Anti sealers claim “voice of reason”
Anti-Seal Harvesting campaigner, the Seals of Namibia has accused Ombudsman, Adv. John Walters of ignoring the “international voice of reason” to impose a moratorium on the annual slaughter of seals, despite having been issued with a petition with over 22,000 signatures.
According to Pat Dickens, campaign manager of Seals of Namibia, Adv Walters’ silence has encouraged the Fisheries Minister, Hon. Bernard Esau to allocate additional rights holders to the slaughter without any scientific rationale to arrant such action.
“The ombudsman has neither challenged the law, brought forth any interdict nor provided any suitable remedy to the offences as laid out in the complaint. He repeatedly comes up with a variety of excuses. Adv. John Walter has failed his mandate as the ombudsman of Namibia and his independence and integrity have now been brought in question,” according to Dickens.
He said, in June last year a complaint was laid with the Office of the Ombudsman. This complaint included among other things the violation of several pieces of Namibian law, including but not limited to the provisions of The Animal Protection Act (1962) and the Marine Resources Act.
This complaint, he further said, covered the fact that with no scientific backing, the exploitation of the seal colony in the annual seal “harvest” was irrational.
He also said that with seven major mass die-offs since 1992, the continued slaughter of seals is tantamount to the destruction of the fragile Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) and that the slaughter of the country’s second largest tourist attraction and a national asset amounted to the failure of protecting the beauty and character of Namibia.
“It was shown that subsequent to South Africa ending their seal cull in 1990, the seal population did not explode as was expected and that fish stocks actually improved under correct management.”
In other developments, a demonstration organised by The Seals of Namibia will be held in Washington DC just two days before the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource starts its annual seal cull.