Good legislation wasted

WORTH PROTECTING: Claude Ingram with a 75cm garrick caught at Swartkops. The estuary deserves more attention
WORTH PROTECTING: Claude Ingram with a 75cm garrick caught at Swartkops. The estuary deserves more attention

THERE are many blind estuaries along our coast, such as the Kabeljous at Jeffreys Bay and the Seekoei River at Ashton Bay. Van Stadens and Maitlands are also good examples of blind rivers.

There are numerous blind rivers north of Port Elizabeth towards East London that also offer much opportunity for fishing.

Occasionally they are replenished from the sea with new life and good water during the solstice spring tidal activity and very stormy seas.

Garrick especially thrive in these lagoons where they feed on the small fish that abound there. Spinning for these fish can be quite invigorating.

These blind rivers have low saline content and many species do not survive there, bringing on the belief that they are sterile, which is really not the case.

It is often a good place to start artificial lure angling, especially for the younger generation. The fact that most of these blind rivers are indeed shallow adds a little safety to the outing, especially for the “waders”.

It is of vital importance that rivers receive good amounts of fresh water as the life forms that abound there need this supply. Tidal activity is also a lifeblood of these systems.

With the angling week that has just been concluded there has been good catches of grunter and cob.

It is pleasing to see provision was made to have fish witnessed and returned to the waters by the organisers. It is, once again, a move in the right direction.

The culture of preservation of our fish stocks is slowly becoming entrenched among anglers concerned about our angling future, especially competitive angling where fixed venues are concerned.

Of major concern to me is that we have legislation in place but often no supposed will by the authorities to make the legislation work.

Interaction between the various departments also needs serious attention. The National Estuarine Management Protocol is one such brilliant piece of legislation that remains only on paper.

This is where the Swartkops, like all other estuaries, is managed by government, non-government organisations and other stakeholders.

At these meetings there is never a full complement, especially from the governmental side, so, simply put, progress cannot be made. From what I have witnessed in the three years this has just been “waffle” .

The local stakeholders are ever present, observing the vacant seats that should be occupied with gusto by people who count heavily on the success of such an undertaking. Things cannot get better if attitudes don’t change.

This is really the answer to the needs of these systems that provide much for society as a whole – especially the ailing Swartkops. – Reel Time, with Wayne Rudman

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