China Request Endangered Orcas and Dolphins for Export – A Chinese owned company in Namibia has submitted a proposal to the Namibian Fisheries Ministry, requesting permission to capture and export marine animals to China ostensibly for breeding purposes.
According to The Namibian, Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research have submitted a request to export 10 orca (killer whales), 500 to 1000 Cape fur seals, 300 to 500 African penguins, 50 to 100 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, 50 to 100 common bottlenose dolphins, and various sharks.
Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research, a Namibian company owned by a Chinese national, is reported to have offered around US $95,000 for the deal, claiming this is “important for the protection and management of these marine resources” according to The Namibian. The company has links to Jeff Huang, who is allegedly related to Chinese tycoon Jack Huang. Both have denied any knowledge of Welwitschia Aquatic, or of any application to export endangered orcas and dolphins or any other marine animals.
Jack Huang has also denied any knowledge of a Russian registered and owned fishing vessel The RYAZANOVKA anchored at Walvis Bay harbour. The vessel, reportedly anchored there since May, and according to The Namibian Sun is reputedly “equipped to transport large marine mammals, including whales”. According to AIS the vessels current location is unknown.
The use of animal parts in traditional Chinese medicines is driving demand, as well as the rapidly growing theme park industry and their demand for live animals in captivity.
No decision has yet been reached by the Ministry of Fisheries, according to permanent secretary Moses Maurihungirire.
Namibian Reputation at Stake
That the Ministry is dragging its feet on this is raising suspicions that the deal might already have been concluded. This is causing rising frustration with Namibians, who are calling on the government to deny the application in the interests of responsible resource management. This is not only damaging to the environment, but also to Namibian tourism, and the country’s reputation as a conservation stalwart.
A growing number of environmental groups, including Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project, are appealing to individuals and organizations to urgently email officials in the Namibian Government to deny the permit. To petition officials on preventing the export of endangered orcas and dolphins can be contact at the following addresses.
Minister of Fisheries Bernhard Esau:
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Dr. Moses.Maurihungirire:
Hon. Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta:
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment and Tourism Malan Lindeque:
Well known conservationist and activist Lawrence Anthony has thrown his weight behind this issue. He is on the ground in Namibia working tirelessly to prevent the application. Please visit his NGO Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization and support his initiative in any way.
Richard Branson is also outspoken on animals in captivity, in 2014 instructing Virgin Holidays not to deal with any organisation that do not pledge that they will never again take cetaceans from the sea.