SEAL GENOCIDE VS SEABIRD CONSERVATION - OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER
Sent: 6 april 2006OPEN LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF DEAT
Many of you have requested a SAMPLE LETTER to the Minister for this complexed issue. Herewith is the letter I sent. Francois.
PS - Thanks for all your kind comments regarding Max, still no sign. Thanks for the support.
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 7:48 AM
Subject: SEAL GENOCIDE VS SEABIRD CONSERVATION - OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER
SEAL GENOCIDE VS SEABIRD CONSERVATION
THE RIB CAGE ON THIS STARVING ADULT MALE SEAL CLEARLY VISIBLE
AT GANNET DISPLACING PENGUINS ON PENGUIN ISLAND - LAMBERT'S BAY
April 6th, 2006
I refer to the Report No.51 of the Public Protector into Allegations of improper conduct by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in connection with the conservation and protection of Cape Fur Seals, dated the 10th November 2005. It's key findings was that my complaint in 2000 was justified, with regard to the legislation and management involved in the existing Sea-birds and Seals Protection Act No 46 of 1973. Beginning in 2002, your department drafted legislation that would address said deficiencies, resulting in the release of your Draft Policy for Seals, Sea-birds and Shore-birds in 2004. The recommendation is that this draft be finalized for comments and submission to Parliament as a matter of priority.
I refer you to page 22 - 7.3.2. The following institution's comments were regarded as "not useful" and consequently no changes to the Policy were made.
Seal Alert-South Africa (represented by the complainant)
It has been a decade and a half, since the exploitation of both seabirds and seals on islands in South Africa ceased. Where culling operations kept seal numbers unnatural low and increased protection kept seabird numbers unnaturally altered. Representatives from 16 Terrestrial or Birding organizations met to developed the new draft policy for Marine Wildlife in February 2002. All who attended acknowledge no expertise in the management of Cape Fur Seals. Perhaps therefore you will now find some of my comments "useful".
Dr Woodbourne and Professor Smith of the Archaeological Department confirm that prior to human disturbance and exploitation there were no mainland seal colonies. Breeding of Cape Fur Seals occurred offshore. 2000 years ago the sea-level was 3 m higher than today. This would place all existing offshore seal colonies underwater in South Africa. Dr David of your own department confirms all 12 seal breeding colonies on islands larger than >2ha in South Africa, is and has remained extinct. Dr Stewardson has reported that the eastern most seal colony has declined 82% in the past 12 years and is in danger of going extinct.
Yet, your policy defines the Cape Fur Seals of "least concern". Because policy today does not concern itself with loss of habitat, but instead numbers. Whose numbers appear confusing. 11 000 pairs of Kelp Gulls are termed "not threatened", but 180 000 African Penguins are. According to your draft policy there are 15 species of seabirds in Continental southern Africa, a further 42 species in SA Territory and a further 62 species that visit South African waters. All these over 100 species of seabird, depending on their "status" and your policy, threaten the survival of just one endemic species of seal, Cape Fur Seals found off our coast. The reality is that there are just 7 seabird species endemic to southern Africa.
Cape Gannet, African Penguin and Bank Cormorant are all listed as "vulnerable" to extinction. The Cape Gannet has displaced and is causing the extinction of the African Penguin on Malagas and Penguin (bird) Island in Lambert's Bay. Yet, although there are 166 200 breeding pairs in southern Africa, with 89% occurring in South Africa, it is termed "vulnerable" and endemic to southern Africa. When in fact its distribution range is western Sahara to Tanzania, almost the whole African continent.
Confusingly population status of Sea-birds are defined by breeding pairs, whereas in Cape Fur Seals it is defined by the number of pups born. If apples were compared to apples. In South Africa, there are 147 918 pairs of breeding Cape Gannets "vulnerable" and according to your latest Seal Population Surveys in 1997, there are 122 658 seal pups born, "least concern". With no such thing in seals as breeding pairs, only harems, with the average harem consisting of 28 cows to 1 bull. The Cape Fur Seals in South Africa consist of 4 380 breeding harems.
Population trends are equally confused. Seal numbers have risen from near extinction at the beginning of the 20th century, no mention is made of their pristine population. Near extermination of the dominant seal species, would naturally have lead to the unnatural rise in seabird numbers. Subsequent to the rise in industrial fishing towards the end of the 20th century. Both species, seals and seabirds, regardless of the rise or fall in their populations over the past 100 years, are equally "Threatened or Vulnerable" to extinction. To ignore this in official policy and discount importance and loss of endemic breeding habitat, is tantamount to wildlife fraud.
Offshore with regard to their endemic seal breeding locations, all are currently extinct. Due to policy and status, seals are now found on unsuitable breeding awash habitats, all 34 817 seal pups or 1 243 Cape Fur Seal harems. It has taken 33 years to draft a new policy, international scientists predict within the next 100 years, global warming will cause the sea-level to raise over 2m. Meaning all existing offshore seal colonies in South Africa will again become submerged. How does current policy take this into account?
Perhaps instead, your policy should consider habitat. All endemic seal breeding habitats are extinct. Under the existing Seabird and Seals Protection Act of 1973, schedule 1, lists 46 Islands and Rocks in southern Africa as protected areas. Whose total land surface area is around 1025 ha with most less than 30 metres above sea-level, as opposed to over 2 million ha envisaged for terrestrial wildlife conservation in southern Africa. Although these offshore habitats occur over a range of 3000 km of coastline, 14 of these occur in a narrow band of 250 km of coastline known as the Cape West Coast/South Africa. It is here were 939 ha exists or 92% of the protected offshore land in southern Africa. Seal breeding occurs on just 2.5 ha (least concern), whereas Sea-birds enjoy the protection on 936.5 ha or 99.7% and are considered "vulnerable".
There is therefore only one logical explanation for the disparity in marine wildlife policy. The 16 representatives involved in drafting this policy in 2002, are in fact, "Seal Hate Groups" and who are engaged in a practice of Wildlife or Seal Genocide. A crime defined by the UN as an International Crime against Humanity.
GANNET DISPLACED PENGUINS ON THIS 8 HA MALAGAS ISLAND - WHAT CAUSED THE GANNETS TO ABANDON THIS ISLAND
SEALS ON A 0.1 HA SUBMERGED ROCK
WHO IS REALLY DISPLACING WHO ?
I strongly urge you to set up therefore a Commission of Enquiry.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA