Anglers must keep to the conservation rules

THE truth is more important than the facts, according to Frank Lloyd Wright (1868 to 1957).

In reality the criminal mind distorts this to a point where those who hear these lies perceive them to be the truth, all by choice. If a lie is repeated enough it gets accepted as the truth, which it can never be.

I am not talking fishing stories now about the one that got away.

A picture tells a story! Today most cellphones have cameras and digital cameras are inexpensive with no development costs either.

Years later, when memories are faded a picture provides that spark that life is all about – memories, it is hoped, without regret. I am so sorry I lived most of my life before digital images.

Regularly I engage with scientists who search for the facts that provide the truth.

These facts are often disputed by the anglers who sometimes see things differently and this mostly in fear of more restrictions through legislation.

Their observations and input are in fact also very credible at times. Perhaps not enough of this interaction takes place.

The angler is often seen shooting himself in the foot through poor attitude towards a conservation obligation which we all have the responsibility to uphold through "voluntary compliance". Exploitation will always be a bone of contention between those who protect and those who seek to benefit.

Hougham Park has now officially been closed. The general public has as a result lost another prime angling spot and this can be blamed directly on misconduct.

It has been common knowledge for some time that the anglers have taken advantage of the remoteness of Hougham Park. Effectively the stretch of beach from Coega Harbour to the Sundays River mouth is almost unaccessible. Will the walk be worth the pleasure?

I am an advocate of the subsistence fishing programme (poverty alleviation), but realise this is an extremely complicated issue. It simply cannot be implemented in its current form and run without individuals taking advantage of the opportunity to bleed the environment beyond sustainability.

The lack of manpower to police these sectors also adds fuel to the fire.

My guess, as I have observed, the current situation at the Swartkops estuary has already progressed too far. However action has started to clean up the squalor at the Wilde Bridge.

Without drastic policy changes things will implode with total habitat destruction. Public attitude too is a huge obstacle as a result of the resistance to change.

When doing the rounds and talking to people it is quite obvious most despise law enforcement and this is the very reason why the law enforcement is there, directly as a result of this attitude.

The photograph shows how a beach seine net had removed many fish all in one haul. With line fishing at least some good breeding stock remains behind.

Remember the larger fish carry the good genes. They don't grow that large if they are not good stock!