DECEASED, A HUMPBACK WHALE, ANOTHER VICTIM OF FISHING EQUIPMENT ENTANGLEMENT SOUTH AFRICA

OPEN LETTER

Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy

30th September 2020

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[1], 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.”[2]

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.”

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