Subject: Seal Alert-SA's Meeting With Prime Minister of Namibia
Date: July 24, 2007 3:51:23 AM

For "
Proposed questions for interview with Mr Francois Hugo" scroll down, please.

Seal Alert-SA, Press Release, July 24, 2007.

Seal Alert-SA's Meeting With Prime Minister of Namibia

       As many of you know the Right Honourable Prime Minister Nahas Angula advised Seal Alert-SA on July 18, that a meeting was set down for July 23 in Namibia at the Prime Minister's Office at 14.30.
       The subject. Seal Alert-SA's global campaign to end the Seal Hunt in Namibia.
       This of course left Seal Alert-SA little time to prepare. Hurriedly Seal Alert-SA prepared a Power Point clearly illustrating the mismanagement of the Cape fur seals over the past 30 years, as our motivation for the Prime Minister to call an immediate halt to the 2007 baby seal cull of 80 000 seals. It is hoped that this Power Point will be available on-line on the following websites and, within the next few days.
       Unsure who could attend and participate. Seal Alert-SA asked the Prime Minister if in the meeting with Francois Hugo, could be attended with his partner of 8 years, Dr Herbert Henrich Advisor to Seashepherd International and National Council of SPCA's Global Campaigns Manager Celeste Houseman.
       Seal Alert-SA also invited officials from the Department of Marine and Coastal Management in South Africa to the meet, and received the following reply, "Time constraints and approval procedures required by government for international travel mean that DEAT officials will not be able to attend the meeting with the Namibian Prime Minister on Monday 20 July. We do however, wish you a successful meeting."
       Protocol maintained that this historic meeting be kept small with well informed members who could travel to Namibia at short notice.
       Seal Alert-SA, although requested an official invite, was instead told by PA assistant to the Prime Minister, that as he himself had set the meeting, there was no need to send a confirmation letter.
       Many within the Seal Alert-SA supporter/partner fold believed this invite to be a hoax, some even considered it a ploy to lure Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA to Namibia in order to arrest him. Seal Alert-SA spokesperson Nikki Botha confirmed on July 18, that this was no hoax.
       On Friday, Seal Alert-SA's was informed that the interview has appeared today's print edition of the “National-Zeitung” ( It has also been announced in a caption below the photograph of a baby fur seal on the front page. This is somewhat historic, as German tourists account for the largest segment of the international tourists visiting Namibia. "Our  newspaper “National-Zeitung” was founded in 1951. It appears on a weekly basis  with a circulation of 50,000 copies, with readers throughout German-speaking  Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Easter France, Eastern  Belgium, and Northern Italy) and beyond. We write about current affairs  affecting German-speaking countries and regions in Europe. We have also  reported about the need for animal protection in the past, but this interview  will be the first one with a conservationist / animal rights activist." (please see the full English version attached). The full print version of the interview (including two photographs with captions, no omissions) has been on the internet as this week's online version:
     On Sunday, the National Newspaper Rapport reported how their undercover investigation had revealed that for a few dollars, tourists staying at the nearby Cape Cross Seal Lodge, could join the baby seal cull by hiring a rifle from the lodge to go and shoot baby seals,,,752-795_2151296,00.html and,,752-795_2151297,00.html.
     Two days of no sleep, saw Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA, Dr Herbert Henrich and Celeste Houseman arrive in Namibia for this historic meeting.
     At Hosea Kutako International Airport in Namibia, the Seal Alert-SA team was meet by Bart Smithers, the wildlife film-maker and his team. Sadly Bart's appeal for funding to cover filming travel expenses to photograph the baby seal cull, had been ignored by seal supporters, and as such Bart's was funding this out of his own pocket. Bart showed Seal Alert-SA footage of the Cape Cross Seal colony, where sealers were daily each morning whacking away at the skulls of fleeing baby seals. What disturbed Seal Alert-SA the most, was that on this 2007, 80 000 baby seal cull quota, of which some 50 000 was the quota for the Cape Cross Seal colony.
     The footage of Bart's taken on the day before our arrival clearly showed, that far from 50 000 baby seals to club, that there was not even a thousand seals present in the entire colony. Has Namibia's Ministry of Fisheries truly lost it? Awarding a 50 000 quota for Cape Cross when in fact, there was not even a thousand seals left?
     At 14.00 the Seal Alert-SA team headed for the Prime Minister of Namibia's Offices.
    A full report of this historic meeting will follow in my next update, as soon as Bart arrives with the photographs of this historic meeting to save the endangered Cape fur seal species from further annual slaughter.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
27-21-790 8774

