- By Inga Faust
Special Guest Writer for EuroAfricaNews Magazine
The boundless beauty of our oceans conceals an alarming threat beneath their surface. Amidst this vast expanse, a shimmering ray of hope emerges along Namibia’s coastline in the form of Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN).
With over one million Cape fur seals gracing Namibia’s shores, this thriving population offers a glimmer of optimism for marine conservation. Yet, these captivating creatures often fall victim to human negligence, frequently ensnared in illegally discarded fishing gear and marine debris.
Are Cape Fur Seals endangered?
Thankfully, Cape Fur Seals are not currently classified as endangered. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has bestowed upon them the status of “Least Concern” on the Red List of Threatened Species, reflecting their stable population. Their immediate survival is not in jeopardy.
But why should we care?
The peril of discarded fishing gear, particularly the sinister “ghost gear,” looms large over Cape Fur Seals. Entanglement in this debris threatens their mobility, inflicts severe physical harm, and can lead to tragic drownings. Ingested gear wreaks havoc on their internal systems, while entangled seals suffer reduced reproductive success and altered natural behaviours. Addressing this issue is crucial for seals and the broader marine ecosystem, emphasising the urgent need for responsible fishing practices and conservation measures.
Meet Ocean Conservation Namibia
Since its inception in 2013, Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) has been a relentless force on a vital mission, saving more than 3,500 seals from a cruel and untimely fate. These daring and often life-threatening rescues serve as poignant reminders of the devastating impact of marine pollution on our precious marine habitats. OCN’s dedication goes beyond saving lives; they actively document each rescue, fostering awareness of the tangible consequences of marine pollution.
How can you make a difference?
Supporting Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) and its noble mission is within everyone’s reach:
- Raise Awareness: Share the remarkable work of OCN on your social media platforms, especially their daily seal rescue videos.
- Donate: Extend your financial support to OCN, enabling them to continue their direct conservation efforts.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Minimize your personal plastic usage to curb marine pollution.
- Support Sustainable Seafood Choices: Choose seafood from sustainable sources and champion policies and companies committed to responsible fishing practices.
- Volunteer: If possible, contribute your time and skills directly to OCN or similar organisations.
- Engage in Responsible Tourism: Immerse yourself in the world of these intelligent and inquisitive creatures by participating in experiences like kayaking with seals in Walvis Bay, Namibia, organised by OCN members.
To learn more about the incredible work of Ocean Conservation Namibia and how you can be part of this vital movement, visit their website at: