July 1, 2009

South African advocate working to save seals

Head of the organization Seal Alert-SA, Mr. Francois Hugo is calling for a halt to seal hunting in Namibia where, beginning July 1, the world’s largest seal cull is expected to begin.

The hunting season is scheduled to last until November 15 and is seeking a quota of 85,000 pups and 6,000 bulls, which will result in the brutal slaughter of 91,000 endangered Cape fur seals.

Francois Hugo – Head of Seal Alert-SA, South Africa (M): in english On the first of July when the seal babies are seven months of age weighing 12 kilograms each, the Namibian government issues a sealing quota for the sealers to go into the colony and round up 85,000 baby seals and club them to death.

VOICE: According Mr. Hugo, this annual practice has caused the former seal colonies that had inhabited 23 islands off the Namibian coast to become 97% extinct.

Seals that do manage to escape the cull instinctively abandon the islands and do not return to their homes.
Francois Hugo – Seal Alert-SA (M): The problem with the conservation of the species is the seal industry. So that is the first hurdle that has to be removed, and once the seals are no longer clubbed, we then need to reverse the damage man has done over the past few centuries.

Our next endeavor is to repopulate those extinct islands with the seals that are being killed on the mainland beaches in Namibia.

VOICE: Mr. Hugo has worked tirelessly for the past 10 years to rescue this endangered species. In 1990, seal culling was halted for good in South Africa. If the same could be done in Namibia, the entire species may still have a chance to be saved. Seal Alert-SA is now negotiating the purchase of the seal industry itself in order to halt the cull by raising US$14 million by July 1st.

Once the seal hunting has been stopped, Mr. Hugo plans to begin repopulating the abandoned Namibian islands with the 60 seal pups he has rescued so far.

VOICE: Our heartfelt appreciation and support, Mr. Hugo and Seal Alert-SA for your dedicated perseverance in saving the Cape fur seals.

We too pray for the immediate protection of these gentle beings and that humanity fully awakens to our compassionate nature to live in peaceful co-existence with all species on Earth.


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