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A fishing trip from hell

09 November 2012, 19:23
This story(article) is not about hero’s but villains. Should the reader be of a weak stomach then I recommend they do not read this article. Articles of this nature have been floating around Namibia and the international nature conservation community for many a year but little has been done, constructively to control the culling of seals in Namibia.     

On an annual basis seals have been culled at various places in Namibia. The aim is to lessen the seal population which will, in turn, allow for the increase of more fish in the sea along the Namibian coast line to become available for catching and processing in the various factories in the coastal areas.      The seals are beaten to death with pick-axe handles by the thousands.        +- 1962/63 my father and his pals went out on a fishing trip to Mile 72 Mile 72 is that distance from Swakopmund.  As usual fishing trips had little in common with fishing but rather more was to be gained from the contents of a Muscatel  Bottle.

I, as usual, was absorbing the libations of car-sickness at the back of the Land Rover.      I later became aware that we were well off the track and lost, to put it bluntly. We seemed to have over-shot the Mile 72 turn-off and carried, on inadvertently to Cape Cross. Later we saw the lighthouse in the distance.     The tents were erected, fire lit and coffee brewed. I wondered why not just carry on with the muscatel bottle. My father and his pals walked some distance along the beach, looking for a suitable site to fish from. As the wind turned I notices a stench permeating the area. A stench of rotten flesh. It was so severe that one wanted to vomit yet there seemed to be no escape

The Old Man and pals took their fishing gear and went hunting for the site they had “proclaimed“ as theirs. They returned empty handed and the fault was given to the stink in the air.  Next morning I went for a stroll along the beach and found several carcases of culled seals. Laying haphazardly along the high water mark. Just the stench had one retching continuously for some time. Further on, closer to the light house and some rocks a huge amount of the carcases were laying. It is uncertain if the heap was by natural causes or by the culling team. This culling operation attracts the coastal jackal and Strand wolf.     The Namibian government is rather sensitive about the culling operation as it attracts international attention. The reasons are fobbed of onto the poor economy and the boost culling gives to the fishing industry and the Seal pelt industry. Some time ago journalists were arrested for being in that area. During the earlier years it was discovered that Russian fishing trawlers and factory ships hauling in thousands of tonnes of fish
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