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

Date: July 8, 2007



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 : and, 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 and FOXNews,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.



      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