In the next few months, up to 60,000 defenceless Cape Fur Seals will again be killed for their fur. In the early morning the pups are herded together on the beaches of Namibia. Escaping the hunters with their bludgeons is impossible. The hunt continues despite the fact that the demand for fur is decreasing and more than 35 countries already have an import ban.
The new Namibian Minister of Fisheries, Albert Kawana, makes transparency a priority within his ministry. This offers hope, because this hunt in Namibia has been hidden from the media and tourists for years. Time to turn the tide!
We have sent Minister Kawana an official letter asking for the details of the hunt to be made public. Questions like: how many fur seals are actually killed? Are independent observers present during the killing? And where are the skins exported to?
Your support against this slaughter is crucial!
Sign our petition and help us exert pressure for transperency and for an end to this barbaric hunt.
At the beginning of September we will present our petition to the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries. We demand, with or without a response to our questions, an end to this hunt.
62 mensen hebben getekend!
Dear Honourable Minister Kawana,
We would like to start by congratulating you on your appointment as Minister of Fisheries for Namibia. We are delighted to hear one of your objectives is to make your department more transparent because this was not the case in the previous years. We look forward to watch how this change in objective will affect your department and Namibia in a positive way.
In light of your promise of transparency, we respectfully request answers to the following questions pertaining to your country’s annual seal harvest:
- Why are media and tourists not allowed to witness the harvest?
- Are any observers, independent or appointed by Namibian government, allowed to make sure rules and regulations are complied by?
- Until recently, Hatem Yavuz had a contract as the sole buyer of the seal pelts. Has his contract been renewed and if not, who was awarded the contract?
- Is Hatem Yavuz still an honorary consul to Namibia and does he directly benefit from the sale of Namibian assets?
- What are the reported number of seals who have been killed each year for the last 10 years [in relation to the announced TACs] and why have these figures not been published/communicated to the public?
- Will the harvest continue in 2020 despite the current Corona virus pandemic restrictions?
- In what areas of Namibia are the seals harvested and how many hunting locations are there?
- How many companies have been granted the rights to harvest the seals?
- How many companies export the seal products?
- What is the annual revenue generated by the sale of seal products?
- Which countries are the biggest importers of the seal pelts for seals harvested in Namibia?
- It has been said your predecessor had financial interests in the annual seal hunt by being a shareholder in various sealing companies. In light of Fishrot and the subsequent charges brought against him, why has there never been an investigation launched into the corruption within the sealing industry?
- Is there anyone currently in your department who has a vested financial interest (such as shareholding) in the sealing industry?
- In 2009 we commissioned an independent study which showed that eco-tourism for seals would be 300% more profitable than the income generated by the sealing industry in Namibia. We have shared this study with your department but never received a response. Why has this alternative, and more lucrative, source of income never been considered?
- Have there ever been independent, peer reviewed studies done on the impact of seals on local fish populations and thus the fishing industry? If so, are these studies available to the public?
- You mentioned in a report that you plan to review and reformulate the existing Marine Resources Act. What changes will be made to sealing, especially considering the recommendations made by Ombudsman John Walters in 2012 after he concluded that sections of the MRA contradict one another?
We do apologise for the long list of questions. Unfortunately, your predecessor wasn’t very transparent and for years the public has not been informed of what’s happening within the sealing industry. We hope this will change under your leadership.
Thank you for your patience and we look forward to hear from you.
Bont voor Dieren