We were notified recently that the Fisheries Management Committee of the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) is currently reviewing an application by a Chinese businessman to capture and export marine life, including dolphins and seals, from Namibian waters for the Asian aquarium trade. Once the Fisheries Management Committee has reviewed this application, it will send a recommendation to Minister Bernhard Esau. The company intends to invest an initial amount 30million Namibian Dollars, which will include the equipment and vessels to commence the capture operation. The wild population of bottlenose dolphins around the Namibian coast are officially recognised as a protected species and consist of approximately 100 animals. Both Namibia, the capture/export country and China, the importing country are parties to CITES which demands that prior to any export being authorised/permit issued, the exporting country provides a scientific non-detrimental finding report (NDF) stating that any captures will not endanger the wild populations. To our knowledge to date no such document has been submitted for consideration.
We need to stop these captures now. Please join us in expressing your concern over the plans to capture/export wild dolphins from Namibia. Watching wildlife, including dolphins, in their natural habitat attracts millions of visitors worldwide per year and it is this that we urge Namibia to embrace and promote, instead of considering capture and export of wild stocks from their coastal waters for export.
Please send a polite email to the Permanent Secretary for the MFMR, who will forward these to Bernard Esua, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources.