Namibia’s seal cull may cost more than expected
The international conservation groups continue to pile on the pressure in Namibia to stop the seal cull which is now known as the world’s biggest marine slaughter.
Earthrace Conservation, who concentrate on marine wildlife, issued a warning that Namibia is getting extremely close to being placed in the same category as Japan, who are renowned for their dolphin slaughter, and will earn a black mark from conservationists as well as tourists. This year the seal cull has become a huge topic of discussion and has attracted a lot of international publicity which has been hotly debated and heavily criticized. Namibia and Canada are the only two countries in the world that still have this barbaric practice of culling seals.
The case that the Ministry of Fisheries use is not feasible because it does not take the key roles that the seals play in the ecosystem into account. The reason that the fish numbers are low in Namibian waters are not because of the seals, but rather because of overfishing, according to Pet Bethune, the founder of the Earthrace group. Namibia has less seal than Canada, yet they kill more than Canada. In Canada, the allowed total of seals that could be killed was 400,000 but only 38,000 were actually killed. The seals tourism earns Namibia about N$8 Million yearly whereas the seal cull only brings in between N$500,000 and N$1 Million a year, so arguments for the seal cull in Namibia simply do not add up, according to Earthrace. All other countries accept the fact that Seals belong to the ecosystem and that simply doing away with such a huge number can and will seriously negatively affect the global ecosystem, Bethune continued.
This year, a total of 85,000 baby seals and 6,000 adult males will be slaughtered. Bethune condemned the Namibian Government for refusing local and international media to report and film the event, arguing “if Namibia stands by their idea that it is OK, then they should not have a problem with people filming it” Canada is also constantly under pressure for their seal culls, however they do allow animal welfare organizations to observe the process, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). He continued to state that, “Namibia appears to be paranoid about keeping the activities out of the press and international spotlight as it is presumably very inhumane”
The seal hunt in Namibia does not create much employment nor does it help the local economy very much and the resources required by the government by using military personnel and patrol boats 24 hours a day to keep the area secure is simply not viable for such a small industry.
In a statement by Bell-Leask from the IFAW recently, he said that the Namibian seal cull is “inhumane, wasteful and completely out of sync with international beliefs and feels that commercial sealing has to stop. Namibia can offer absolutely no justifiable reason, be it scientific or commercial, to continue with what can only be called a beach-side bloodbath”.
“The herding and beating of scared nursing seals is horrendous and absolutely not necessary and needs to be stopped immediately – it is arguably the cruelest act against animals in the world”, according to IFAW.