Hunting Ethiopia & Trophy Fees

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  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Hunting Ethiopia & Trophy Fees

    Safari Club International (SCI) Urges the Ethiopian Government to Maintain Current Trophy Fees and recently wrote a letter to the Ethiopian government urging them to maintain the current trophy fees. The Ethiopian government had previously announced that fees would be increased up to 300% starting in July 2009. This includes an exorbitant fee increase on the Mountain Nyala from $5000 to $15,000. Here below is the letter that the SCI sent to the Ethiopian government.


    April 6, 2009

    Muhamoud Dirir
    Minister of Culture and Tourism
    P.O Box 1907
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Fax: +251 11 551 28 89


    Dear Minister Dirir:

    I am writing to you on a matter of urgent concern to Safari Club International and Safari Club International Foundation. We have been informed that in July 2009 the Ethiopian government is planning a significant increase in the trophy fees related to safari hunting in Ethiopia. We have been told all trophy fees have been increased significantly and that in some cases trophy fees have been increased by as much as 300%.

    Our organizations support the sustainable use of wildlife and the equitable sharing of the benefits from such use, as called for in the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, we are concerned that an unanticipated and large increase in fees, being applied on very short notice, could have the opposite effect. These actions may lead to widespread cancellation of hunts and result in a loss of revenue to Ethiopia, not an increase in revenue. Additionally, a drastic increase in fees could decrease Ethiopia’s desirability as a place to hunt when compared to other African countries, thus further reducing tourism revenues. Our organizations represent more than 55,000 hunters and over 190 affiliated chapters worldwide, many of who spend significant funds hunting in Africa. Our main goal is to protect the hunting heritage worldwide. A key to that, especially when considering safari hunting, is the existence of a stable, healthy number of hunt outfitters and professional hunters. These people make it possible for safari hunting to occur. Without them, the revenues and other benefits associated with safari hunting would not continue. Therefore, we favor the establishment and continuation of a reasonable, reliable and predictable business environment in which safari hunting can flourish. Such an environment benefits everyone – the hunters, the outfitters, the governments, the local people who derive benefits from the hunting activities, and, at the end of the day, the conservation of the game species themselves.

    The decision to greatly increase fees may have a substantial impact on this sector of your economy. You should increase fees, if at all, only with enough time to consider all the ramifications and to allow businesses and their clients to make the necessary adjustments. We strongly recommend you to reconsider this increase in trophy fees, especially in light of the global economic recession that is already causing steep declines in hunting revenues worldwide. Finally, SCI supports the sustainable use of wildlife. Therefore, if you decide to increase trophy fees, we suggest that you set aside a percentage of the revenue for conservation of wildlife and to the local residents where hunting occurs. Without the game species being conserved and valued by the local communities, the species may diminish and ultimately disappear, resulting in the loss of hunting opportunities.

    We thank you in advance for taking the time to consider our concerns. Ethiopia is a unique and growing destination in the world for hunters. It has a fine reputation for hospitality and a well-run wildlife program. We hope that we can work with you to maintain that status for Ethiopia.

    Sincerely,

    Merle Shepard, President
    Safari Club International
    Safari Club International Foundation
     
  2. Safari Chick

    Safari Chick AH Veteran

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    This is a very interesting post, why are these governments so short sighted?
     
  3. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Very short sighted indeed... I hope SCI and other hunting organizations would do the same to Tanzania. At present we are rigid on their tariffs even on photographic safaris despite the worldwide economic crisis - I guess it is the attitude that develops when one does not have to work for their own living - we seem to be content with foreign aid.
     
  4. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I very much agree with your comments SC and Ryan. In many ways though, hunters have brought some of this upon themselves. Too many in the last couple of decades have been willing to just pay the shot, no matter what the cost and things just keep rolling along, especially with the 'glamor game' until a monumental economic crisis occurs and shuts things down.

    There is no reason that a Stone Sheep hunt should cost $32,000 or a coastal grizzly $25,000............I guided for them and outfitted and I know it is nothing more than supply and demand push the prices as high as the market will bear. Even in the US some of the licence fees for non-resident hunters have gotten to the point where I simply will not apply in some states.

    When what amounts to a handful of wealthy hunters are willing to pay whatever it takes to get a specific animal or hunt a certain area then why should we be shocked that the prices keep climbing and those riding the wave think it will go on for ever. It also comes back to bite the operators in the ass as well as with big dollars attached to hunts in certain areas they are forced or willing to pay huge sums of money for concessions and operating areas that harbor the trophies that generate the big dollars.

    It is a vicious circle.
     
  5. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    You have a valid point there Kelly and I just wish that we would all prioritize the wildlife and their habitat in our industry. It seems we spend too much effort on our own interests alone and keep forgetting why we have benefits in hunting to start with - its because of the resource!

    If governments, hunters and all levels of stakeholders appreciated the facts of nature, and deal with every individual location in its' best interest and apply our interest in that context, then we could have a much better scenario. But I guess am asking too much!

    Today, Tanzania does not have the funds or equipment to protect and conserve its own wildlife (outside of National Parks) - it is only through tourist hunting investors that areas are still being protected and sustained - we in turn as investors, depend on our clients to fund these operations. Tanzania has always been an expensive destination, but that's because we had little competition in the past. Today, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique are all well established destinations with cheaper options and because of that, Tanzania is losing out! Everyone loses out eventually, because once the outfitters slacken the rope, then the wildlife and habitats get victimized by an ever hungry, growing rural population and the government does not react as it should, because it is content with being subsidized by foreign aid every year and does not feel the need to protect its own assets and income generators. Vicious cycle indeed!
     
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I agree Ryan............sadly I think what we wish to see will never come to pass. It is an unfortunate truth that the vast majority of the general public that like to 'look' at wildlife, do not spend a dime of their disposable income on helping to conserve the animals and the space they need to live in. Mostly they just like to complain.

    Hunters have always been saddled with the task of providing the lions share of the funding for wildlife conservation and the funding for the preservation of wild places. This is a task that most do not complain about, but it is a burden that is becoming ever increasingly difficult for the Average Joe to bear. Hunter numbers are declining globally, while at the same time the cost of conservation and the number of critical wildlife and habitat issues continue to climb.

    Outfitters/operators have ever increasing marketing challenges to deal with in a shrinking market. The actual cost of operation continues to climb and must be passed along to the consumer, so there is little that can be done about this portion of the pricing of hunts.

    The operators have to build in a profit margin to survive. No one gets into business to just break even or continually use money from other sources to help fund their hunting operation. At the end of the day bills need to be paid and all involved need to make a living.

    Governments need to cover the costs of wildlife management, there is nothing to argue about in this regard, but they are going to have to be a little more creative in how they do this in the future. Personally I think it is time that some of the higher fees be passed on to the non-consumptive users of wildlife and wild places..........a segment of the overall outfitting industry that depends on lesser fees and higher client volume, the numbers of which have a more significant impact on the wildlife and habitat than most realize.

    Operators need to be more creative as well, but this can be an insurmountable hurdle if they are hobbled by antiquated and exceedingly rigid government regulations which severly limit the operators options in the packages they can market. They also need to rethink the current practice of nickle and diming the clients to death with a never ending list of fees, taxes and ridiculously high trophy fees.

    There is a real danger that greed and a distinct lack of long range vision and planning is going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
     
  7. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Ryan & Kelly It's sad to say but I think you guys hit the nail on the head 100%. It is a dirty shame that the people who need to hear & follow your wise wisdom don't care or think they are smarter than the real workers in the buisness!! If the governments don't get a grasp on what's happening pretty soon all the hunting worldwide is going to suffer as one country follows the other... A vicious cycle for sure... If one can get away with it so should I!!
     

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