Proposed questions for interview with Mr Francois Hugo

1. Seal Alert has requested the Namibian government to halt the 2007 seal cull with immediate effect. Why?
Answer: There are many interrelated reasons why we have called upon the governments of Namibia and South Africa to halt the 2007 seal cull along the Namibian coast. Most recent scientific information available reveals that the endangered seal population has recovered to 73 per cent of 1993 level. Therefore in 2006, the seal population is 27 per cent lower than in 1993. There had been a mass die-off involving 95 per cent of the pups and half the adult seal population in 2000, after a similar die-off in 1994. Another mass die-off occurred after the 2006 sealing quota was announced. However, the promised December 2006 pup population survey has not materialised from Namibian Ministry (using December 2005 pup survey) for 2007 seal pup quota. This actually hides the fact of the mass die-off that occurred in 2006. Most importantly the sealing quota for 2007 exceeds the number of pups on the sealing colonies. Unchanged biological conditions indicate a further die-off this year.

2. The sealing pup quota in 2006 attempted to harvest 15.000 more seals than alive. How do you explain this contradiction in official statistics?
Answer: Since independence sealers have failed to reach the annually 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. By setting a sealing pup quota in 2006 to harvest 15.000 more seal pups than alive is in fact genocide of all the seal pups.

3. Why is the harvesting of seal pups in Namibia regarded as being particularly cruel?
Answer: Sealers are forced to club tens of thousands of pups. This happens during the initial stampede to freedom by reaching the safety of the sea. Clubbed pups are then being dragged semi-consciously to a collection site, where they are stabbed in the heart. Often this requires repeated clubbing on the head and stabbing in the chest and heart. There are time delays of up to an hour between the initial blow to the head and the final breath. Pups vomit in shock mothers milk after the initial blow on their heads and whilst their chests are cut open to reach the heart.

Sealers are also clubbing older seals (on a pup quota <1 year old) in an attempt to fill the quota, which is inhumane as their skull is far thicker. The 120 sealers are unskilled, thereby causing immense suffering when clubbing 80 000 wild fleeing baby seal pups. Culling, disturbing and rounding up 80 per cent of the seal population for 139 days each year is extremely cruel, stressful and is a threat to the species. Such a disturbance eventually causes a pup to become separated from the nursing cow, resulting in mass pup abandonment and starvation.

4. How does culling affect tourism in Namibia, where one third of all foreign visitors come from Germany?
Answer: The favourite time of travel amongst German travellers, which is July and August, coincides with the peak of the seal cull season from July and November.
The Cape Cross seal colony, – which accounts for 50 per cent of the cull quota and which is also the historical site where Portuguese explorer Diego Cao went ashore in 1485 –, is a favourite destination amongst German tourists. Sealers club baby seals from 5am to 10am, sweep and cover the blood-soaked sand and then open the seal colony to paying German tourists. These tourists are ignorant of the morning cull that takes place every day for 139 days from July to November. German tourists also support the Seal Curio shop, purchasing culled seal items, which are then brought back to Germany illegally. Ignorant too, are most Germans that Germany has banned the import of Cape fur seal products.

