From: Seal Alert-SA Francois Hugo
Date: June 26, 2007 10:16:06 AM GMT

Press Release : Seal Alert-SA
Two of the three sealing rights end in 2007, as such Seal Alert-SA appeals to the Namibian Ministry to call an end to its seal culling policy.

Attached letter

----- Original Message -----
From: Sealalert
Cc: ; ; ;
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 11:05 AM
Subject: Public Call For Namibia To Announce A Moratorium on Seal Culling Policy

Dear Mrs Gray or Mrs Vanhees for attention his Excellency the High Commissioner Wilbard Hellao,

Public Call For Namibia To Announce A Moratorium on Seal Culling Policy

        I refer to the High Commissioners correspondence dated 14 September 2006 (ref 1/3/8).
        Attached is a letter setting out clearly why Namibia should consider a moratorium on its Seal Culling Policy. Could you please ensure that the High Commissioner receives this letter, together with a copy being forwarded to the Minister and Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Namibia.
       In Addition, I am faxing a copy ofwhich.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
27-21-790 8774

Seal Alert-SA Press Release, June 26, 2007
4 Days to Go to the start of the Namibian Baby Culling Season

Two of the Three Sealing Concession Rights Expire - 2007,
Will Namibian Fisheries Minister Uphold the Moratorium on New Rights
Announce An End to Namibia's Seal Culling Policy ?
Seal cow mourns the recent loss of her clubbed baby seal pup

      On the same species of seal, the Cape fur seals, South Africa after a Commission on Sealing enquiry, announced a moratorium on its commercial seal culling policy in 1990. Seventeen years later, there has been no increase in the seal population or a need to cull them. Two of Namibia's three sealing rights holders rights expire in 2007, perhaps this is all that is needed for Namibia to announce an end to its Seal Culling policy? 
       Namibian Fisheries Minister Abraham Iyambo in his Annual Address to the Fishing Industry on February 20, 2006 stated very clearly the following. 2006 should be a year we focus on, "Restricting the level of fishing effort" and "Continue with responsible management and conservation of our fisheries resources".
       Although stating clearly in a letter to Seal Alert-SA that Namibia's "harvesting operations of seals is governed by the regulations of Marine Resources Act of 2001". He then increased the sealing pup quota from 60 000 to 85 000 and then, half-way through sealing season issuing another letter "Current seal mortalities along the Namibian Coast". Where sealers themselves were unable to meet this quota, stopped harvesting operations to bury dead seal corpses (half the seal population died) and could find no more pups to kill, hardly sounds like, "restricting fishing effort, responsible management or conservation of this endangered fisheries resource", now does it?
      In his Annual Address, Minister Iyambo further stated,
New Fishing Rights - "Biological data indicate no need for new rights" and "There is a general need to decrease effort on all established commercial fisheries". Announcing, "Moratorium on new rights for at least next 5 years". He said, "A total of 33 rights of exploitation due expire end 2007, these rights include 2 sealing rights".
     Minister Iyambo set last year's 2006 sealing quota, at 6000 seal bulls and 85 000 seal pups, shared as follows between three sealing rights holders. Namibian Venison & Marine Products a quota to harvest of 38 050, Seal Products 32 950 and Cape Cross Seals 20 000.
     As Cape Cross Seals is a relatively new entrant into seal harvesting, clearly therefore the two established sealing rights holders, Namibian Venison & Marine Products and Seal Products, rights expire in 2007.  
    Holding Minister Iyambo to his National Address, these two sealing rights holders cannot be renewed, as there is a moratorium on new rights for at least the next 5 years.
    This would effectively end Namibia's sealing industry, and the Minister should announce an end publicly, before the start of the 2007 baby seal culling season, which normally starts on July 1.
    The Big Question, will he?
    After South Africa stopped sealing in 1990, 17 years ago, the seal population has not increased or showed any further need for a cull, it is hoped Namibia understands this?
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA

Attached letter