In a recent study, Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Sea Search-Namibian Dolphin Project and Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) found that hundreds of Cape Fur seals are entangled each year, mainly in fishing lines and nets, causing horrific injuries and can result in a slow, painful death.
The study was part of an ongoing project to investigate the impact of pollution on fur seals in Namibia, and demonstrated that a high number of affected animals were pups and juveniles, which were mainly entangled around the neck by fishing line.
“Plastic pollution and particularly lost and discarded fishing nets are having a big impact to marine life. Once entangled, these seals face a very painful and uncertain future: finding food becomes harder and wounds can become deep and debilitating, and likely cause death in many cases,” co-director of the Namibian Dolphin Project and an Hon Senior Lecturer in the Department of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University, Dr Tess Gridley said:
“Changes to policy could help, such as financial incentives to recover lines, safe disposal of nets and sustainable alternatives to plastics,” Dr Gridley adds.
Have a look at this short video, detailing Sea Search’s work on Cape fur seals together with Ocean Conservation Namibia. This is the devastating reality of the damage caused by plastics in the marine environment.
Sea Search is currently fundraising so they can continue their research into South Africa and continue conservation work. Make a difference today by pledging your support and donating to help undo some of the harm caused by humans at https://gofund.me/8cc1f09f.
This video contains graphic details that may upset sensitive viewers:
Watch it here:
Picture: Sea Search / Screenshot from video