5. What countries have banned the import of Cape fur seal products so far?
Answer: Cape fur seal products are banned from import in the USA since 1971, in Mexico, Croatia, Belgium, Italy, South Africa and most recently in Germany and Netherlands. In violation of US law, Namibian sealers in 2002 attempted to import 5000 seal skins into the USA which was seized. US NOAA special agent has requested help in tracking Namibia's illegal skin exports. South Africa on two occasions in 2003 criminally convicted importers with skins exported form Namibian sealers

6. Why have imports of Cape seal products been banned relatively late in comparison with other skins of other seal species?
Answer: When the European Commission’s predecessor banned imports of baby seal products in 1983, the European legislators knew nothing about the 90 per cent nursing baby seal cull (85.000) in Namibia. Consequently, Cape fur seals were excluded. This is somewhat strange, as harp and hooded seals have never been endangered and are five times large in population size, whereas Cape fur seals are endangered, and have been UN/CITES listed since 1977. Seeing this market gap, Namibian sealers have since exported almost all their baby seal products to Europe. Namibia is the only country in the world to club baby seals. Even northern hemisphere countries wrote into their sealing regulations a ban on harvesting baby seals since 1987.

7. The Namibian Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Dr. Abraham Iyambo claims that he is mandated to harvest seal under the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia. Is this correct?
Answer: This is not true. Under Namibian Constitution the Ministry is mandated to utilize the seal resource on a sustainable consumptive or non-consumptive basis. Dr. Iyambo 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 Africa and Namibian constitution with regard to sustainability.

8. Declining biological data suggests there is a general need to decreased effort on all established commercial fisheries. Why does seal harvesting nevertheless continue?
Answer: In his February 2006 Annual Address to the Namibian Fishing Industry Dr. Abraham Iyambo is actually on record of demanding a moratorium on new rights for at least next 5 years and a “total of 33 rights of exploitation due to expire end 2007/early 2008, (of these) 2 sealing rights”. In view of the fact that three sealing companies had sealing rights in 2006, the Minister is duty bound to allow two of those Seal Rights to expire in 2007, effectively ending Namibia's 3 man sealing industry.

9. How important is sealing for the Namibian industry?
Sealing generates less than 120 part-time jobs and earns less than USD $100 000. It accounts for 0,01% of Namibia fishery exports.

10. How important is the Namibian fishing industry in the seal culling issue?
Answer: At present 98 per cent of the fish harvested along the Namibian coast is exported and only 2 per cent consumed locally. Fish exports represent about 3 – 5 percent of GDP. Although South Africa stopped its seal cull policy when Namibian became independent, its publicly listed fishing companies remained invested in Namibia’s fisheries and its main importers. Since independence, Namibia has doubled its fishery landings, catch and capacity from 300.0000 tons to 600.000 tons. Ultimately South African fishing companies are behind Namibia´s seal cull policy, which is in violation of the South African Constitution of the non-consumptive use of endangered seals.

11. How valid is the Namibian government’s argument that the seals are consuming 900.000 tonnes of fish a year, more than a third of the fishing industry catch?
Scientific research states that a quantitive comparison cannot be made. Moreover the vast majority of Namibia's fishery is pelagic, which is turned into fishmeal to supply the livestock and petfood industries. Ultimately the cow and domestic cat is the greatest predator of marine fish. Do we then cull cows and cats?

* . * . *


The Hague, 20 July 2007
Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula
Prime Minister of Namibia
Dear Mister Nahas Angula,
Action Against Poisoning fights animal poisoning in particular and supports animal protection efforts in general. As we fully agree with the goals, rescue methods and actions of Seal Alert S.A. we have a long standing cooperation with Mr. Francois Hugo. We share his concerns on the sorry plight of a dwindling Cape Fur Seal population. We are deeply concerned about the Cape Fur Seal culling in your country.
It is clear to us that especially the killing of suckling baby seals is against any human morality. The deliberate cruelty reflects a total disdain for animal protection laws and disregard of the value of animal life and probably any life for that matter.
This violation of human morality can never be justified by financial gain or labour policies.
We are convinced that cruelty towards animals breeds the same attitude towards people. It makes killing easy. So if we want to stop wars, we certainly want to stop a callous animal massacre that breeds the mentality to start wars.
For these reasons we beg you to stop the current culling of seals. And we hope that your meeting with Francois Hugo will be fruitful.

