Namibia's Baby Seal
Cull - 2008
Subject: Namibia's Baby Seal Cull - 2008
Date: June 15, 2008
Dear All Cape Fur Seal Supporters,
Should Namibian Government continue its agreed
to Conference Meeting with Seal Alert-SA (as agreed to last year)
before it starts sealing on 1 July 2008 - you decide ?
In 2007, Namibia's largest tourist attraction, the largest seal colony, the Namibian government and the Minister of Tourism earned over N$ 2 million from over 70 000 tourists paying to see and photograph the seals. The government and another Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources, with the seal population declining, awarded 2 sealing companies the largest sealing pup quota on record, which permitted them to kill 700% more seal pups then what was permitted when Namibia become independent in 1990. The Namibian government earned from sealers 5% or N$ 113 000, of what ecotourism brought in from this one seal colony.
Can it realistically do both, club seals early in the morning and the charge tourists to view a wild seal colony ?
At birth human babies weigh 4% of adult weight. At 4% of adult seal weight, seal pups in 70% of the seal population are permitted to be clubbed to death, with sealing rights for 85 000, 7-month old nursing baby seals still suckling mother's milk.
I am sending this email to you, and to the Prime Minister of Namibia, Rt..Hon. Nahas Angula email@example.com and to Stavos Dimas EU Commissioner for the Environment, who is due to decide whether to ban Cape fur seal imports, you can write your comments on his blog :
Last year, I was invited to a meeting with the Prime Minister of Namibia, in attendance was the Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources. In that meeting I was tasked by the Prime Minister that if I could show the sealing quota was too high and that if sealing was causing an ecological imbalance - the Namibian government would not want to continue sealing. A second meeting was set-up by the Prime Minister for Seal Alert-SA to deliver our evidence. See video of this historic meeting :
In the 2nd meeting, officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources and chaired by Director of Marine Resource Management, attended by 34 stake-holders, including the seal industry, Government Ministries of Environment & Tourism, Trade & Industry and Foreign Affairs, including De Beers Marine, Namdeb, Namibia Breweries, Namibia Tourism Board and Namibia Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA has presented the following evidence, as per the task set by the Prime Minister of Namibia (it should be noted at no cost to the Namibian government or its people. All work being funded by Seal Alert-SA supporters);
- Sealing Quota Too High - Since the seal populations peak in 1993, Namibia's doubling of commercial fisheries catch since 1990, together with global warming, El Nino and changing fish movement, the mortality of the seal pups born collectively in December, upon which sealing quotas and the population is determined, has doubled from (25-32)% in the pups first year, to 62% by the start of the July sealing season. What Seal Alert-SA showed, is that after the pups are born, and then surveyed and the sealing quotas are determined, 62% of the pups would have died before sealing starts. Citing as an example the largest seal colony in Namibia, Cape Cross. The Namibian government determined that 65 073 seal pups were born in December 2006, to which it awarded two sealing companies a 52 950 sealing quota for this colony. Ignoring the fact that 62% or over 40 000 pups would die, before sealing started on 1 July, and that with only 25 000 seal pups left alive, the sealing quota awarded was double (52 950), the number of pups left in the seal colony. In order for these two sealing companies to fill their sealing quota, they would be required to kill all the pups, and still be 27 000 seal pups short of their quota. Clearly this quota is too high.
- Sealing Causes Ecological Imbalance - The clearest evidence Seal Alert-SA could present that sealing was causing an ecological imbalance, as there are many, was to document photographically that directly due to the disturbance caused by practices in the sealing regulations, such as chasing the seal pups away from the sea, herding the seals together, separating pups from nursing mothers, holding them in tight groups and then clubbing seal pups to death or all the seal pups in the colony over 139 days of sealing season. That is would cause the complete collapse of the entire seal colony. Was to document that Namibia's largest seal colony, which Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources claimed had recorded the largest growth for all seal colonies, and in which the December 2006, pup count was the highest on record. Which in turn would imply that the colony year round would have 65 000 nursing cows and 65 000 pups (as pups are only weaned at 9 - 12 months of age), and with a total seal colony of 300 000 seals. To then document that on 10th August 2007, that just 40 days into the 139 day sealing season, Namibia's largest seal colony had completely collapsed, with not a single seal present anywhere in the seal colony. Seal Alert-SA did this with aerial video and high definition cameras flying over the seal colony.
