WALVIS BAY – Environment Minister Pohamba Shifeta has said Namibia needs to kill more seals to control the growing seal population, estimated at around 1.4 million.
Shifeta, accompanied by various officials and media, visited the Cape Cross Seal Reserve on Thursday, where he also laid the groundwork for the construction of a Namibian $ 22.7 million park management station.
âPeople don’t understand that there are too many seals. We even asked them to give us a good method to take them down.
Seals eat more fish than we catch, âhe said during the visit.
According to Shifeta, puppies eat between eight and 12 kilograms of fish per day while a bull eats about 16 to 20 kilograms of fish per day, depending on their weight. They can weigh up to 300 kilograms.
âWe have to shoot more. Fishing gives quotas, but that is not enough, âhe explained.
Over the past three seasons, the government has allocated a total allowable catch of 8,000 bulls and 80,000 puppies to nine companies that hunt seals in the country. Fisheries Minister Derek Klazen said in his annual speech on the fishing industry last month that the industry was not happy with the growing seal population, the proliferation of which continues to pose a threat. for local fish stocks.
âThe seal population has grown so much it’s become a problem. To this end, the evaluation of scientists from the ministry indicates that the seal stock is doing very well and indeed, the number of seals is estimated at around 1.4 million, âhe observed during this meeting.
Klazen said the quota could be increased, but harvesting, processing and selling seal products is more difficult than it looks.
âIt seems that bulls are the preferred product to harvest, while the quota has more puppies than bulls. Currently, puppies are not economically viable.
In addition, the seal hunt has become an international tool, used in particular by environmental groups to restrict trade in fish and fishery products from countries that hunt seals, âhe said.