With kind regards,
Drs P.M. Donker
Action Against Poisoning
The Hague, The Netherlands

* . * . *

Subject: Meeting with the Prime Minister of Namibia to Discuss Sealing
Date: July 19, 2007 7:31:01 PM

In an historic move, the Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula (Prime Minister of
Namibia), has graciously agreed to meet with Seal Alert South Africa to
discuss the issue of sealing, on Monday the 23rd of July. The meeting will
be held at the office of the Prime Minister in Namibia.

I hereby invite you and your organisation to write a letter to the Rt.
Hon.Nahas Angula if you so wish. All the letters will be presented in
person to the Prime Minister at the meeting. The letter should be on an
official letterhead and be attached to an email to me. Here is the snag: I
will need all letters by the end of business day on Friday the 20th of

I look forward to hearing from you, keep the passion,
Nikki Botha
Seal Alert South Africa - Spokesperson

* . * . *


Date: July 17, 2007 11:20:16 AM
Breaking News - Prime Minister of Namibia Agrees to Meet With Seal Alert-SA

Seal Alert-SA, Press Release July 17, 2007.

Prime Minister of Namibia Agrees to Meet With Seal Alert-SA
Right Honourable Prime Minister Nahas Angula and Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA

        Please see below email correspondence. The Prime Minister of Namibia has agreed to meet Seal Alert-SA to discuss the Seal Culling in Namibia.
        This is an historic development for all parties concerned. I ask that all send the Namibian Government and the Prime Minister a thank you letter. I will do my best to convince the Prime Minister why the Seal Cull must be halted immediately, and to endeavour to assist Namibia with its environmental fishery problems, to which the seals are a key aspect.
       It therefore important for us all to come together and support this initiative, and achieve a win-win for all, humans, fish and seals.
       Seal Alert-SA has requested an official invitation, and as soon as it arrives, we will be off.
       On behalf of the seals, Seal Alert-SA deeply thanks you all for this tremendous support. Holding Thumbs !
Seal Alert-SA wrote :
Rt. Hon. Nahas Ngula, we can come up to Namibia any which time is convenient for you. The sooner the better as this is reaching critical proportions. Could you please therefore send us an official letter that we are meeting with yourself (the Honourable Prime Minister of Namibia) and that we will be discussing seal culling issues.

Warm regards,
Seal Alert South Africa - Spokesperson

Yes, any time!
----- Original Message -----
To: "Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula"
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: Seals vs. Iraq

Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula, would you consider meeting with us?
For the Seals
Francos Hugo Seal Alert-SA
27 (0) 21 790 8774

* . * . *

Date: July 17, 2007 12:59:17 AM GMT+01:00
Com'on Namibian Prime Minister To Stop Talking To Seal Supporters ,Deal Directly with Seal Alert-SA, and the Issues at Hand


Com'on Namibian Prime Minister To Stop Talking To Seal Supporters ,
Deal Directly with Seal Alert-SA, and the Issues at Hand

Right Honourable Nahas Angula and Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA and suckling Cape fur seal pup

Let's Talk Seal Issues !

