Raising Vital Funds For Ocean Conservation Namibia
RESCUE TO RECYCLE: FUNDRAISING FOR THE UNSUNG HEROES PROTECTING NAMIBIAS'S CAPE FUR SEALS
Marine life across the oceans face threats from humans and in our experience, ghost gear is the most deadly. It affects hundreds of thousands of marine creatures per year and its not just fishing nets that are a problem. The nylon fishing line used in long-line fishing is one of the biggest threats to seals worldwide.
Thankfully, charities like Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) are making direct interventions to this heart-breaking problem.
Across 2019 and 2020, Naude and his colleagues managed to free over 900 fur seals. This is a massive feat, yet the team still encounter entangled fur seals along their area of coastline in Pelican Point, Namibia almost every day. With this problem escalating at a worrying rate, OCN are in need of vital funds to continue their efforts, and provide vital rehabilitation care, which they currently don't have the facilities for.
"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."
Naude Dreyer, founder of OCN
This fur seal was one of the lucky ones that was spotted by Naude and his team who successfully removed this huge tangle of line from around its neck.
Alongside fur seals, other wildlife such as pelicans and turtles are frequently affected by fishing debris. Thankfully, there are rehabilitation centres nearby but it often takes a long time for these creatures to return to the wild after the injuries and trauma of entanglement.
This summer, our Rescue to Recycle project raised funds for Ocean Conservation Namibia. The charity donated 8 kg of monofilament line used in long-line fishing to us, which we then recycled to produce 100 pairs of limited-edition sunglasses.
Recycled Ocean Plastic Sunglasses
It is due to the fur seal’s playful nature that monofilament fishing debris is particularity deadly to this population, and every piece of recovered line we recycled had been removed from entangled wildlife, with the rescue caught on film. Each pair of sunglasses symbolises a victory in the fight against ghost gear, and £50 of each sale went straight to OCN.
This recycling project aimed to raise awareness of the issues wildlife faces on a daily basis, and also to encourage people to support charities like OCN. This small group of volunteers offer their time and energy to saving marine life every day and we are proud to be supporting them. We successfully raised 4850 EUR for OCN and they’ve used the money to invest in their own basic plastic recycling equipment, which they aim to use to create furniture for local schools.
You can support OCN and find more information about their work on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg8VTeeN4BglqmI1_CBlABg
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