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Statistics show that between 53 000 and 70 500 people visit the seal colonies in Namibia every year, generating N$2-million (about R2-million) in foreign earnings. In comparison the Namibian government earned N$113 000 (about R113 000) as its share of sealing operations last year.

Seal pups are still nursing when they were killed and could thus not be contributing to declining fish stocks – the major reason for the annual cull.

Seals have a very strong mother-youngster relationship.

Robben Island was named after the seals by early Dutch explorers, literally translated it means Seal Island. Yet today, there are no colonies on the island.

The oldest seal colony in South Africa, in Elands Bay is guestimated to be 1.5 million years old. There is no protection for these animals and the public has free access to the small colony that still remain there today. The colony is often used for target practice – the authorities are fully aware of it.

On the biggest populated island, Seal Island, approximately 16 000 pups are born on a piece of rock 2 ha in size.

A cow knows her pup by its smell and call and she will only mother her own offspring.

It has been noted that tagged seals have swum from Cape Town to Cape Cross in Namibia, a distance of 1600 kms at the age of 8 months.

It is illegal to touch, harass, feed, or move a seal without a permit.

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