        International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) understood this when its director replied to Voice of The Cape Radio, "Not to pass the buck but the NGO that is actively involved in seal conservation in southern Africa is Seal Alert SA - I have copied Francois Hugo in on this email in this regard.
         Since the Namibian Cabinet Media Briefing on June 27, 2007 - announcing the sealing culling quota for 2007 of 80 000 pups. Which started on July 1.
         Seal Alert-SA's Francois Hugo, the organization behind the Namibian Anti-Seal Hunt campaign since 2006, has repeatedly requested a face-to-face meeting or correspondence >from the Namibian Ministry. To date to no avail, not even the decency of an acknowledgement or reply from anyone with the Namibian government. All phone calls and faxed messages remained ignored.
         It is somewhat strange, when government run newspaper New Era, on July 5, publishes an article "Govt Pans Seal Rights Body" stating, "Government has slammed animal rights body Seal Alert-South Africa. In a strongly worded statement, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources on Wednesday accused Seal Alert-South Africa of rumour-mongering and falsifying information about Namibia's seal harvest".
        Although Rodrick Mukumbira of Associated Press interview with Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA article was published unprecedented around the world on July 6, even appearing on AOL, FOXNews and CNN, with the seal clubbing photograph supplied by Seal Alert-SA earning the Yahoo title as the "Most Recommended Photograph in the World". 
        The Namibian Ministry would still not open communication.
        It is even stranger, when Seal Alert-SA learnt that the Prime Minister of Namibia is engaged with repeated email correspondence with Seal Supporters of Seal Alert-SA from around the world, but still continues to ignore communication with the organization itself.
        Seal Alert-SA lists some of these comments from the Right Honourable Prime Minister Nanhas Angula of Namibia.
        "You mean the seals are more important than the life of people of Iraq! You must be mad!seals are harvested on sustainable basis just like you do with
chickens or similar living beings! Stop the slaughter of the people of Iraq!" (German Seal supporter)
       "I am equally appaled by your country's lack of compassion with the people of Iraq.Your troops are part to the slaughter of Iraqi people! (Australian Seal supporter)
       "That is fatalism! Send the same masage to President Bush or Mr Howard. The Namibian seal are pretected by the Namibian Constitution which reads:" maintenace of ecosystems essential ecological processes and biological diversity7 of Namibia and utililasation of living resources on sustainagle basisfor the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future..."     Thank you for the understanding."
       "I hope you direct those great thoughts to Preside4nt Bush! The slaughter of Iraqi people is more horrific than the harvesting of seals!"
      "Namibia is peace loving country. There is no war here! Yes, we do have fishing and other marine resource industry which are managed on sustainable  basis.!"
       Seal Alert-SA Seal Supporters are questioning whether these replies are indeed coming from the Prime Minister. The email says, ----- Original Nachricht ----
Von:     "Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula"
      With one supporter stating, "Below is the reply I just received from Nahus Angula. Its so unprofessional, I doubt very much it is the PM of Namibia". Another wrote WTF????
      For some strange reason, the Prime Minister of Namibia is fixated on the slaughter of the People of Iraqi and the actions of President Bush and Prime Minister Howard, that he is venturing to vent his frustration to supporters of Seal Alert-SA Anti-Seal Hunt Campaign to end the Namibian Seal Slaughter of baby seals in Namibia. Ignoring his cabinet decision on June 27, to slaughter 80 000 endangered baby seals suckling on mothers milk (non fish eaters) each year for the next three years. 
     Or, is the Prime Minister engaged in some kind of reverse psychology with Seal Alert-SA's supporters?
     Is he suggesting that nothing short of a war (like Iraq) will stop the Namibian government from slaughtering endangered baby seals or that the war over resources was started with Bush, and that until we stop that, we will never stop Namibia's baby seal cull of seals to save fish?
     If the Prime Minister can prove how increasing a seal pup quota from 65 000 (2005) to 85 000 (2006), whilst a major mass die-off was taking place, and which thereafter during the next 2006/2007 pup breeding season, a further 62 per cent of the pups will die from natural causes, excluding any further mass die-off from starvation. That the stated pup population of 205 500 pups (2005) born in December, less the 62 per cent that will die before seal culling season starts on July 1, leaving at best 78 050 pups alive in the whole of Namibia, that 80 000 pups can be sustainable harvested every year for the next three years?
    I will stop the campaign and boycotts of Namibia.
    Namibia is setting a dangerous global precedent. Today it is culling fish eating seals to save fish. When the seals are all gone, Tomorrow will it be calls to cull poor fish consuming humans so that rich humans can purchase more fish. Will rich countries then cull poor countries.
    Seals have been around for over five millions year, prior to exploitation, disturbance by man and his thoughts of sustainable harvests. If they did not need it then, to be culled to 'balance and save fish' why now when endangered and most of their former habit is extinct?
    Is Namibia saying, the universal right of a living creature to suckle milk from a mother is a crime?
    What is truly sad, sick even, Namibia has doubled fishery catch and exports 98 per cent, only 2 per cent is consumed locally. The cow and domestic cat are the largest predator of marine fish, as seals have no option but to eat fish, should they not rather cull cows and cats to save fish or just go vegan?
    The longer Namibia takes to end its Seal Cull - The Larger the support for Seal Alert-SA grows and the louder and more damage.
    End it now Namibia. It is just not worth it for the sake of three seal rights holders and the part-time work for 120 unemployed, poor and destitute workers.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
27 (0) 21 790 8774

