Please react to this, email addresses at the bottom - Francois.

----- Original Message -----
From: SealAlert-SA
Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2006 11:24 AM


Cruelest Seal Hunt in the World

Namibian Sealing  - "Cruelest in the World"
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     According to the previous director of IFAW-SA, David Barritt - "Namibian Sealing is the Cruellest in the World".
 

     At a time when one third to one half of the seal population was experiencing their second mass die-off from starving to death because of Namibia's overfishing policies, in 6 years. Namibian fisheries Marine Resource Director, Dr Burger Oelofsen had this to say, "Like the stock farmer, who in dry times has to slaughter some thin and worthless animals to save them from dying and to make it better for those which survive. People get upset just because it is seals involved". "We know they are going to die, so why not harvest them?", "We cannot afford to let them go to waste".
 
     Seal Alert-SA comment : Dr Oelofsen, you completely miss the point, seals are not farm animals bought and paid for by the farmer and being fed fish-meal on a private farm, these are protected marine wildlife, who should be surviving in the wild due to your "sustainable fishing practices". If you really wanted to "save worthless seals" from the agonising and cruel death of prolonged starvation, there are many better ways, than rounding them up, separating them from their nursing cows and clubbing them over the head or sticking a knife in their helpless chest or hunting them with bows and arrows as trophy's..

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     Protected Cape fur seals are slaughter at two colonies in Namibia. In the north, the Cape Cross Seal colony is in a nature reserve, and Dr Burger Oelofsen the Namibian fisheries sealing official is also a partner in the N$2000 a night, Cape Cross Lodge. Which is the only privately owned land on this northern coastline with a beachfront, its main attraction, is the biggest mainland-seal breeding colony in the world, only 4km away. When Seal Alert-SA phoned on +264 64 694 012 or info@capecross.org, and asked about the sealing activity, the manager informed me of the following. "I think it started yesterday, but at the moment there are just trophy hunters hunting seals with bow and arrows".

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Is it still open to the public? "Yes, the sealers go into the seal colony from 5am to 10am, and then its open to the public from 10am to 5pm. Its N$40 per person and N$10 per car". When does the sealing stop? "Oh, it goes on every day until November".
 
     At the other sealing colony in the south. This colony is situated in the sperrgebiet restricted diamond area No.1. According to Namdeb's website, "Namdeb views the preservation of the environment as a high priority and has developed stringent environmental standards to enforce this view"

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  Although acknowledging that the sperrgebiet is an ecologically sensitive area and in 1994 signed the historic Minerals Agreement Act, in which Clause 14 of this agreement specifies Namdeb's environmental responsibilities, such as, "Namdeb shall have due regard for the protection of the environment and the conservation of natural resources". When De Beers was asked why they allow 29 000 nursing baby seals to be clubbed and stabbed to death by migrant part-time sealers, their reply was, "Your enquiry on the matter of seal culling activities in the Mining Licence Area 45 has reference. Neither Namdeb nor any of its associated companies are involved in any seal culling activities anywhere. No support, logistic or otherwise, is provided to the sealers".
 
     In fact, Namdeb security in terms of the Minister for Security and Security in 2003, are exempt from the private security industry regulations act of 2001, on condition De Beers Consolidated Mines does not deploy security officers outside of the De Beers Group (Namdeb in Namibia). Where cell-phones and camera's are banned from the diamond restricted area of the sperrgebiet, but sealers can daily bring in guns, silencers, clubs and knife's and are daily ushered through the security check-point with their slaughter, dripping blood harvest of their protected nursing baby seals.
 
     Perhaps you would like to write to them and tell them what you think, Minister of Fisheries, Dr Abraham Iyambo aiyambo@mfmr.gov.za or Namdeb Country Manager, Daniel Kali Daniel.Kali@debeersgroup.com or De Beers Public Relations, Suzette Plantema  suzette.Plantema@mhs7.tns.co.za .
 
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA