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

 

Squatters get water amid pandemic

12 hours ago | Local News

ILENI NANDJATOOSHAKATI North West Plastic Manufacturers (NWPM) has donated three 500-litre water tanks to the Ondangwa town council to aid water provision to informal settlements.Council...

Chinese vessels free to go

1 day - 02 April 2020 | Local News

LEANDREA LOUWWALVIS BAYSix Chinese fishing vessels impounded by the Namibian navy after anchoring in a fishing zone near Henties Bay are now free to go....

Bribes for services

1 day - 02 April 2020 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK About 8% of Namibians had to pay a bribe once, twice or a few times to obtain water,...

Rundu takes corona lightly

1 day - 02 April 2020 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe RUNDU Residents and some business owners at Rundu are seemingly not taking the necessary precautionary measures to fight the spread of...

Esiku lyotango lya Apilili olya simana moSwapo

1 day - 02 April 2020 | Local News

OMUTOOLINKUNDANA GWOMENIOVENDUKA Minista nale Charles Namoloh okwa popi kutya ethimbo olya thikana opo ku simanekwe ondjokonona yesiku lyotango lyaApilili mekondjelomanguluko lyoshilongo.Sho a ningwa naye...

Shimbulu ta fala Swapo kompangu

1 day - 02 April 2020 | Local News

ILENI NANDJATO OSHAKATI Shoka osha hololwa momukanda gwa shangelwa ngoka ta longo pehala lyOmunambelewa Omukuluntu gwondoolopa yaShakati Helena Thomas, gwa shangwa kuhahende...

Vendors in a pickle

2 days ago - 01 April 2020 | Local News

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUVendors in the north are unhappy with the closure of open markets as part of the coronavirus response.In line with government directives, the Rundu...

Ongendjo yongeleka ya yakwa po

2 days ago - 01 April 2020 | Local News

ELLANIE SMIT OVENDUKA Kape na ngoka a tulwa miipandeko shi na sha nuulunga mboka, nomakonaakono gopolisi otaga tsikile.Moshiningwanima sha yooloka, mEtitano lya piti moAuspannplatz...

Coronavirus: Aochamub otashi vulika a lalekwe oshiwike shika

2 days ago - 01 April 2020 | Local News

TOIVO NDJEBELAOVENDUKA Omukalelipo gwaNamibia koFrance, Albertus Aochamub okwa popi kutya ota tipo hwepo okuza komukithi gwocoronavirus na otashi vulika a lalekwe mo moshipangelo oshiwike...

Aalandithi yomomapandanda ya indikwa mOndangwa

3 days ago - 31 March 2020 | Local News

ESTER KAMATIOSHAKATI Yimwe yomoonkatu ndjoka ya katukwa kelelo lyaNdangwa, okuyeleka omapandanda gondoolopa okuza kaalandithi yomomapandanda mboka taya vulu okutaandelitha nenge okukwatwa kombuto nuupu....

Latest News

Mariental flooded after cloudburst

12 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMITMARIENTALMajor flooding was experienced at Mariental yesterday morning after 120 mm of rain fell within a two-hour period.The rain started at about 08:00 and...

Geingob needs support to lead...

12 hours ago | Opinion

President Hage Geingob often gets the stick for all the challenges that the country faces, but perhaps unfairly so at times.While he arguably did not...

20 000 Jack Ma corona...

12 hours ago | Disasters

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKNamibia may only start using the 20 000 coronavirus testing kits donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma by the end of April.The government is...

Hefty lockdown violation fines revealed

12 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKPeople who flout the lockdown rules during the coronavirus state of emergency could be fined up to N$2 000. This is in accordance...

Meatco to restart slaughtering

12 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK Meatco will restart slaughtering activities at its factory next week following a declaration that the agriculture value chain is an essential service....

Dams more than 50% full

12 hours ago | Weather

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The average dam level has risen to 56.9%, nearly twice as high as last season when the dams were only 31.1% full....

Fresh and Popping – Lockdown...

12 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK As you already know, Fresh and Popping is where we share trending songs, hot out of the booth. We tell you...

Sharing hope with gospel music

12 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEKA genre with a devoted community of fans, Namibian gospel is producing more and more world-class content, like award-winning Manda Gabriel, who recently...

Keeping it real

12 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Recently, we've had some new names on this page. The response has been awesome, but I've also received some resentful opinions. Asking why the page...

Load More