British Divers Marine Life Rescue
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (photo: Steve Marsh)
British Divers Marine Rescue

News

2013-12-03 10:05:40

BDMLR joins call for South Africa to ban trade in seal products

British Divers Marine Life Rescue has joined a powerful group of scientists, seal experts and conservationists from all over the world has written to leaders of the South African government asking it to maintain its two-decade-old moratorium on killing Cape fur seals and to consider being the first African nation to introduce a ban on trade in seal products.

This comes after a Member of Sout African Parliament, Phaliso Meriam Nozibonelo, proposed to resume the killing, asserting that, “seals are the biggest poachers of some of the fish and nobody is arresting them.”.

The letter was prepared by Harpseals.org and signed by scientists from Spain, Australia, the US, Canada, and the UK.  Conservationists and representatives from international organizations including Humane Society International, NSPCA South Africa, IFAW, Earthrace Conservation, WSPA and Earth Island Institute endorsed the letter (attached here).

The signatories to this letter represent between them, millions of people concerned about the survival, welfare and rights of seals.  The letter responds to the MP’s assertions by referencing scientific studies that show that seals are critical to marine ecosystems; that the population of Cape fur seals has not risen significantly since the moratorium in South Africa began; and that the state of fish stocks depends on actions from the government in addressing over-fishing and in setting fishing quotas that account for multi-species interactions.

Stephen Marsh
BDMLR Operations Manager