midiamimesPoaching vessel set to capture marine mammals is to be scrapped

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RYAZANOVKA capture vesselSince September last year it has been public knowledge that a Chinese businessman is seeking permission from the Nambian Government to capture protected species from the wild for public display in Asia. The Chinese company “Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research” has applied to the Namibian Government for the yearly live capture and export of 10 Orca, 500-1000 Cape Fur Seals, 300-500 African Penguins, 50-100 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, 50-100 Common Bottlenose Dolphins, various Sharks and other species. Whilst some of these species are “protected,” they are all listed on CITES Appendix II. This means that commercial trade may be monitored but is still allowed; and technically legal.
The market in China for these marine mammals is “enormous, ” as China now represents the fastest-growing market for live cetaceans on the planet. The country currently has 39 marine parks, with another 14 under construction. The company wanting to export these marine mammals to China own a vessel named Ryazanovka, which is known to have been involved in the controversial capture of orcas from the Sea of Okhotsk in eastern Russia between 2012 and 2015. It is thought that this same vessel was set to capture marine mammals from Namibian waters, however it is now set to be scrapped; deemed too expensive to make seaworthy after being anchored off-shore for almost a year in Namibia.
This is fantastic news, but efforts against the planned captures remain vigilant. China is a country that is consuming marine mammals. Given the number of existing and emerging parks in China, if this continues there will be little hope that the capture and captivity of marine mammals can be phased out at a global level. For now, we can celebrate the fact that the Ryazanovka vessel will not be making its way out to sea.
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Author: ENDCAP