Ryazanovka looks set to depart

Questions asked about her destination

09 December 2016 | Local News

The wall of silence over the Ryazanovka trawler remains as she is refuelling with massive quantities at the moment, destination unknown.

The controversial Chinese trawler Ryazanovka that has been earmarked as the vessel that will be used to capture and transport live and endangered Namibian marine mammals to Chinese aquariums, if the application is approved, is currently refuelling and storing fuel supplies at Walvis Bay’s main port.

A NamPort port plan shows the vessel has been at Berth 8 since Thursday and is scheduled to remain alongside until Sunday. According to the public port plan, the vessel is taking bunkers, stores and water. The volumes are enormous.

The fisheries ministry remains mum on whether a permit has been granted or denied to the Chinese company Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research.

The company put in a request several months ago to export a number of internationally listed vulnerable wild dolphins, whales and African penguins, among other species, to Chinese aquariums via the Ryazanovka trawler.

A concerned Namibian yesterday said that it is clear the vessel is taking up “huge quantities of fuel” until Sunday, and the urgent question now is what the destination and plans of the vessel crew are once it departs the port.

Moreover, while internationally it is common practice for vessels to be equipped with AIS antennae for tracking purposes, especially in ports, the Ryazanovka has been offline for months.

This, according to reliable sources, could be due to the fact that there are numerous allegations that the vessel is undergoing a change of ownership, and that the new owners are trying to register the vessel in Namibia. Nevertheless, the vessel’s invisibility is a concern to many.

NamPort as well as the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources were not able to confirm the reasons for the Ryazanovka’s refuelling nor its destination after Sunday and whether a permit for capture and export has been granted or denied.

NamPort advised Namibian Sun to contact Trade Ocean, the maritime agents attending to the vessel. However, Trade Ocean agents last week told Namibian Sun they would not comment on any matter relating to the vessel.

The vessel has been in Namibian waters since May and was reportedly customised to enable it to capture and transport large marine wildlife.

The application by Welwitschia Aquatic has unleashed widespread condemnation, both locally and internationally, with the formal request slammed for posing a risk to the local tourism industry and Namibia’s reputation as a leader in environmental conservation, among numerous other issues.

Moreover, scientists have pointed out that the application is riddled with false and inaccurate scientific information, questioning the expertise and intentions of the applicants and their partners.

The Chinese have offered to pay N$30 million, labelling it as money that will be invested through funding of the project into the country.

Internationally, many have argued that the decision is not Namibia’s to make, as the marine wildlife are cross-border animals and do not belong to a single country.

Moreover, a growing number of environmental and scientific organisations question conditions at Chinese zoos and aquariums as well as the ethics behind capturing wild animals and forcing them into a zoo existence.

The questionable application sent to the ministry earlier this year noted that Welwitschia Aquatic is working in collaboration with Beijing Ruier Animal Breeding and Promoting Company.

Although no further information could be gained on the legitimacy and ethics of the company, Dave Morgan from Wild Welfare, an organization with a mission to improve the welfare of captive wild animals, said that based on his experience of conditions at Chinese zoos and aquariums, “they are not places that I could contemplate sending animals to.”

Along with a majority of wildlife scientists, Morgan added that Wild Welfare objects in principle to the capturing and transporting of animals from the wild into captivity.

“These days, modern aquariums and members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, endeavour to source their cetaceans from captive-bred stock from other aquariums rather than support wild capture operations.”

Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research is allegedly managed by Jeff Huang, a close relative of millionaire Chinese businessman Jack Huang, owner of Sun Investment Group in Namibia. Welwitschia Aquatic shares the same address and contact details as that of Sun Investment Group, and employee there confirmed to Namibian Sun last week that both operated from the same premises.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Oofaalama dhomalandithilo dha taalela uupyakadhi

9 hours ago | Local News

Omwaalu omunene gwaanafaalama ogwa gumwa noonkondo konkalo yoshikukuta yuule woomvula heyali monena, ndjoka ya taalela oshilongo na otayi thiminikile muupyakadhi aanafaalama mboka ngele tashi ya...

