SIGN THE PETITION ! !!!
YOUNG SEAL DISCOVERED SHOT IN SOUTH AFRICA
YOUNG SEAL SHOT IN
THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF NECK AND LEFT TO SUFFER
Less than 4-days after Helen
Bamford's article "Plea to ban guns on fishing trips to sea"
in the Weekend Argus, another young Cape fur seal bull has
been discovered shot. Once again since Sunday, dozens upon
dozens of ski-boat snoek fishermen have been leaving Hout Bay
for the shoals of snoek running off Hout Bay, and once again
protected seals, are the victims.
Clearly, even though the Seal Island
off Hout Bay, recently became a marine sanctuary and a no
fishing zone, the ineffectiveness in providing protection for
this species is only too evident.
I shudder to think of how many seals
are going to be shot during the upcoming Eblo Snoek Derby to be
held off Hout Bay from the 6 - 8th August 2005.
Seal Alert-SA has sent a letter to
Minister Van Schalkwyk requesting an urgent meeting and is still
awaiting a reply. The shooting of seals is a criminal offence,
yet Marine and Coastal Management not only continues to licence
these criminal fisherman, but refuses to ban guns during
fishing, or introduce a regulation to this effect. Seal Alert-SA
has therefore started an international campaign for "Gun
Free Fishing", and has asked the international community to
write to our Minister and voice their concern.
Over 1 million seals have
disappeared in SA waters over the past 30-years, without sound
scientific reason. The seal population in the Cape, has shown no
growth since first being counted in 1971. Something is clearly
killing off these protected seals, and I suspect seal shootings
are far more wide spread than the general public realise, and if
it is endangering the conservation of seals, then this is
against the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.
With over 2900 licenced fishing
skippers, their potential to wreak seal conservation havoc, is
I simply cannot understand why the
Minister will not ban guns during fishing, and instead allows
less than 3000 licenced fishing skippers to hold 42 million
South Africans to ransom.
PLEASE SEND YOUR CONCERNS
TO: MINISTER OF THE DEPARTMENT ENVIRONMENT AFFAIRS AND TOURISM -
MARTINUS VAN SCHALKWYK (PERSONAL ASSISTANT) firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
Update/Week 1 - South African
Seal Campaign - A call to ban guns during fishing trips to sea.
31st July 2005, it has now been two weeks since I sent a letter
to the Minister Van Schalkwyk of the Department of Environmental
Affairs and Tourism, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the
illegal and criminal shooting of protected Cape Fur Seals in
South African coastal waters, by commercial fisherman licensed
by his department. Besides an acknowledgement of my letter, not
a word or reply or even a peep, has come from his department.
It has now been a week since Helen Bamford's article "plea
to ban guns during fishing trips to sea" appeared in the
Weekend Argus Newspaper. Across the South African media, silence.
No enquires from reporters or any follow up reporting, nothing.
Perhaps the South African media thinks there is no real public
interest in the fact that fishermen have been shooting innocent
seals for decades or perhaps it is the fact, that our cities and
towns are so awash with high crime rates and a gun culture, that
shooting of a seal is just another accepted way of doing things
and life, until this crime affects you.
For those of you that don't know me, my name is Francois Hugo
and since 1999, I have been protecting, conserving and rescuing
Cape Fur Seals at the tip of Africa. At 42, and for the
remainder of my life-time, I am only going to call on you
to assist these seals with two things. The current
campaign to have guns banned that are currently being taken to
sea on fishing trips to kill protected seals illegally, and the
second to follow later, is to campaign to have seals returned to
their largest offshore and most important island, named after
them, which has also been declared a world heritage site in
1999, and from which they are currently extinct and banned from.
Behind the scenes however, rumour has it, things are hotting up.
