From: SealAlertSA firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2005
Dear All South African Seal Supports from around the World,
UPDATE No 2 - 8th August 2005
Thank you all for your letters of support and to our Minister.
Please note this campaign to Ban Guns at sea during Fishing in South Africa, is not a request for funding or donations, it is simple to show your concern, and to use your very powerful vote, your letter, to bring about change, and a civilized society.
I ask no more from you, except to ensure our votes count, and succeed.
This campaign is not about a few seals being illegally killed.
It is about the systematic elimination of a species within an unacceptable "way of life" for a commercial industry, on a species of seal that has developed over millions of years and is endemic to this coastline.
In the last 10-years, this species has declined by over 50% already, we are now witnessing the biggest mass death of marine mammals, seals, the world has ever seen.
Extinction if this continues, cannot be far away.
This campaign has truly grown into an international campaign to conserve these seals, with supportive letter from IFAW-SA, Seashepherd International, Marchig Trust, Canadian Voice for Animals, ActionAgainstPoisoning, to name just a few, and from Canada, US, Australia, Belgium, Greece, Belgrade, Serbia,Turkey, UK, France, China and Holland.
It has now been 20-days since I sent my letter to the Minister Van Schalkwyk of the department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on the 19th July 2005.
Besides an acknowledgement of my letter (He did get it), absolutely not another word.
So I have addressed an Open Letter to him, and attached a Power Point Show, so that he cannot say he has not been fully informed of the situation with Cape Fur Seals in South Africa.
Please feel free to disperse this Power Point Show on the horrific seal management in South Africa, far and wide, until our Minister decides to officially address this unacceptable state of affairs.
You have my promise, that I will continue to update and inform you (weekly), until an acceptable Seal Management Policy is in place, and you, I and the seals, can enjoy our Natural Wildlife in a civilized manner.
I need to acknowledge, the incredible hard work Earle Bingley of the Canadian Voice for Animals and Jose and Marius of ActionAgainstPoisoning, who have worked tirelessly to set-up a website for the Seals with all the information and contact details of this campaign, there is also another Power Point Show to view, and please don't forget to sign the Guest Book. http://www.canadianvoiceforanimals.org/SASealAlert_Index.html
PS : My deepest thanks to all those that have signed the guest book, your comments are truly motivational and will be used with my complaint to the Public Protectors Office, this week.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER MARTHINUS VAN SCHALKWYK OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM
8th August 2005.
It has now been 20-days, and I still have not received a reply.
The mismanagement of the Cape Fur Seals has gone on long enough. Reports by the Public Protectors Office in this regard have been sent to your office as far back as 2001, two of them in fact.
Your department of Marine and Coastal Management's claims of a healthy, thriving seal population off the coast of southern Africa, has become rather a joke, amongst those of us with the factual knowledge.
Claims of 3.7% growth over the past 100-years, are falling apart at the seams of wildlife management as we speak.
Instead, in just the last 10-years, the Cape Fur Seal population has declined by over 50%, bringing with it the biggest mass starvation and death of Marine Mammals, seals, the world has ever seen.
You should be ashamed of your current management.
With over 1000 ha of protected offshore island land, under the Seabirds and Seals Protection no 46 of 1973, seals today, are only found breeding on the smallest awash rocks or just 1% of these protected islands/rocks.
Even our biggest and only mainland Seal Colony, Kleinsee, which used to account for over 70% of the South African seal population, which shamefully until 1990, was used as South Africa's biggest commercial sealing colony, has remained excluded and overlooked in the Act.
Please therefore re-assess your management policies.
As I understand fishermen account for 0.01% of the South African population and contribute less than 0.5% to GDP. In effect 3000 licenced commercial fishing skippers are holding the 42 million South Africans, and hundreds of millions of International travelers to ransom.
Under the Constitution of South Africa, you have a duty to conserve and protect our natural environment and our heritage, with your current Cape Fur Seal Management, you are clearly not doing so.
Start considering the needs of 99.9% of the South African population, if South Africa is truly a democratically administered and elected country.
Your silence, in allowing thousands of fishing skippers licenced by your department, to carry guns to sea, with the sole intention to kill protected seals illegally, is a disgrace.
For you to continue to ignore this Criminal Activity is unconstitutional.
Therefore please transmit your policies on seals.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
083 949 6944