Ya haluthwa aniwa kemweneko lyomayalulo gawo goombaanga

9 hours ago | Local News

Omunashipundi nale gwoFishcor, James Hatuikulipi, ngoka e li gumwe gwomaatamanekwa moshipotha shoFishrot okwa popi kutya okwa haluka mokunongela kutya omayalulo ge gombaanga dhopaumwene oga mwenekwa,...

Tjombe guns for Megasave, former manager

1 day - 27 January 2020 | Local News

Human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe says he will be representing Megasave Gobabis employee Samuel Afrikaner after a video clip went viral in which the worker...

Shintama new chairperson of Omusati regional council

1 day - 27 January 2020 | Local News

Along with his vow to continue where his predecessor left off, the new chairperson of the Omusati regional council, Andreas Shintama, has exploring how to...

Arrival, departure forms phased out

1 day - 27 January 2020 | Local News

Namibian citizens and permanent residence permit holders will as of today no longer be required to complete arrival and departure forms when entering and departing...

Efundja inali tameka natango

1 day - 27 January 2020 | Local News

Oshikondo shokutengeneka onkalo yombepo muuministeli wuunamapya, omeya nomakuti osha popi kutya onkalo yondjele yomeya yi li pombanda mOmbuga pokati konooli yaNamibia, inayi etithwa kefundja.Iitopolwa oyindji...

Aahogololi yomoondoolopa oyo taya kwatako omahogololo

1 day - 27 January 2020 | Local News

Olopota yoEconomic Outlook report yomomvula yo 2020 ya gongelwa koCirrus Securities, oya holola kutya aanyasha unene moondoolopa mboka kaaye na iilonga nenge aalongwantu otaya ka...

AaNamibia ya topolwa kiishoshela yokongulu

1 day - 27 January 2020 | Local News

Sho ya yamukula komapulo ge na sha niifuta yiishoshela yepangelo ngoka ga ningwa koAfrobarometer, osha holola kutya AaNamibia aashona mboka itaya popile iishoshela mbyoka yi...

Omwaalu gwaatamanekwa moFishrot tagu londo pombanda

4 days ago - 24 January 2020 | Local News

Omanga aatamanekwa yotango moshipotha shelyenge lyefuto lyoombumbo mepingakanitho lyookota dhokukwata oohi ya tegelelwa esiku li thikane ya pataneke etulo lyawo miipandeko mOmpangu yoPombandeelela moshilongo, omulumentu...

Calls for harvesting rainwater at Okatyali

5 days ago - 23 January 2020 | Local News

Farmers in the Okatyali Constituency of the Oshana Region are calling on the government to build an earthen dam in their area in order to...

Latest News

No evidence of ritual killing

9 hours ago | Crime

The police are contemplating DNA tests, if the police kitty allows, to identify the young Zimbabwean girl whose charred remains were found in a garbage...

Lightning kills 11 cattle in...

9 hours ago | Accidents

A farmer at Epingiro village in the Kavango West Region's Ncamagoro Constituency suffered a loss when lightning killed 11 of his cattle on Sunday evening....

A day in the life...

9 hours ago | People

Michelline Nawatises Samuel Mayele Nghipandulwa is 23 years old and hails from Ruacana, Oshifo. He started grade one and two at Oshoopala Combined School and...

Land question remains unanswered

9 hours ago | Opinion

We have said before that land reform in Namibia, which is currently a hot topic, should not be politicised. There is a general agreement that...

The importance of a pat...

9 hours ago | Columns

Ester KamatiWe often overlook how important it is for a person to be thanked or praised after they’ve put their energy into something which eventually...

Goals you want to achieve...

9 hours ago | Opinion

Rachel MutotaI want to put all my effort into the new grade I am in, so that I do not have a lack of knowledge...

Judges throw out shocking spliff...

9 hours ago | Justice

A N$4 000 fine or two-year prison sentence for possession of a single two-gram dagga joint worth N$20 was tossed out by two High Court...

Your future in dance awaits

9 hours ago | Youth

Ester Kamati The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation Trust has the main mandate to create social awareness through the arts and has been doing so for the...

The youth speak up

9 hours ago | Education

Elizabeth JosephYoung people all over Windhoek came together this weekend to discuss ways in which the health ministry and the government can make hospital facilities...

Load More