The press is strangely not very pleased that the worldwide
response to this campaign from seal supporters, from Australia,
US, Canada, UK, Turkey, Belgium, Holland and China, is blocking
up their in-box emails. One reporter even complained to me, that
I should not have given out her email address. "I have work
to do and these incoming emails are just disrupting my work,
they are just the same letter from different people",
she replied. The nerve of this reporter, here she has a breaking
public response of concern, and she finds it an annoyance,
imagine what an annoyance it is to a seal that has been
innocently shot whilst simply trying to survive in his own
world, injured or killed for life. Another television program
manager has blocked his in-box to anymore incoming Seal Campaign
emails, I can only imagine how successful or unsuccessful his
career in television news will be with a response like this.
REALITY OF COMMERCIAL FISHING
SEAL TRAPPED ON TRAWL NET - BEATEN
AND CLUBBED BEFORE CUTTING THE NET AROUND AND DUMPED OVERBOARD
DROWNING IN THE PROCESS
REVENGEFUL ANTICS OF COMMERCIAL
FISHERMAN - CATCHING BABY SEALS DURING A TRAWL - CUT THE NET
AROUND THEM STILL ENTANGLED AND DUMPED OVERBOARD. ONE LONE
SURVIVOR STRUGGLES TO CARRY THE BURDEN OF HIS FOUR OTHER DEAD
In 2003, Deputy Director Horst
Kleinschmidt of Marine and Coastal Management, a department of
the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism "Some
fishers shoot seals, injurying or killing them. We are equally
opposed to such conduct. They do this believing that seals
consume catches they feel are theirs. Their behaviour is
uninformed and demands unequivocal condemnation. If anyone
shoots at seals, we will prosecute. We do not condone conduct of
this kind and ask people to come forward with evidence of
this". In 1973, the Cape Fur Seals became protected
under the Sea Birds and Seals Protection Act no.46 and it became
a criminal offence to "pursue or shoot at or wilfully
disturb, kill or capture a seal. Yet, in 34-years of
protection, not a single fisherman has ever been arrested or
convicted for killing thousands of innocent seals, instead they
have been rewarded.
Currently before our Cabinet for
signature is a New Seal Protection draft document, and in it
contains the following, Incidental capture by fisheries
(188.8.131.52) - Restrictions will be implemented on the use or
carrying of fire-arms, ammunition or explosives abroad fishing
vessels, with a view to the control of the illegal shooting of
seals at sea. Another Act, is also before Cabinet, the long-term
fishing rights of fisherman.
In the Constitution of South Africa,
no mention is made of guns. However under the Bill of Rights it
clearly states, Environment, everyone has the right a) to an
environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being;
and b) to have the environment protected, for the benefit of
present and future generations, through reasonable legislative
and other measures that ii) promote conservation.
This South African fishing "gun-free" campaign is a
simple one to succeed. I know this, because in 2000, after
rejecting applications by both myself and Seashepherd
International, to undertake Seal Rescue in South Africa, in an
effort to prevent Cape Fur Seals being rescued for the first
time in 27-years of becoming a protected species. Marine and
Coastal Management simply wrote a regulation, had it signed by
parliament and within two weeks, it now became a Criminal
Offence to rescue a dying starving seal by feeding it.
There is not much that we can do against this 5 billion rand, 30
000 strong fishing industry, that will stop some of these cruel
sadist criminal fisherman from inflicting such terrible pain on
seals, like overfishing or like drowning them in their nets, or
clubbing them to death once hoisted abroad entrapped in netting,
or ripping open their jaws with steel gaffs, or impaling them on
large steel fish hooks, or discarding or polluting our seas,
with loose netting, fishing line or nylon rope, but we can do
something about guns, and we can stop guns being taken to sea
during licenced fishing trips.
This is where you come in. Send this email to everyone
you know and take one minute to write to the below list
of officials and media, and tell them what you think and want.
Show these ignorant, non-caring and selfish individuals, that we
care! and the true meaning of Email Spam. Close down their
in-box emails, until they understand that nothing is more
important than stopping this. If you do this, then after
my conversation with the Advocate Gary Pienaar of Public
Protectors Office on Saturday morning, he has promised that if I
have not had an official response from the Minister by the 8th
of August 2005, I can come in and file an official complaint.
