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May 07

Press release – Namibia tourism comes under fire from seal hunt activists

Date 7 May 2014
To: All media contacts
Subject: Namibia Tourism comes under fire from seal hunt activists

In an ongoing campaign against what they call a “barbaric and unnecessary slaughter” the activist organization ‘The Seals of Nam’ took to Twitter on Wednesday evening and reiterated their calls for a boycott against Namibia’s tourism until such stage as the country’s contentious seal hunt is ended.

“By using the hash tag #SeeTheWorld, we managed to expose the brutality of the Namibian seal hunt to a large international wellness and tourism audience.” said campaign manager Pat Dickens.

Thousands of people who were following the hash tag chat, co-hosted by Namibia Tourism @NamibiaHorizons were exposed to graphic images of seals being beaten to death along with calls for a tourism boycott.

Dickens also questioned the logic of fisheries minister Bernard Esau, who recently threatened war against the seals. (see http://allafrica.com/stories/201403200982.html)

“The situation is utterly ridiculous.” said Dickens. “On the one hand you have the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources sending out press releases acknowledging eye witness accounts that hundreds, if not thousands of seals are washing up dead along Namibia’s coast. On the other hand you have a minister calling in the death squads.”

The ministry claims that it is necessary to limit the seal population as the seals consume more fish than the entire industry catches. Dickens lambasted this notion by saying the only seal colonies to have shown explosive population growth are were seals are being slaughtered. He offered statistics provided by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to back his argument.

“Namibia has roughly 25 seal colonies” he went on to explain. “The largest of these is at Cape Cross. It stretches out over 2km’s. If you lined up all 25 colonies and put them side by side, this “super colony” would stretch out over roughly 18km’s. Namibia has 1 500km of coastline and a 200nm exclusive economic zone. (eez) How can anybody fathom that 18km’s of seals is responsible for consuming that amount of fish?”

Dickens also added that working in collaboration with several international partners his organization planned to stage further mass protests around the world come June 2014. “We have seen our friends from Bite Back stage tremendously successful demonstrations outside the Namibian embassy in Brussels. We have staged protests outside the embassy in Washington. We will be staging protest marches in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Our partners from the International Anti Fur Coalition, which represents over 70 member organizations, have also confirmed protest actions from as far afield as Tel Aviv, Israel.”

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Namibia seal hunt

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