namibian researchers themselves admit, that the seal population has still not recovered >from the 1994 mass starvation incident, thirteen years later, and is still 27% the 1993 population level in 2006.
          • In the eyes of the international community, Namibia annual seal culling policy, 90% of which is baby nursing seal pup based is illegal. Banned from import into the US since 1971, and Mexico. Baby seal imports banned by the whole 27-member countries of the European Union since 1983. Banned in the sealing regulations in the remaining sealing countries of Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway in 1987. Even South Africa stopped is sealing policy on the same species in 1990. Recently Italy, Belgium, Germany and most recently Netherlands, have all specifically banned Cape fur seal imports into their countries.
          • A cull is a scientific conservation term used to reduce a wildlife population on a once-off method in a given restricted area (like the proposed South Africa Elephant cull in the Kruger National Park). It should therefore have no basis for an annual commercial activity in an open marine eco-system.
          • Just as the Namibian Minister has admitted that a cull on the breeding females is not possible, as it would endanger the life of the new born and unborn pups, so too should common-sense prevail, that sealers endanger not only the life of the nursing baby seals (during their clubbed slaughter), but all ages groups of seals are disturbed during the 139-day harvesting process,  effecting breeding behaviour of these seals in their nursing/breeding grounds.
          • Namibia claims to abide by an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. 90% of the seal culling quota is nursing seal pup based, who as non-fish consumers (still suckling on mothers milk), pose no threat to collapsed fisheries, or in those cull would benefit fisheries in anyway during the culling year, or years ahead.
          • Namibia's claimed fish consumption by seals is irrelevant as the cull is 90% pup based, who are not fish-eaters, in addition fifty-percent of foraging seals diet consists of non-commercial fish species.
          • Professor John Hanks (WorldWildlifeFund) of the Chairman of the Commission on Sealing held in South Africa in 1990, advised the Ministers of the southern Africa region, that there is no biological distinction between the South Africa and Namibian Cape fur seal population, and as such recommended that the seal population be managed as one population. South Africa stopped its seal culling policy in 1990, and after 17-years, no increase in the seal population has been recorded. Findings of the Office of the Public Protector have found that under South Africa's Constitution, our Minister has an obligation to promote and protect the conservation of the Cape fur seal species.
                No Minister or Country has the right to endanger a Marine Protected Species. Namibia has not right to kill our Cape fur seals, and as such Seal Alert-SA has an obligation, just like our Minister to protect the conservation of this endangered marine species of seal, and will do everything in its power to do so.
           
          PLEASE THEREFORE FW THIS TO ANYONE YOU THINK COULD HELP, PLEASE !
          unknown
          Namibian Minister of Fisheries Abraham Iyambo
           
          For the Seals
          Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA