Gendev Fish Processors based in Walvis Bay has come to the rescue of sick, injured, oiled or abandoned penguin chicks, with a donation of one tonne of fish to the centre that rehabilitates the threatened bird species, which are part of the country’s diverse fauna.
Most of the penguins are taken to the rehabilitation centre at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources from the different islands around Lüderitz.
Penguin biologist Jessica Kemper, who has volunteered her services for the past 16 years to feed and take care of the penguins at the rehabilitation centre, explained that the flightless birds stay at the centre until they fully recover, before they are released back into the area where they were found. It can take up to one month for a penguin to make a full recovery.
While they are at the rehab centre the penguins have to be fed twice daily – in the morning and during evening time.
Administration officer at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Lüderitz, Olivia Zitha, told New Era they normally buy penguin feed at Marco Fishing. But Marco Fishing has stopped selling penguin food, and that is why the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources requested fishing companies to donate sardines, which are the appropriate food for penguins.
As part of Gendev’s social and sustainability programme it decided to sponsor one tonne of sardines towards the penguin rehab centre.
Zitha applauded Norbert Klosto, who decided to volunteer to transport the fish donated from Walvis Bay to Lüderitz at no cost.