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Sea lion hunting season opens in Namibia

Sea lion basking in the sun   -  
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This Saturday marks the start of the sea lion hunting season in Namibia.

An estimated 86,000 fur seals will be slaughtered, despite declining demand for their fur and growing opposition from conservationists.

Demand from European clients has fallen dramatically since an EU ban on sea lion fur was introduced in 2009.

China is currently the main market.

Animal protection associations in Namibia have denounced the hunting as a cruel practice.

Authorities claim that the hunting is necessary as the sea lions represent a threat to fishing resources.

Other countries, such as Canada, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Greenland, also authorise sea lion hunting.

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