Seal Rescues are OCN's main priority.
Pelican Point is home to anything between 50,000 and 100,000 Cape Fur Seals. They are generally found in good condition, our ocean holds plenty of fish and few predators - except for humans. Ocean debris has become a major issue, and our very playful seals will try and play with anything they can find, often getting themselves stuck in plastic wrapping, clothing, discarded fishing line, old rusty paint bucket rings or anything else that might resemble a toy. Without help, they will eventually meet a gruesome fate.
Whenever possible, Naude will spend a day amongst the seals to identify and help animals in need. Often it is just a matter of grabbing the seal, cutting it loose, and returning it back to the ocean. Other cases are more complicated and need more tools such as specialised nets and long poles and a good amount of creativity.
In 2019, Naude and his colleagues managed to free over 300 seals, but new entangled seals can be found at Pelican Point on a daily basis.
Naude keeps record of his seal interactions and the physical piece of rubbish recovered from the animal. All his data and findings are forwarded to the Namibian Dolphin Project for further research.
Naude often takes is GoPro along to record the seal interaction, you can find the videos either on Instagram or Youtube.
Beach and Desert Clean ups are the most effective and cost efficient way to remove rubbish from the ocean and our environment before it can cause any harm.
Most floating ocean waste ends up on the beaches and often lead to animal entanglement as well as the release of harmful micro plastics.
By doing regular cleanups along the Namibian coast, we hope to reduce potential threats to animals as well as ourselves. We often get local school and our own children involved to showcase the gravity of the problem, and the simplicity of the solution: reduce, reuse, recycle.
Cleanups are the easiest way to get involved with conversation and the environment - everybody can go for a little walk, take a bag along, and pick up any kind of rubbish along the way.
It might not be your rubbish - but it is your environment. Let's protect it!
Public Awareness and education is a key focus for Ocean Conservation Namibia, especially in Youths. If we teach our children correct environmental practise, many future issues regarding pollution, waste and environmental destruction can be prevented.
This school group of young learners from International School Walvis Bay were lucky enough to witness Naude catch "Elsa the Pelican'. She was injured during stormy weather and rehabilitated in Naude's and Katja's garden for two weeks, before she was successfully released into the wild.
We regularly get called out for injured wild animals such as turtles, penguins, pelicans, seals, whales, dolphins, sharks and jackals. Some examples are listed below:
Terry the Turtle (Olive ridley sea turtle) was found in the small craft harbour amongst several fishing boats. She had buoyancy issues and various parasitic infections. Naude took her to the Swakopmund Aquarium, where she received professional help from the vet.
Elsa the Pelican was injured in a storm and needed x-rays, antibiotics and a few days of good rest and lots of fish. She adapted very well to our garden and could be released within 14 days. Human interaction was kept to an absolute minimum to keep her wild. Pelicans are not pets.
The little seal pup in the last picture was suffering from severe pneumonia. Seal pup rehab is unfortunately barely ever successful as they still depend on their mothers and they do not have much of a chance of survival.
Namibia currently does not have facilities to rehabilitate seals. We are hoping to eventually be able to provide a better chance of survival for animals in need. We are in constant exchange with seal rehab facilities and specialised veterinarians all over the world to make sure that we do everything in our power to help wounded seals.