International protest against seal cull

International protest against seal cull

SAVE The Seals (UK), an England-based conservation group, will stage a protest outside the Namibian embassy in central London on Wednesday to protest the slaughtering seal pups.

The group’s action was announced on Friday, a few hours after the Namibian Cabinet approved a seal-culling quota of 85 000 pups and 6 000 bulls for 2006. “Apart from the enormous efforts of Francois Hugo’s Seal Alert South Africa, which has campaigned tirelessly over the years to stop this genocide, Namibia’s seal slaughter has remained unchallenged: that’s due to change,” the protesters said.”The world can no longer look the other way, at what has been rightfully described as the cruelest seal ‘hunt’ on the planet.We will be demanding that the Namibian Government stop this senseless slaughter forthwith, and ask that the British public support this campaign.”The UK group has joined South Africa’s Seal Alert SA in condemning seal culling.Seal Alert SA wants the entire exercise to be stopped, while the International Organisation for Animal Protection (OIPA), on its website, has a petition to Minister Dr Abraham Iyambo asking him to intervene.Cabinet said last week that it was working on a seal management plan, looking at management goals, strategies and mechanisms for the long-term sustainability of the Namibian seal population.Information Permanent Secretary Loini-Nyanyukweni Katoma said the harvesting season will run from July 1 to November 15 and they hope to reduce seal predation of the hake resource.The most recent stock assessment of seals, based on an aerial survey which covered Cape Frio, Cape Cross, Wolf/Atlas Bay, Sinclair Island, Lion’s Head and Sylvia Hill, estimated the number of pups at 184 103 and adults at 700 000.Katoma said scientists estimated that seals consumed just under 985 000 tonnes of fish in 2005 while the total annual catch of the Namibian fishing industry was generally between 500 000 and 600 000 tonnes per year.”Seals are, therefore, clearly consuming far more fish than is caught by the commercial fleet,” she said in a statement.What was of further concern to the Government was, according to her, the proportion of Namibia’s hake, horse mackerel and pilchard stocks that consists of small fish – the size that is typically consumed by seals.”Apart from the enormous efforts of Francois Hugo’s Seal Alert South Africa, which has campaigned tirelessly over the years to stop this genocide, Namibia’s seal slaughter has remained unchallenged: that’s due to change,” the protesters said.”The world can no longer look the other way, at what has been rightfully described as the cruelest seal ‘hunt’ on the planet.We will be demanding that the Namibian Government stop this senseless slaughter forthwith, and ask that the British public support this campaign.”The UK group has joined South Africa’s Seal Alert SA in condemning seal culling.Seal Alert SA wants the entire exercise to be stopped, while the International Organisation for Animal Protection (OIPA), on its website, has a petition to Minister Dr Abraham Iyambo asking him to intervene.Cabinet said last week that it was working on a seal management plan, looking at management goals, strategies and mechanisms for the long-term sustainability of the Namibian seal population.Information Permanent Secretary Loini-Nyanyukweni Katoma said the harvesting season will run from July 1 to November 15 and they hope to reduce seal predation of the hake resource.The most recent stock assessment of seals, based on an aerial survey which covered Cape Frio, Cape Cross, Wolf/Atlas Bay, Sinclair Island, Lion’s Head and Sylvia Hill, estimated the number of pups at 184 103 and adults at 700 000.Katoma said scientists estimated that seals consumed just under 985 000 tonnes of fish in 2005 while the total annual catch of the Namibian fishing industry was generally between 500 000 and 600 000 tonnes per year.”Seals are, therefore, clearly consuming far more fish than is caught by the commercial fleet,” she said in a statement.What was of further concern to the Government was, according to her, the proportion of Namibia’s hake, horse mackerel and pilchard stocks that consists of small fish – the size that is typically consumed by seals.

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