Stabbing of Cape Fur Seals a Blight on World Oceans Day

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Six Cape Fur seals have been stabbed at sea, and washed ashore at Kommetjie’s Long Beach, most likely due to drowning as a result of the trauma from their wounds. This incident is a terrible reminder of humans’ impact on coastal wildlife as the globe celebrates World Oceans Day today.

The City’s Coastal Management branch received reports from Kommetjie residents yesterday, 7 June 2023, that six large Cape Fur seals have washed ashore dead, each with what appeared to be unusual wounds. 

City officials went on site, assessed the carcasses, and decided, based on the unusual wounds, that further investigation was needed. After consultation with both the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE) and the Cape of Good Hope SPCA (CGHSPCA), and it was decided to take all six carcasses – 2 females and 4 males to the CGHSPCA for X-rays and full post-mortems to determine the cause of death.

The carcasses were delivered to the CGHSPCA on Wednesday evening. X-ray and post mortems conducted by Sea Search and a wildlife forensics team confirmed that all six seals have been stabbed most likely while at sea, and as a result of traumas sustained from the stabbing, drowned and washed ashore at Kommetjie’s Long Beach.

The City, Sea Search and the CGHSPCA would like to express their collective outrage at these events, especially as this comes on World Oceans Day.

‘World Oceans Day is celebrated around the globe to create awareness of the protection of our coasts, ocean areas and marine wildlife. This is a horrific incident, and should sadden all of us. I want to plead with anyone who may have witnessed this incident to report the details to the CGHSPCA,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

The three organisations are committed to working with DFFE officials to ensure that when those who have committed this crime are identified and found, and that the full extent of the law is applied.

‘We need to ensure that an appropriate example is set so that this senseless waste and cruelty to our marine wildlife does not happen again,’ said Alderman Andrews.

Report What You Know

Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s Wildlife Team Supervisor John Friedman says “Spending the day performing post mortems on 6 murdered seals is not how we planned to celebrate World Oceans Day today. This is a sobering reminder of just how imperiled our marine wildlife is, not only on shore where it is most evident but also out at sea, beyond our gaze and reach. Still, we hope that justice will be served and that the perpetrators of this wicked crime will be brought to book”.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is appealing to anyone with any information on this incident to please come forward and make a report.  Your report can be made anonymously.  Please call 0217004158/9 or 0833261604 | email or make your report online here 

One of the six Cape Fur seals that washed ashore on Kommetjie’s Long Beach after being stabbed at sea.

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