Select Page

‘The Seals of Nam’ activists are rebels without a cause

Dear sir,
Mr Pat Dickens who resides in the Western Province town of George, South Africa, the leader of the activist group, “The Seals of Nam”, is currently organising a massive international campaign against the Namibian Government for harvesting the Cape Fur Seal in Namibian territory.
I have been following his Facebook page and recent press releases. This group of activists’ campaign is based on an uncompromising approach against the culling of seals. In obtaining their goals, they make use of disinformation, extortion, as well as blackmail. They go as far as to involve branded groups, politicians, celebrities, and international tour operators in the tourism industry. Their main goal is to organise a total boycott against the Namibian economy until such a time that the Namibian Government declares a moratorium on the culling of seals.
It is a well-known fact that due to the absence of its main natural predator (Great White Shark), the Namibian seal population has become totally over-populated. This has, for a long time now, contributed to a severe negative impact on the local fish resources. So many people’s livelihoods depend on the availability of this fish source.
If this uncontrollable seal population explosion should be left unattended, the impact of this will be devastating – not only on our fishing industry but also on a large portion of our tourism industry, which also depends on the availability of fish, such as small boat as well as rock and beach anglers.
The activists claim, according to their Facebook page, that there are 650 000 Cape Fur Seals spread in the colonies along the Namibian coast and that these seals are suffering because of the total allowable catch of 600 000 tonnes which was granted to the fishing industry by the Namibian Government. According to well-documented research, adult seals consume 35 kilogrammes of fish per day. The daily consumption of fish by these seals is 22,750 tonnes of fish. Meaning that for each year, these seals consume a total of 8.3 million tonnes of fish.
This total allowable catch, therefore, seems like a drop in the ocean compared to what the seals consume. If one takes into consideration that 350g of protein is sufficient to feed one person for one day, then 65 million people could be fed on what the seals consume per day. With the millions of our people in Africa who are suffering, a portion of the seals’ daily consumption will help a lot. Despite Mr. Pat Dickens’ claim that there are 650 000 seals, the real figures are much higher and as a result the impact caused by the seals are much higher.
Mr. Dickens also frequently refers to Appendix II of the UN Convention of Endangered Species. He also mentions on his FB page that the seal harvesting is against Namibian law. The matter of fact is that the Cape Fur Seal in Namibia has never been declared as an endangered species by the UN Convention of Endangered Species. The Namibian Fisheries Marine Resources Act also provides for the legal harvesting of seals. The Cape Fur seal has become a plague which is currently not properly controlled. If one takes into consideration what the meaning of conservation implies, “The wise management of the environment and its resources by Mankind,” then it is Mankind’s responsibility to weigh up all options and to find a meaningful balance.
Mr. Dickens also propagates that the Namibian Government is chasing away seals on the many islands close to our coast with clubs to prevent them from breeding there. What he is forgetting is that some of these islands from which the guano has been harvested, served as breeding grounds for a variety of bird species. Seals go where they can find food. The seals now invade these islands and feed on these nesting birds, including penguins. The seals are not only having a devastating effect on the fish resources but also on the wider bird life and, as such, the Namibian Government is doing a good job in protecting these birds or else the seals will eat them into extinction.
These animals can also spread dangerous diseases and this can have an adverse effect on the human population. The cost of mitigating against the possible transmission of these diseases from the seals to thousands of humans can also not be justified, especially at the expense of millions of people who are suffering of hunger. The activists will be able to get much more support if they approach the logic in this matter. Unfortunately, their approach is like that of Zealot’s with whom no reasonable man can reason. We all love the seals and we Namibians don’t want it to become extinct. However, when it becomes a plague something must be done to balance the nature. If left in the current situation just imagine the infestation of our beaches.
Should these activists consider assisting valuable causes such as helping in the fight against the pollution of our sea, or giving assistance to seals that become entangled in nets and ropes, then their existence could be justified. Unfortunately they are now merely rebels without a cause.
Oswald Theart
Kasote Village

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.