WHALES CONTINUE TO SUFFER FROM HUMAN-INDUCED TRAUMA RESULTING FROM FISHING ENTANGLEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
The EMS Foundation formally requested from the Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy, by means of a letter dated 07 September 2020, an immediate moratorium on the use of non-movable fishery devices due to multiple fatal whale entanglements. We have, unfortunately, yet to receive an answer, to our request.
On the 23rd of September 2020 the death of a Humpback was recorded in Sardinia Bay, Nelson Mandela Bay.
Dr Greg Hofmeyer, conducted the necroscopy on the whale. He concluded that a fishing line from a long-line fishing boat wrapped around and cut into the body of the mammal, eventually rendering the whale unable to swim or feed. Flesh grew and festered around the wound and the whale slowly died. “This animal was really badly injured and was probably floating for a number of months while being unable to feed, before eventually die of starvation.”
Dr Hofmeyer also reported a further two incidents in his interview with SABC News. “On the same day that the whale came ashore we also found on the beach a White-chinned Petrel, a type of sea bird, also entangled in fishing gut, and a dolphin washed ashore with a series of parallel cuts on its back which could only have been caused by a vessel propeller. Three animals have been killed here, directly because of human behaviour.”
The EMS Foundation hereby submits a formal request for an immediate moratorium on the use of non-movable fishing devices, which include, but are not limited to, crayfish traps.
We are extremely concerned by the documented accounts of whale fatalities in South African water which are a result of these devices.
In 2020, there have been four reported incidents of whale fatalities in the Western Cape alone. Moreover, of concern is that it is known that the majority of entanglements, which result in fatalities, are unreported.
The Sunrise Educare Centre in Vrygrond, Muizenberg, situated in the Western Cape of South Africa
The EMS Foundation delighted the children who attend the Sunrise Educate Centre today with new shoes.
“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the President” Nelson Mandela
This inspirational quotation is visible as you enter the doors of this day school for children aged under six. Berenice Bougaard, is the founder of Sunrise Educate Centre and this quotation could not be more apt.
Vrygrond is one of the first informal settlements in the Western Cape, the inhabitants face many challenges on a daily basis. This school is a safe haven and an escape from the harsh reality of poverty for the children fortunate enough to attend.
The EMS Foundation has also donated the services of a painter and the materials to help complete the new building. The teachers and children are looking forward to moving into a new, bright and damp-free environment.
The EMS Foundation has also donated food to the school during the COVID_19 pandemic, the forced lockdown has meant that the daily economic struggle has become even more difficult.
The incredible teachers and carers at this school make sure that the children never go home hungry.
If the children who pass through these doors are given an opportunity to realise that there is another world, they will be inspired to work their way out of their present, dire circumstances.
“Why wait until a species is on the brink of extinction before we try to help”.
27th July 2020
Rita Miljo was the founder of The Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education C.A.R.E.
Rita Miljo was born in Litunaia, she moved to South Africa in the the 1950’s where she became a renowned conservation and animals rights pioneer.
On the 27th July 2012 Rita Miljo tragically died in a fire which swept through her home and the sanctuary which is located on the banks of the Olifants River.
The first baboon she rescued was called Bobby, they were inseparable, he died in the fire with her; they were buried together according to her wishes.
Her first group of rescued baboons were released back into the wild in 1994 confounding many skeptical professional primatologists.
All in all, more than dozen troops totalling some 250 baboons were released back into wild during the last twenty years of Rita Miljo’s life.
Incredibly, Rita Miljo had no formal scientific training, she was motivated to help animals for humanitarian reasons.
In 2002 Nelson Mandela was with her for a release of troop of baboons at Shambala Wildlife Reserve in Limpopo in South Africa. The image above is from that special time, with grateful thanks to the management of C.A.R.E.
Baboons are regarded as vermin in South Africa despite their high intelligence and social skils. Baboons have long been shot and killed because people find them to be a nuisance. At one time monetary rewards were offered for handing in a scalp and tail of baboons, it is still legal to shoot baboons in some instances.
Rita Miljo was repeatedly charged with transporting and keeping baboons without the correct permits. Her devotion to rescue, to rehabilitate and release baboons into the wild was much greater than her fear of the law. When provoked her answer was always the same: “Who are you to tell God that he should not have created baboons?”
The C.A.R.E Sanctuary was formally established in 1989 for primate conservation and rehabilitation and since then C.A.R.E. has become a pioneer in the field of Chacma Baboons.
Stephen Munro, (BSc Animal Welfare) is the managing Director of C.A.R.E. and together with Samantha Dewhirst (MSc Primate Conservationist), they have formed a perfect partnership. Their combined a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge and their dedication to primate rehabilitation and release the C.A.R.E. sanctuary is continuing to fulfil every one of Rita Miljo visions.
C.A.R.E. is also committed to educating local communities and tourists about the positive aspects of the co-existence of humans and wildlife. They have partnered with many schools in the area and they provide field trips to the centre.
The EMS Foundation is a proud financial supporter of the C.A.R.E. sanctuary where they have four semi-wild enclosures, an environmental educational centre, outdoor classroom, offices quarantine facilities, a quarantine orphan nursery, bonding and integration enclosures, accommodation for students and volunteers, a veterinary clinic and an animal food prep kitchen.
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela spent sixty-seven years of his life fighting for human rights. Mandela Day is an opportunity to remember him and to carry his legacy forward.
In honour of Nelson Mandela, the founder of the EMS Foundation, Elizabeth Steyn has delighted the smallest children in the care of the Non-Government Organisation called Where Rainbows Meet with warm jackets, hoodies and shoes.
Where Rainbows Meet is situated in Muizenberg in Cape Town, South Africa. Their mission is to economically and socially empower the women, men and youth of informal settlement communities. Their activities provide the different groups of the community of Vryground with information, education and support. Their programs are designed so that the people are encouraged to take responsibility of their own lives, their families and the situation in the community.
The community is offered the opportunity of learning new skills in order to decrease unemployment, which in turn will lower drug abuse, domestic violence, child neglect and other social skills.
Founded in 2008 in the oldest informal settlement in the Western Cape, almost sixty percent of this community are victims of crime. Where Rainbows Meet is empowering this community and the surrounding communities so that the members can live in dignity and security.
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats it’s children” Nelson Mandela