Ombudsman John Walters today found that according to a scientific survey done in December 2011 of Namibia’s seal population, the seal harvest in Namibia is biologically sustainable and does not contravene any national or international laws and regulations.
His report was issued following the Namibian governments decision to release the seal population data of an aerial survey conducted by the Benguella Current Commission (BCC) in December 2011.
Walters stated in this, the second report on the seal harvest, that there is “sufficient scientific evidence” that the allocation of 80 000 pups and 6 000 bulls for the 2012 harvest is “rationally linked to the seal population numbers”.
According to the BCC survey, the current population of Cape Fur seals along Namibia’s coast stands at 1,2 million. The Cape fur seals occupy 26 colonies along the coastline. Female seal numbers stand at around 600 000. 350 000 male seals were counted and seal pup numbers stand at an estimated 254 554.
The scientific report also shows that despite the high number of seals allocated to the harvesters, sealers have not come close to harvesting the total allowable numbers since 2007. In 2011, 44 798 pups were harvested and 1 085 bulls. In 2010, 43 178 seal pups were harvested, and 3 412 bulls.