300 000 seals gone, 65 000 pups, 65 000 nursing females - 10 August 2007
The chairman of this official meeting, Director of Marine Resource Management at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources ignored this evidence completely, and instead claimed under Namibia's constitution Namibia is mandated to cull seals, and that Namibian Fisheries Scientists had presented enough evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the allegations made by Seal Alert had no basis. Naturally Seal Alert refuted this, and asked for the opportunity to present evidence that what the Namibian scientists presented was false, propaganda and complete fabrication. A 3rd meeting was agreed, it officially stated in a Government Press Release, "In order to further deliberate on the scientific explanation and findings, it was proposed that a meeting of scientists be convened after Seal Alert studied the scientific evidence provided by Namibian scientists. The date for the conference will only be known after all parties have informed each other".
Seal Alert-SA was ready to meet again two weeks later (August 2007), Namibia has since refused all meetings. It is now a year later, and sealing is about to start.
Ignoring all official discussions, and with 2 of these 4 sealing rights holders right to kill seals due to expire in 2007, and instead of the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries implementing its 5-year moratorium on new fishing rights as announced in 2006, it went forward and awarded 2 sealing rights holders, 7-year rights, 1 sealing right holder, 10-year right and the other 15-year right to cull seals commercially.
In doing so, is the Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources not completely disregarding the Prime Minister's final authority.
After 2 years of campaigning to end it, I have personally had enough. Namibia's Ministry of Fisheries, even when exposed that their management and figures are bogus, prefers to simply remain silent. Namibia's reason for culling seals is their consumption of fish, yet since independence Namibia has doubled its commercial fish catch from 312 000 tons to 631 000 tons and exports 97% of it. Clearly seals are not over consuming Namibia fisheries, overfishing is. The Seal cull excludes all fish eating seals and clubs to death non-fish eating, suckling baby seals whose death cannot benefit fish stocks. All other sealing countries banned killing nursing baby seals in the 1980s as it is inhumane and cruel, as did the EU regarding seal pup imports and the US since 1972. Furthermore, the seal population in real terms has declined by half from starvation, natural mortality of pups has doubled, yet pup kills by sealers have increased from 9 000 to 85 000 and sealing rights holders from 2 to 4. Pup quotas have risen 466%, whilst killed pups have increased 695%. This has to stop.
I am pleased to announce that I recently shut-down a website selling illegally bull seal skin shoes for hunters operating in South Africa www.hfhadventures.co.za, and I am further pleased that IFAW has finally woken up to the fact where these seal skins are being used, in the making of Scottish Sporran Purses, after I shut down a multi-million rand Scottish linked operation in South Africa manufacturing these fur skin purses for export many years ago. To club to death an endangered seal, collapse an entire seal colony, to make a fur purse is sick !
Can you tell the difference between these two seal pups ?
Which one is a South African seal and which is a Namibian Cape fur seal ? Neither could eleven government scientists and chairperson of WWF-SA on the Commission On Sealing in 1990, where it found that there is no biological basis to distinguish between "Namibian" or "South African" seals and therefore recommended the population be managed as one. South Africa stopped culling and commercial sealing with no adverse impacts to fisheries, environment or ecosystem, nor has the South African seal population increased after 17 years. After my last meeting with the Ministry of Fisheries and 34 stake-holders, Namibia claims its Constitution mandates it to cull seals. Nonsense ! Its Constitution allows it to, "maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and utilization of living natural resources".
In a word, Conservation, Protection and Eco-Tourism - not, Commercial Seal killing.
After the Prime Minister of
Namibia delegated further discussion with the Ministry
of Fisheries, which was officially opened by the Deputy
Minister and unprofessionally chaired by Director of Marine
Resources, refusing all attempts to challenge the
scientific propaganda presented and refused to end its in
fact unlawful sealing industry last year, Seal
Alert-SA then called on public to Boycott Namibia and
we asked the European Union to implement a full Seal
Product import ban. Pleased to announce that Belgium,
Netherlands and Germany adopted such bans. If just 200
tourists changed or cancelled holidays to Namibia, this
lost revenue would have exceeded the sealing industries
total revenue. On-line Petition signatures to protect Cape
fur Seals exceeds 42 000 people in over 80 countries. Seal
Alert-SA in now asking the public to contact, family,
friends, tour-guides, travel agents, pilots or anyone
going to Namibia between July and November to go to the
Cape Cross Seal Colony in Namibia to record with either
pictures or video in panoramic view the disturbance to the
seal colony caused by sealers, before, during and after
each day's baby seal pup clubbing activity (map of colony
below). To then please send these photographs to me
at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seal Alert-SA is
particularly interested in the colony disturbance as a
whole, patches of blood soaked sand, tyre tracks left by
sealers, trucks leaving the seal colony with dead seals,
and naturally any seal clubbing or seal shooting
activity. Please try and record Namibian officials lying
about the blood on the sand and what causes it -
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA.