* . * . *

Date: July 13, 2007 11:48:39 PM

Personal Communication from Francois Hugo :Prime Minister of Namibia Replies Directly to Seal Alert-SA's Anti-Seal Cull Campaign

----- Original Message -----
Cc: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 12:31 AM
Subject: Personal Communication from Francois Hugo :Prime Minister of Namibia Replies Directly to Seal Alert-SA's Anti-Seal Cull Campaign

Seal Alert-SA, Press Release July 14, 2007

Prime Minister of Namibia Replies Directly to Seal Alert-SA's Anti-Seal Cull Campaign

Right Honourable Prime Minister of Namibia Nahas Angula

         On July 13, 2007 - thirteen days into the 80 000 endangered baby nursing seal slaughter in Namibia, where an estimated 8000 baby seals have been already clubbed to death. Seal Alert-SA supporter in Germany receives two email replies directly from the Prime Minister of Namibia, Right Honourable Nahas Angula regarding her email, "Namibia's Shame - Massacre Of Nursing Seal Pups and Bulls".
         15:01 on July 12, 2007 - Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula, "As I write this the people of Baghdad are being slaughtered for no good reason! Save the Iraqi people!
         07:38 on July 13, 2007 - Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula, "You mean the seals are more important than the life of the people of Iraq! You must be mad! seals are harvested on sustainable basis just like you do with chickens or similar living beings! Stop the slaughter of the people of Iraq!
         Upon being forwarded this email, Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA is somewhat speechless and confused in how to reply?
         Firstly I would suggest the Prime Minister of Namibia rather use his diplomatic channels and convey his country's thoughts, and his own, directly to United States of America, President George Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Appealing to them directly to end their "War on Terror" and to Save the Iraqi people. Perhaps he would like Seal Alert-SA to do so on his and the Namibian governments behalf, I am not sure exactly what he means?.
        If he could supply Seal Alert-SA with the President's White House red direct telephone number and that for Tony Blair's at 10 Downing Street - I will most certainly do so or would he like me to start a campaign?
         Like Seal Alert-SA and its worldwide supporters are doing appealing to the Namibian President, Prime Minister and its Ministers to stop the innocent slaughter of 80 000 endangered nursing baby seals who do not consume fish, I could appeal to Bush and Blair on Namibia's behalf to end the slaughter of the Iraqi people.
        If I do this, could you as Prime Minister of Namibia at least consider to do Seal Alert-SA and its supporters the justice of announcing an immediate Halt! to the slaughter of the 80 000 baby seals in Namibia who do not consume fish.
        For I can assure you, Right Honourable Prime Minister the slaughter of every baby Cape fur Seal born in Namibia in 2007 is NOT sustainable.
        I await your Presidential reply and close co-operation between our two civilised organizations. My direct telephone number is 27 (0) 21 790 8774.
        You may wish to see for yourself the innocent slaughter of these seals, or consider starting a boycott website, just like we have done.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
 ----- Original Nachricht ----
Von:     "Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula"
emailaddress known by Sealalert-SA
Datum:   12.07.2007 15:01
Betreff: Re: Namibia's Shame - Massacre Of Nursing Seal Pups & Bulls

As I write this the people of Bagdad areb being slaughtered for no good
reason! Save the Iraqi people!
----- Original Nachricht ----
Von:     "Rt. Hon. Nahas Angula"
email address known by Sealalert-SA
Datum:   13.07.2007 07:38
Betreff: Re: Re: Namibia's Shame - Massacre Of Nursing Seal Pups & Bulls

You mean the seals are more important than the life of people of Iraq! You
must be mad! seals are harvested on sustainable basis just like you do with
chickens or similar living beings! Stop the slaughter of the people of Iraq!