|Wednesday, August 29, 2007|
Sea Shepherd Re-Organizes Efforts to Protect Seals in Southern Africa
The war to protect the seals is global. We are trying to stop the slaughter of harp and hood seals off Canada's eastern coast, in the White Sea, off the coast of Norway, in Russia and Fur seals on the beaches of Namibia. Over the last three decades we have been engaging in confrontations and interceptions all over the planet. Sometimes we have had complete victories like shutting down Grey seal hunts in the British Isles and sometimes we have had temporary victories like shutting down the Canadian commercial seal slaughter for a decade. We are trying to protect a seal rookery near San Diego, California and investigating the slaughter of walrus for their ivory in Alaska. All of this is a daunting task and often quite dangerous, and over the years our crews have been beaten, shot at, threatened, arrested and jailed for standing up for the seals.
One of the most frustrating efforts has been to oppose the horrific mass slaughter of Southern African Fur seals also known as Cape Fur seals on the remote and hostile beaches of Namibia.
For the last few years we have allied ourselves with Francois Hugo and his organization Seal Alert based in Hout Bay, South Africa. There is no question that Francois is one of the most dedicated and tireless defenders of the Cape Fur seal. He has devoted his life to the defence of these wonderful animals. We have supported him for years in various ways including giving him a rescue boat and this year Sea Shepherd gave him a grant of $25,000 U.S. dollars to help fund his Seal Rescue Centre in Hout Bay.
Although Francois is a great seal person, due to an unfortunate difference of opinion, we had to disassociate ourselves from any further support to him directly.
Sea Shepherd will continue our efforts to protect the seals. We intend to escalate our activities to pressure the government of Namibia to end the slaughter of these seals and we intend to continue with our efforts to undermine the market for the pelts of these animals.