Company that wants to export live sea creatures throws in the towel

The company that applied for a license from the Namibian authorities to capture live dolphins, seals, whales, penguins and other marine creatures confirmed yesterday it is pulling up roots in Namibia. The company will no more pursue the Namibian Government’s approval for the export of captured, live marine mammals from Namibian waters.
The company, Beijing Ruier Animal Breeding and Promoting Company, that owes the vessel Ryazanovka, issued a statement through the vessel’s Master, Mr. Ilya Sharapov who said it is regrettable the negative publicity the intended project received from the start, and that this was an investment opportunity worth N$100 million for Namibia which remains challenged by poverty, unemployment and other social challenges.
The statement reads [please note small changes were made to the letter as far as spelling concerns, and the letter contains a number of small linguistic errors]: “Hello. My name is Ilya Sharapov. I am the representative of Beijing Ruier Animal Breeding and Promoting Company (that owns the vessel Ryazanovka).
Can you please help us edit and release the article?
ALL Namibian Media: we would like to take this opportunity to inform the Namibian public regarding the marine mammals’ project for which our company has applied for a license with a local partner company (Welwitschia Aquatic and Wildlife Scientific Research) to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to utilize these resources in a sustainable manner for both the benefit of our company and of the Namibian Government and people.
As is commonly said in Namibia and is true, people do not eat democracy, politics or constitutions, but tangible food, our plan is to assist Namibia through its diversification of economic activities to create more employment, wealth and income and prosperity for the people of the country to come out of the poverty trap which was caused by the historical injustices of the previous apartheid administration.
Thousands of children and adults in Namibia are in dire need of education, employment, health services, accommodation and all basic things which people require to make a decent living. These are the people whom we thought would benefit from a project such as the one we planned to start in Namibia. However, there are those few objectors, mostly wealthy people from Namibia and outside Namibia, some of whose countries supported apartheid in the past and led to the current economic oppression of thousands of Namibians, and some of those who because of their white skin directly benefitted from the discriminatory apartheid policies. Their voices and opposition to this project have been very much strong, even insulting and claiming that the project is either criminal or have some underhand objectives.
It is unfortunate, we are a law abiding company operating in many other countries, including in Asia and Russia, and our operations are transparent and always within the law. In Namibia we together with our local partners made a transparent application to the Ministry, which should have been handled through the normal procedures. How can investment come to Namibia when investor-applications are leaked to the media even before the Ministry has pronounced itself on the merits of the application, and some animal zealots start to denounce the application. Are all persons in Namibia as part of their human rights not supposed to have their democratic right to apply, be heard and a final decision taken based on informed facts?
It is also most unfortunate that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to whom the proposal was sent never afforded us an opportunity to state precisely what we planned to do, except for the statements which we read in the newspapers as having been said by the officials from that Ministry. Also, in a most unprofessional manner, our application was leaked to the newspapers which prosecuted us as the investors in this project and engaged in unwarranted public demonstrations and protestations against this project even though they did not quite well understand it.
Nevertheless, we planned to invest in Namibia in the beginning stages over N$100 million and expand this investment later to many more millions by building a state of the art marine park onthe Namibian coast which would have allowed many Namibians to benefit from the presence of the marine mammals as opposed to only few white owned companies which are currently exclusively benefiting from the presence of such marine mammals through tourism. Our project would have undoubtedly increase if not doubling or tripling the current tourists numbers to Namibia and the coast, in the same manner as is happening in Dubai, Asia or Disney land in the USA. Many Namibians would have been directly employed in this project and others through the local procurement of services and goods.
However, since the few have been so much strong in their public resistance, and the majority of Namibians neither said anything, nor did the Ministry to date comment on our project, we have come to the conclusion of withdrawing our investment proposition as well as the vessel anchored in the Walvis Bay ocean waters. The harvesting of excess marine mammals such as the dolphins and others was only a small component of our investment proposal, and was meant to assist in the ecological preservation of the sea marine mammal life. As for the seals, we though that it would be more human to harvest these animals where in excess for live translocation to our marine parks in South-East Asia and China for viewing by audiences rather than the current culling. Something which you as animal lovers should have welcomed and not opposed if you were not biased with your uninformed judgments.
As Namibia is now facing economic woes and financial difficulties, this project should have been welcomed, as Namibia needs it to help thousands of Namibians who are below the breadline to come out from the poverty trap. It would have contributed to foreign currency, taxes, jobs and so many developmental good things which the country needs to move forward. However, since time is money and we have already spent numerous resources on this project without any positive feedback, we are cutting our losses and moving out from Namibia, except one day when the Namibian Government is ready, we may return. Our ship will be repaired in Walvis Bay and will leave the country.
We wish you the best with your future development, with the preservation of your natural resources which would continue to benefit the few wealthy ones only, while the majority most unfortunately continues to suffer in poverty as the country cannot exploit and develop its own resources due to minority hostage taking over those resources.
Regards, Master of STR Ryazanovka, Beijing Ruier Animal Breeding and Promoting Company.
With beast regards, Ilya Sharapov.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login