Collides on One
One Seal Colony - Eco-Tourism, Commercial Seal Culling & Clubbing, Bow & Arrow and Sport Trophy Hunting
Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA releases his Seal Protection Campaign for Namibia for 2008.
Is it possible for an already classified endangered Seal Colony in a protected seal reserve to serve Namibians in becoming the largest tourist attraction in Namibia generating over N$ 2 million through Eco-tourism, and then at the same time serve Namibia's fish consumption needs whereby the same seal colony needs to be culled to protect fish stocks and create seal clubbing jobs, whilst bull seals are commercially shot for their genital exports and hunting shoes, and to then still, satisfy the needs of sport trophy hunters, who are permitted to hunt these same seals with rifles and bows & arrows - whilst still claiming a government conservation and seal protection policy that is not endangering this seal colony with extinction, when no scientific evidence exists that a seal cull benefits fisheries and 90% of the cull is baby seal based who do not consume fish ?
Has not this Seal Colony already collapsed from over-exploitation as evident by the aerial photographs taken last year ? Are photographs not better proof, than government propaganda ?
From largest seal colony to largest culling quota to complete collapse, so that 60 seal clubbers, who do not even earn sufficient wages to live in anything but a Cardboard shack
Seal Alert-SA documents below this bizarre Namibian government management policy, the focus of this year's campaign.
23 former seal colonies, which accounted for 99% of the offshore seal breeding population, which collapsed from sealing - have remained extinct to this species.
Following my historic meeting in July last year, with Prime Minister of Namibia Rt. Hon, Nahas Angula, whilst the baby seal's were being clubbed, adult bull seals being shot for their genitals, and the Minister of Tourism was granting trophy hunters permits to hunt seals with rifles and bow & arrows, the PM said, "The method of killing, I agree I don't want that. I don't want the beating of an animal in front of myself, but its a resource just like fish", stating further he said,"I don't know why in particularly pups are being killed, perhaps the Fisheries Minister can explain". See transcript on video :
The Minister of Fisheries, never did explain, instead he abruptly ended the PM meeting.
December 2007, the European Food Safety Authority concludes its Scientific Opinion that seals are sentient mammals (not fish) that can experience pain, distress, fear and others forms of suffering.
Endangered Seal Pup, the Herding of 85 000 Baby Seals, the Brutal Clubbing, the Vomiting of Freshly Drunk Mothers Milk Whilst being Cut Open
The Public Protests in Africa, the Media, the Meeting with Prime Minister, the International Protests
Over 400 000 Tourists line-up to pay to see Cape fur seals, Namibia's largest tourist attraction Cape Cross Seal Colony, seal-less and now exterminated
The Media - Photographic Editor of Reuters Worldwide Press Agency last year told me that he has over 1 million pictures of the Canadian Seal Hunt on file, but cannot find a single one for his news publication of the Namibian Seal Slaughter. After Seal Alert-SA sent Reuters the picture it was voted by Yahoo as the most viewed pic on the internet worldwide that day. Namibian government does not permit the observation, monitoring or filming of the seal pup cull. Because it is simply barbaric and very cruel. Pictures recorded above were taken during a controlled cull of 27 seals during an open media day in 2000 (camera's were ordered switched off the moment the clubbing started), and does in no way reflect the brutality and cruelty inflicted when clubbing 85 000 seal pups away from the media's photographic eye. See clip of real clubbing on this seal colony, www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzPcAvEARwI.
Namibia's annual seal cull is due to start on 1 July 2008. In 2006, the Namibian government awarded 4 sealing rights holders, who hire 120 part-time workers/seal clubbers to go into 70% of the Cape fur seal population, predominately breeding on two large mainland seal colonies and round-up, separate and herd together 7-month seal pups still dependent and nursing on their mothers and club their way through 85 000 pups and then shoot 6000 bull seals, per year, and for the next three years, to fulfill a three-year contract to supply a company in Turkey with raw pup skins, who would then re-export finished products to the European Union. Each Seal Rights Holder has 139 days, of daily sealing to reach their quota.