Your Wish List :
The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism : Mr Martinus
Van Schalkwyk (Personal assistant) email@example.com
Minister of Safety and Security : firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Protectors Office : Advocate Gary Pienaar : email@example.com
MCM Legal Representative : Marius Diemont - firstname.lastname@example.org
Media : Mnet Carte Blanche - email@example.com;
Editor of ETV NEWS - Andy.Duffy@etv.co.za;
Reporter of the Weekend Argus - Helenb@incape.co.za;
Letters Editor of the Weekend Argus - firstname.lastname@example.org;
Cape Times - email@example.com;
Mail & Guardian - Fiona Mc Cloud - firstname.lastname@example.org;
truth @sabc.co.za; 50/50 wildlife program - email@example.com;
Argus - John Yeld - firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
BAN GUNS AT SEA DURING FISHING - SOUTH AFRICA
PROTECTED CAPE FUR SEAL
RECENTLY SHOT THROUGH THE FACE BY LICENCED MCM FISHERMEN
Dated : 11th August 2005.
Dear Minister Van Schalkwyk/Department
of Environmental Affairs and Tourism,
I refer to the Seal Alert-SA
campaign to have guns banned from sea during commercial fishing
trips in South Africa. I can only assume that the reason for you
or your office's failure to respond to any of the emails, faxes
or letters addressed to you, in concern thereof, that you
perhaps view this campaign as one, which comes from a small
minority of irrational "bunny huggers".
As the Minister, you are in charge
of the Environment/Fishing and Tourism portfolios. In the
Fishing Industry, if my figures are fairly correct, there are
some 30 000 active fishermen and 3000 fishing skippers. This
translates into approximately 0.01% of the population. Income
from fishing contributes about 0.5% to GDP. Tourism, and
particular the sustainable growth of wildlife eco-tourism, I
believe contributes about 11% to GDP and over 6 million tourists
visit our shores.
Laws have been in place, making the
shooting of a seal a criminal offence since 1973, not only under
the Animal Protection Act, but equally under the specific act of
the Seabirds and Seals Protection Act.
Clearly therefore as no licenced
commercial fisherman has ever been arrested for shooting a seal
in the past 34-years or ever, and the widespread shooting of
seals illegally has been acknowledge throughout the industry,
from MCM scientists, researchers, fishermen and the public. That
the only explanation for this failure by your department to
up-hold the law. Is that an unlawful policy has developed with
favours and turns a "blind-eye" to the 30 000 strong
fishermen, who are shooting seals regularly. Perhaps it is even
an un-official "cull" to reduce seal numbers in the
mistaken belief collapsed fish stocks will increase.
Regardless of which, I would
therefore like to inform you, of the following;
supporting this Ban on Guns during Fishing, are not whacky
"Bunny Huggers", we are all normal members of
society who are seeking a civilized society.
If numbers are
your management style, over 250 people from 22 countries, in
the last 24-hours logged into the Campaign Guest Book and
aired their comments and support.
I trust that you
do not propose or expect me to form a "Public
Vigilante Force" and go out and effect a private citizen
arrest on these illegal fishing criminals.
I personally do not like, having 250
citizens of the world, everyday, all future travelers to this
beautiful country, write in, after having seen the barbaric and
criminal slaughter of protected Cape Fur Seals. I would rather
they become aware of South Africa's great wildlife, for the
beauty they possess in the wild, healthy and free.
Please therefore let me know, when
the number of civilized citizens of the world, will deserve your
response, a 1000, 30 000 or is it a million, and finally get you
to BAN guns at sea during fishing trips.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
IS TICKING - ON SOUTH AFRICAN FUR SEALS - SEND NO DONATIONS -
JUST VOTE !
