Naude Dreyer sailed his boat off the shore of Walvis Bay, Namibia, where the water seemed to be so calm, even though, behind the velvety surface, a creature was battling for its life. Suddenly, a bundle of netting came into view, showing a worried seal in its grips.
Dreyer pulled the trapped pup to the beach, and after letting it free, he stared in astonishment as the saved seal swam away: “It was then that I recognized I had discovered my actual life’s calling,” Dreyer adds, “saving marine wildlife.”
Ocean pollution is one of the largest problems aquatic creatures face today: from abandoned fishing lines to shopping bags, an estimated 5.25 trillion particles of plastic garbage are presently floating in the sea. Taking hundreds of years to degrade, the trash clings onto marine organisms, seriously decreasing number of marine creatures.
With hundreds of Cape fur seals reproducing around the Namibian coastline, Dreyer became aware of the horrible destiny these creatures experienced. Naturally curious creatures, they frequently consume trash or get tangled in it, resulting in malnutrition, or even worse.
To put a stop to this hardship, Dreyer pledged to make their cause his priority and co-founded Ocean Conservation Namibia and seven years later, Dreyer and his crew have liberated over 800 seals from pernicious garbage.
Whether using his own hands or a specially prepared net, Dreyer secures the seal before delicately removing the harmful debris: filming each rescue and broadcasting it online, the environmentalist educates others to the terrible consequences of humans activity.
“When you see an animal wrapped in plastic, it’s evident that keeping our seas clean is not a recommendation, but an imperative necessity,” Dreyer adds.
His team recently embarked on the 100 Seals for Time initiative, where they successfully disentangled 100 seals in only 30 days. “We’re attempting to undo human-inflicted damage,” Dreyer adds.
While it was an incredible performance, it’s also a clear reminder that Dreyer’s conservation efforts are important for the future of seals. “Our waters are alive with all types of wildlife,” he continues. “It’s up to us to preserve it this way.”