Seal Alert-SA's campaign for 2008, will this year focus on the largest Seal Colony in Namibia.
Cape Cross Seal Colony, the Largest in Namibia
Namibia's Director of Marine Resources BJ Van Zyl stated that culling seals was a conservation necessity and that pup harvests may be set as high as 30% of pups born. Based on the December 2006 pup count at Cape Cross of 65 073 pups. The pup quota should not have exceeded 19 500. Yet the Ministry awarded a three year 52 000 pups per year, rolling quota, nearly treble this number, for this colony.
- The Seal Reserve - In 1968 an area of 60 sq/km around a seal colony was proclaimed a Seal Reserve to protect the species. It is known as Cape Cross Seal Colony.
- Lawful Jurisdiction - In 1973, South Africa which controlled Namibia, then known as SWA introduced the Sea Birds and Seal Protection Act of 1973. Its jurisdiction presided over the sea, the islands within and ended at the high-tide water mark. Namibia adopted this legislation until 2000, whereby it incorporated seals into the Marine Resources Act of 2000, whose jurisdiction equally ends at the high-tide water mark. A total of 36 islands was listed as protected habitat under schedule 1. Although in 1973, over 50% of the seal population was recorded breeding on the mainland, all these seal colonies were excluded from the Seal Protection Act.
- Seals Extinction - Native habitat, that which comprising of 99% of the protected offshore islands remains extinct to the Cape fur seals and is equally banned to them.
- International Conservation Obligation - In 1975, South Africa became a signatory of the United Nations - 173 country, Convention in Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). In 1977, CITES classified Cape fur seals as an Appendix II endangered species, "Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival". In 1991, Namibia became a signatory of this Convention. This is the only conservation classification Namibia has legally bound itself to internationally. World Conservation Union or IUCN or any other conservation classification is not lawfully binding and has not status in court, any other classification is just that of a large ngo and meaningless.
- The Seal Colony - Cape Cross seal colony stretches 3 - 5 km along the beach, and breeding occurs above the high-tide water mark to about 200 - 400 m in-land. Seal Breeding occurs beyond the Minister's jurisdiction.
- The Minister's - The Minister of Marine Resources awards 2 sealing rights holders, the permits with which seal pups are rounded up, disturbed and clubbed to death and bull seals shot commercially, by hired workers. The Minister of Tourism grants permits for Eco-tourism to the colony, collects revenue via an entrance fee to the seal colony, and grants permits to sport trophy hunters to hunt seals with rifles and bow & arrows.
- Traditional Hunt - There is no traditional hunt of Cape fur seals or out of work traditional or disadvantaged fishermen supplementing their fisheries income.
- Unlawfulness of the Ministers - As the seal colony breeding occurs beyond the jurisdiction of the Minister of Marine Resources, the permits given to sealers are invalid, likewise is the regulations instructing sealers to chase seals away from the sea (or out of the Minister's jurisdiction). Likewise, as Seals fall under the Marine Resources Act, the Minister of Tourism's has no jurisdiction over the species to issue permits to trophy hunt seals in the colony are unlawful.
- Lawful Administration - The only lawful management or administration of the Cape Cross Seal colony is the development of eco-tourism and the charging of an entrance fee to tourists to view the seal colony.
- Tourists - Annually, 53 000 - 70 000 tourists visit the Seal Colony at Cape Cross between 10am and 5pm, daily. Adults are charged N$20, each private vehicle a further N$20 and a tourist bus $160. The Namibian government earns in excess of N$ 2 million from tourists visiting the seal colony each year, and could far exceed this if it promoted it.
- Top Tourist Attraction - Based on the number of visitors to the seal colony, this has become Namibia's largest tourist attraction.
- Peak Tourist Season - July - November.
- Future Eco-Tourism Potential - An estimated 300 000 tourists visit one seal colony in South Africa, where direct boat-ride ticket sales to the seal colony exceed R15 million. This daily centralization of tourists, makes it possible to establish restaurant and curio shops, both formal and informal to cater for the unemployed, such initiatives like the one in South Africa, creates hundreds of jobs directly in sales or manufacturing and generates a further R15 million. In essence if correctly managed Cape Cross seals has the potential to increase current revenue 6-fold from eco-tourism to exceed N$ 12 million per annum.