The Clock is Ticking on the South African Fur Seals
Soon, Government will announce 15-year, Fishing Rights to 30 000 Fishermen worth R70 billion
Seal Alert-SA has submitted our Complaint in full to the Public Protectors Office
Now - it's up to you to cast those votes - in the petition
As of 14:43 SA time on the 24th August 2005
763 votes were counted - Do you consider this enough ?
For those of you
undecided - I will keep sending images like this until you do !
Rounded up to await
slaughter - let the terrified clubbing of baby seals begin - let
the cows free to bred again for free for next year
His is counting are YOU
! - A good days fishing in Namibia - Mother's milk wasted in the
still so young - come here let me rip the fur from your
body whilst you squirt your mothers milk
began the Alert of Cape Fur Seals in 1999, Seashepherd
International and Captain Paul Watson has been there. Six years
later, who is the first major Marine Mammal Organization to
respond officially, Seashepherd. Perhaps we can all persuade
IFAW and it's 2.5 million members, or PETA with it's 750 000
members or even Green Peace to follow with support, not for Seal
Alert-SA, but for the Cape Fur Seals at the tip of Africa.
Hundreds of thousands of protected Cape Fur Seals are either being shot, clubbed, drowned or are starving to death - this must end !
Watson on Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA: One of
the rarest things among people are those who have forged a bond
with another species. It is such people that I admire and
respect most for they have shaken loose the bonds of
anthropcentrism and they have pierced that mysterious but
familiar veil that separates us from the other wondrous species
that share this incredible planet with us.
Francois Hugo is one such person whose profound love for the
Cape fur seals manifests itself in a raging passion that
fuels both his anger at the injustice done to the seals and his
compassion to do all that he can to defend and protect the seals.
Francois is a devoted shepherd to these marvolous creatures and
he needs the assistance of every person who can muster up the
compassion to support him.
Here is a man who is not asking for anything but for people to
join his plea to the government of South Africa to help protect
and save his beloved seals.
Thank-you for helping him to help the seals,
Captain Paul Watson
FROM FRANCOIS HUGO OF SEAL ALERT - SOUTH AFRICA:
Dear all seal supporters from around the world,
A better world, I am trying, I am on my knees, and so are you.
What's in front of us ? At the tip of Africa, there are 3000
licenced commercial fishing skippers and 30 000 fishermen, who
are illegally killing Cape Fur Seals everyday. In life, and in
reality, numbers count, I know you all care deeply about the
animals. Our Minister in a democratically elected country, has
to consider the needs of the majority, at the moment, it is 30
000 fisherman in one country wanting to kill seals versus 43
letters of support from 14 countries. I cannot go to the
Minister, with this. Until I can show, that at least 30 000
people DO NOT WANT SEALS KILLED - I might as well, blow smoke
into the air. I look over these millions of years old seals
everyday, and I can see that they are hanging onto life by a
thin thread. There is nothing between life and death, for them,
except you and I. Help them, I mean really help them - please.
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA
SIGN THE PETITION:
Canadian Voice For Animals has pledged to help Francois in his
mission. They have given him space on their website and are
facilitating and promoting the petition to save the Cape fur
seals. Below is a message from Earle Bingley of Canadian
Voice for Animals.
Today, we have launched a Petition
on line for the Seals of South Africa:
The goal of Seal Alert South Africa
is to collect 30,000 plus signatures to present to Minister
Martinus Van Schalkwyk - Department of Environmental Affairs and
Tourism to convince him to use his ministerial powers and save
the seals. These playful and gentle creatures are under attack
by fishermen 24-7-365...They are asking for human help.
Please, we are asking you to take
ten minutes of your time and read the attached document, which
has instruction on how to make this petition work, in order to
collect the signatures needed within a three month period.
I, and the Seals of South Africa are
asking you to donate a small amount of your lives, as theirs
depend on you so doing.
I thank you; the seals thank you,
and one day generations of world citizens will thank you.
For The Seals
Francois Hugo - Seal Alert-SA