Animal rights activists are bracing themselves for yet another showdown with the Namibian authorities as sealers prepare for the start of the 2008 seal killing season, which starts on Tuesday.
Concessionaires, granted licences last year, would be allowed to kill a total of 80 000 Cape fur seal pups and 6&nbs;000 bulls during this year and next year's culling seasons. The annual harvest runs from July 1 to November 15.
Moses Maurihungirire, the director of resource management in the Namibian ministry of fisheries and marine resources, said this week that because the seal population was healthy and not at risk of extinction, the quota would remain unchanged from last season. Maurihungirire said that seals consumed 900 000 tons of fish a year and culling them protected the country's fish stocks. The annual cull, he said, also provided revenue from skins, fur and meat and created 149 jobs.
But this was contested by Francois Hugo of Seal Alert SA, who pointed out that seals were listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature...
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