- Eco-Tourism - In 2006, Namibian government with funding from the Global Environmental Facility, set up NACOMA project. To fund sustainable coastal development. Along the entire Namibian coastline, NACOMA chose as their first funded task, the Cape Cross Eco-tourism Project. Clearly showing that seals are the most important economic value on the coastline, after diamonds and fishing. The tourist view point is separated from the seal colony by a seawall constructed of rocks and cement. Over the years this wall has collapsed. "Consequently, this encourages tourists to climb into the seal enclosure for a better view and at the same time causing massive disturbance to the seal colony". A wooden walk-way for the tourists was then constructed.
- Namibian People - At less than 2 million, Namibia is the least populated country on earth, that produces the largest production of gem diamonds and once had one of the most productive fisheries in the world.
In conflict to the above, even with the Namibian government
stating that tourists encroaching on the seal colony causes
"massive disturbance to the seal colony", the Minister of
Tourism grants permits to trophy hunt seals for sport, and
the Minister of Marine Resources, grants sealers permits to
club and shoot tens of thousands of seals in the colony,
between July and November.
- The Seal Colony Year-Round Attendance - The seal colony is active all year long, with cows nursing seal pups born in December for the entire year daily. Weaning occurs at the earliest between August - November (although this is disputed as it occurs much later), and in some cases nursing continues into the 2nd or 3rd year.
- The Seal Population - The Namibian Ministry recorded 65 073 seal pups born in December 2006. This would give a year round attendance (less natural mortality) of 130 000 cows and their pups. The total seal population in the colony is over 300 000 seals.
- Largest Seal Colony - This makes the Cape Cross seal colony the largest in Namibia.
- Growth of the Seal Population Since 1990 - The overall population is derived from the number of pups born. There has been no growth overall. The last population survey revealed in 2006 that the seal population has declined 7% since 1990, from 220 000 seal pups to 205 500.
- Mass Die-off's of the Seal Colony - Cape Cross seal colony has recorded several major die-off's. The die-off in 1994 caused almost all the pups and half the adults to die from starvation. The 2000 die-off was even larger. The last being recorded in 2006.
- Natural Mortality and Pup Survival - The latest scientific research by Namibian scientists revealed that natural mortality of pups previously 25-32% within first year, had increased since 1994, to 30% between December-January, and a further 32% between February-July. Doubling previous natural mortality to 62%.
- Surviving Pups - After 65 073 seal pups were collectively recorded in December 2006, 62% of these would die during the months leading up to July from natural causes. A total of 24 727 seal pups would be alive in the Cape Cross Seal colony, thereafter.
- Sealing Quota - Is based on the number of pups born. The quota awarded each year is 90% pup based, and a further 6 000 - 8000 bull seals (older than a year) are shot.
- Sealing Period - Used to run from 1 August - 15 November, it was changed in 2006, to 1 July, a month earlier or extended, after sealers were only averaging 66% of their quota, and to therefore give them the opportunity to kill younger seal pups to fill their quota.
- Three Year Rolling Seal Quota - In 2006, the Minister of Marine Resources increased the pup quota 30% over the previous year, which itself was doubled in 2000. In total since independence in 1990, the Minister of Marine Resources has allowed sealers to club 700% more pups than it did in 1990. In 2006, it announced a three year rolling quota of 85 000 pups to be killed per year, up from 65 000, the year before, it also brought forward the sealing season, by one month, to kill even younger seal pups. To start sealing now on 1 July. Its reason to bring stability to the sealing industry and fill a recent three year export order signed with a company in Turkey.
- Cape Cross Sealing Quota - The Minister of Marine Resources granted sealing rights to two sealing companies to harvest seals at Cape Cross, awarding companies Seal Products 32 950 seals and Cape Cross Seals 20 000. These companies are owned by two individuals. Bringing the total of seals to be killed for Cape Cross seal colony to 52 950 seals, each year, for 2006, 2007 and 2008. 90% of which is pup based.
