The second largest seal hunt in the world occurs in Namibia from July 1st through November 15th. This year the Namibian government has set the 2006 hunting quota at 85,000 pups; a level that combined with natural mortality could result in the annihilation of this year's entire seal pup population.
Namibia is the only country in the Cape fur seal's range in which commercial hunting is permitted. Sealing occurs on two mainland colonies, Cape Cross and Wolf/Atlas Bay, where 75 per cent of the pups are born.
Despite declining numbers of pups born annually and seal populations that have not recovered from mass die-offs in 1994 and 2000, the quota increased from 50,850 pups in 1993 to 85,000 in 2006. The increase is motivated by monetary, rather than scientific, reasons.
The Prime Minister of Namibia admits that the population has at best only recovered to 73 percent of what it was before the die-offs, but claims that this is enough to steadily increase the harvest quota every hear. The hunt in Namibia would not in any way comply with international laws protecting marine mammals. It is inhumane and unsustainable. Its high quotas are non-precautionary and violate modern basic principles of good wildlife management.
Cape Fur Seals are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Species on Appendix II are not threatened with extinction, but their survival is dependent on conservation measures.
Send an email to the Namibian Prime Minister at firstname.lastname@example.org asking him to end the seal hunt. Follow this example:
Dear Prime Minister Angula,
The 2006 seal hunt quota is scientifically unjustified and could lead to the devastation of this year's seal pup population. I urge you to end this inhumane and unnecessary hunt.
Namibia has many tourism opportunities and enjoys the tourism the seals bring to the region during the summer season. Tourists would be upset to learn that during the off-season the same seals become helpless.
[name & address]