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Namibia to kill 86, 000 seals in the next three years

WINDHOEK, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Namibian will kill 86,000 seals in the next three years as a way of controlling the marine mammals' population, the fisheries minister Bernard Esau has said.

The minister said since seals feed on fish, if their numbers are left to grow, they will depreciate fish stocks.

Esau said a 2014 survey indicated that the seal population is expected to increase and that government has approved a total allowance catch of 80,000 pups and 6,000 bulls in the next three years.

Namibia is the breeding place of the Cape Fur Seals. There are 24 colonies with a population of about 650, 000 seals.

Every year Namibia hires workers to cull seals using wooden clubs.

This method of culling seals raised some concerns with animal organizations which lobbied the European Union (EU) to ban seal products from Namibia.

The EU imposed the ban in 2009.

Namibia and Canada, which imports seal meat, and other countries affected by the ban contested the EU's decision at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Esau, who was speaking to the fishing sector at the harbour town of Walvis Bay, said the WTO ruled against the EU ban last year.

The minister said the ruling was significant to Namibia and countries such as Finland and Canada that were affected by the ban.

The manager of a seal processing factory in Namibia, Gys Cilliers, also said seal meat will be available in the country for human consumption this year.

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