- Sealing Regulations - Regulations state a pup, is defined as a seal pup of less than one-year of age. As all pups are born collectively in November/December this would involve all pups. Regulations further state that these pups, "must be driven away from the sea", in other words beyond the jurisdiction making their killing of seal pups illegal and beyond permit jurisdictions. The reason for this, is that this marine mammal is actually an island based sea mammal, where if applied to islands would not be illegal, but is on the mainland, but government bans them from islands to the mainland.
- Unsustainability of this Cull - As stated, seal pup quotas are determined by the number of seal pups born in December. Each colony must be calculated separately for the cull. In 2006, 65 073 seal pups were born at Cape Cross, and as stated natural mortality will kill by July, 40 000 seal pups, leaving alive 24 000 to harvest. The Minister awarded a three year, rolling quota, that exceeds the number of seal pups alive by double. 24 000 seal pups face a seal pup quota of 47 000, for Cape Cross.
- Threat to the Species - In order for sealers to attempt to fill their quota, they will attempt to kill all the seal pups on the colony, and still be some 23 000 seals short. Illegally they will try to club and kill older seals, and claim these as pups, in violation of the sealing regulations.
- Sealing Rights Holders Revenue - The two sealing companies for Cape Cross will share N$2,7 million generated from sealing. It appears the majority of the income goes directly to just two individuals and not their hired workers. These sealing companies are demanding increased sealing quotas to recovery their N$ 2,5 million invested in sealing factories.
- The Sealers or Seal Clubbers - These two sealing companies hire about 60 part-time, unskilled workers for the sealing season. It is unknown what wages these workers earn, but it is very low, as the majority cannot afford a fixed dwelling, with water, sanitation or electricity, and instead stay in squatter type shack accommodation made of old cardboard erected in the desert nearby.
- Government Income from Sealing - As stated government directly earns over N$2 million, most of it in much needed foreign currency from tourist eco-tourism to the colony, and has little or no expenses. Government Revenue from the Sealing industry in 2007, was just N$206 000 (10% of ecotourism), it should equally be born in mind, the Sealing at the Cape Cross only generated 55% of this industry revenue, implying just over N$100 000 was earned by government, as opposed to N$2 million, with potential to grow to at least N$12 million.
- Cull or Seal Harvest - Namibian government itself does not know which, often using both in same official sentence. Officially it cannot admit its a cull, as that would make its commercial sealing industry illegal under its own constitution.
- Motive for Cull - Commercial fishermen believe if you cull large numbers of seals, there will be more fish for them to catch and earn greater profits. The Namibian government believes similar. As fish stocks collapse in Namibia from mismanagement and overfishing, to appease thousands of fishermen, announcing larger and larger annual seal culling quotas sounds good on paper. The government believes via its Fisheries Ministry, that seals eat over 900 000 tons of fish, yet its own scientists have established that half a seals diet is made up of non-commercial fish stocks. Equally scientific research has revealed no positive benefit to culling seals increases fish stocks, in fact, research proves a cull would be negative for the fisheries, environment and some commercial fish stocks, like the most valuable commercial fish species hake.
- Stupidity of the Seal Cull - All breeding females are exempt from any cull, as are all fish eating seals of various ages, a few thousand bulls are shot for their genital exports. Collectively 100% of the fish eating seals in the colony are not culled. Instead the cull is 90% baby seal pup based, with these babies, still suckling mother's milk and are unable to digest, eat or catch fish to sustain themselves (as evident by each pup vomiting up white mother's milk when clubbed to death). Their death's have no impact or positive benefit for fisheries.
- Even more absurd - Removing a pup prematurely by clubbing it to death, actually increasing the attending nursing seal cows ability to reproduce more often, as she can now forage more effectively without attending to pup on the colony, thereby in effect increasing reproduction, and unnaturally increasing the seal population the opposite of a culls intention.
- Kill Time 5am to 9am - Why kill seals this early in the morning, every day for 139 days ? As sealing disturbs the entire colony, the seals most be given time to return to the colony before its opened to paying tourists. The answer is that sealers need to kill as many seals as possible in the colony, in order for the clubbed seals to be loaded onto trucks and the blood-soaked sand swept over the killing field to hide it, as this Seal Colony opens to paying eco-tourists from 10am onwards.
- Daily Target - 20 Sealers or less need to drive seals away from the waters edge, round-up and separate seal pups from nursing cows, herd them together and then club to death 500 baby seals every day, if they are to reach their quota of 52 000 by November, 139 days later.
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
Tel - 27-21-790 8774 or 078 152 9162